I usually only cook with butter or coconut oil, sometimes olive oil, because those fats are what I understand to be safest for heating (most of my reasoning is covered in a book I've mentioned before). But I encounter different limitations with each of those things: Butter burns easily, coconut oil often imparts a kind of coconutty flavor (which can be good sometimes, but only sometimes), and olive oil they say is okay to use with moderate heat, but I just don't really like flirting with that line, so I only rarely cook with it. But all those problems are solved with ghee! I haven't personally confirmed anything yet, as this is my first batch and I haven't done any cooking with it yet to speak of. It keeps finding it's way elsewhere besides the kitchen, like on my face and hands (it's good for the skin, too, and it has this exceptional soft silkiness to it), but I'm planning on it being my new go-to oil for frying/sauteing. And I'm curious about baking with it, too...wondering if it will act more like an oil than butter or coconut oil would. What I mean is, like a liquid-y unsaturated oil like canola or vegetable. I just read in Cook's Illustrated (Mar./Apr. 2010) this in-depth analysis of brownie recipes and oil vs. butter, and, to my dismay, it matters more than I'd fully realized. I almost always just sub butter for other oils when baking, but after reading that I'm thinking twice and hoping, hoping, hoping ghee might be the answer (coincidentally, one of my favorite bloggers is discussing basically this same issue right now). If only I weren't doing this stinkin' gluten-free diet, I'd bake something with it right now! Sorry, gluten-free-ers, no offense meant at all, I've actually thought for a long time that wheat was a bit evil, and suspected I might be sensitive to it. But I have to say, experiencing being off of gluten totally combined with how I felt after I had a wheat-filled slip-up (no different) has pretty much confirmed otherwise, atleast as far as me being sensitive to it in a definite, consistent way. At this point, the avoidance just feels unnecessary and because I have no intentions of sticking with it after my resolution period is up, it's like this little buzzing fly of mild annoyance following me around whenever I cook, eat, grocery shop, etc. And driving me to consume massive amounts of tortilla chips. But back to the ghee—yes, I know, I can bake without gluten, but I've heard it can be tricky and I'm just not up to it. So, later will come the ghee baking trials.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
I'm really excited about this stuff, as the punctuation indicates. Plus the word "ghee" just naturally seems to lend itself to exclamation, like "whee!"