Cooking

Saturday Supermarket Smarts: Cracking the Coconut Oil Code

Written on September 21, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

With new products hitting the grocery stands every day, it’s hard to keep up with the latest food trends. Have no fear; we’re here to help! Each week, we’ll be highlighting a new product that’s worthy of a spot in your shopping cart and your kitchen.

The Product

Coconut oil is making its way from the grove to the grocery store. It comes in a jar as a creamy semisolid, but once heated will resemble more familiar oils like canola and peanut.

 

Why You Should Buy It

Coconut oil is a milder-tasting alternative to other oils, butter and shortening. In addition to raising levels of “good” (HDL) cholesterol, it contains lauric acid, which research suggests may boost your immune system and stimulate your metabolism.

 

How You Should Use It

It makes the perfect substitution for vegetable or canola oil in cooking and baking.

With a high smoke point, coconut oil can withstand high temps without burning, so swap out the vegetable oil in our Vegetable-Noodle Stir Fry.

Make your baked goods feel just a little healthier, since it contains a low amount of unsaturated fat and lots of antioxidants. Replace the canola oil in Gigi’s Apple Cake.

A neutral smell and pleasantly nutty flavor make coconut oil a great dairy-free substitute for frosting recipes that call for cream cheese or butter, like our Triple-Layer Carrot Cake.

 

We’re seriously nuts for coconut oil! Just remember, as with any fat, moderation is key.

 

Related Links

Decadent Chocolate Desserts

Asian Noodle Recipes

Stuffed Holiday Cookies

 

 

 

Rocca Stars in the Kitchen

Written on September 4, 2013 at 10:51 am , by

Guess who’s here to dish on cooking with the nation’s most beloved nannas (and poppas)! Daily Show vet Mo Rocca, whose Cooking Channel series, My Grandmother’s Ravioli, kicks off its second season this month.

By David Farley

 

Q: How did the show get its name?

A: My granmother made pasta from scratch, and her ravioli were big pockets stuffed with ground beef, spinach and garlic with a light tomato sauce. They were delicious – and large and light and delicate. So when Nora Ephron was a guest on my NPR show, Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!—and I was talking about the inspiration for my new cooking show—she pointed out that My Grandmother’s Ravioli was the obvious name. I loved going back to the network people to say not only did I have a great name, but Nora Ephron helped me come up with it.

Q: How do you decide who will be featured?

A: We want people who really care about cooking. They also have to have a good personality, but not in that crazy reality TV way. These are people you actually want to be related to.

Q: The show has you cooking with grandmas from everywhere. Have you found a universal ingredient?

A: Garlic. Everyone uses it. In fact, my own Italian grandmother’s apartment always smelled like garlic.

Q: What’s been the biggest surprise?

A: Almost none of the grandmothers measure ingredients. And grandfathers measure even less! They’re extreme non-measurers!

Q: Beyond recipes, what have you learned?

A: How to cut onions without crying. From a Pakistani grandfather, actually, I learned that you should drink a glass of red wine before cutting them. Though he may just have wanted an excuse to drink wine.

 

 

Explore more of our celebrity interviews here.

Produce Primer: How To Fix a Leek

Written on June 25, 2013 at 10:00 am , by

Mild, oniony leeks are delicious in everything from savory tarts to potato soup. The only problem? The veggie’s many layers can trap a lot of grit–something you don’t want to crunch down on during dinner. To get them really clean, give this quick and easy method a shot.

How to Prep a Leek

Illustrations by Alan Witschonke

 

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