Q. “I see so many different kinds of oils on the market like grapeseed, walnut and sesame oils. Do you like one kind of oil over the others, and when is the best time to use each?” —Joey, Grand Chute
A. Oils can basically be categorized into two types: oils that are used for cooking with heat and oils that are used for cooking without heat. When using cooking oils with heat, I have canola oil for basic preparations like hash browns or caramelized onions, olive oil for quickly sautéing most vegetables, and peanut oil for high-heat applications like fried rice or teriyaki broccoli slaw with water chestnuts. When using oils without applying heat, I consider the oil as basically a flavoring agent, so this is where personal preferences come in. I usually have on hand sesame oil for Asian-inspired marinades and dressings, Tuscan blend olive oil for dipping fresh breads and rolls or on salad preparations where we want to add an Italian flair, and of course garlic oil which is great for finishing vegetables and a healthier substitute for butter. Of course, I wouldn’t ever be without truffle oil on hand for drizzling over smashed potatoes, roasted baby red potatoes or grilled mushrooms with Parmesan cheese.