I’m a spice and oil hoarder. A weird spice I’ll probably use once? Need it. Flavored oils at the Dane County Farmer’s Market? Gotta have them. I knew I was doomed when one of my professors introduced me to Acala Farms flavor-infused cottonseed oils right before the summer break started. Lots of free time and a bunch of fun ingredients means new recipes, so how could I resist? I quickly swept up six of the flavors:
- Fried Shallot
- Smoky Chipotle
- Sweet Guajillo Pepper
- Fresh Roasted Garlic
- Chili Cumin
I’d never used cottonseed oil to cook before, so I was excited to give them a try. I also wanted to know what the benefits of using cottonseed oil are.
A high smoke point means that Acala Farms oils won’t burn, scorch or disappear in the pan, so they’re great for frying, searing, sauteing and stir-frying. The clear, clean, light body of these oils leaves no oil-taste halo, so the flavor you want is the flavor you get. Rich in antioxidants, the oils contain zero trans fat and zero cholesterol.
– “WHY COTTONSEED OIL?” Acala Farms
So far, I’m loving them. They add such great flavor to all the recipes I’m experimenting with, and doesn’t overwhelm other ingredients. I’m mostly coming up with the recipes with whatever the flavor of the oil inspires, like jalapeño-lime chicken sandwiches or fried shallot roast potatoes. Smoky chipotle made me think of a slightly spicy and smoky nacho dip, so that’s exactly what I made. Like a lot of the things I make, it is super easy and delicious. It’s a perfect quick summer snack to take with you to picnics and cookouts. You’ll be sure to impress.
If you’re not able to get ahold of Acala Farms cottonseed oil, I would recommend a mix of light olive oil and smoky chipotle seasoning when cooking the veggies and meat, and just adding seasoning to the cheese sauce with the other spices. Or you can use a similar flavored oil you find, especially since chipotle is so popular. But, I highly recommend trying these oils out! They’re worth it. With 14 weeks of summer left and five more oils, stay tuned to see what other creative concoctions I can make with these flavor-infused cottonseed oils.
Smoky Chipotle Nacho Dip
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
- Acala Farms Smoky Chipotle cottonseed oil
- 1/2 red pepper, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 1/2 pound of ground beef
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 4 tablespoons of flour
- 2 cups of whole milk
- 3 cups of shredded cheddar
- 1/2 a teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 a teaspoon cayenne
- Sauté the diced red pepper, onion, and jalapeño in some Smoky Chipotle cottonseed oil, about eight minutes.
- Brown the ground beef with a bit of Smoky Chipotle cottonseed oil, then drain.
- Heat the butter and flour, whisking until bubbling. Cook for about 60 more seconds.
- Whisk the milk into the mixture, bringing it to a simmer while whisking until thick.
- Turn off the heat and stir in handfuls of shredded cheddar until melted into the sauce.
- Once melted, stir in the meat, veggies, salt, cayenne, and a little more Smoky Chipotle oil to taste. Serve with tortilla chips or pretzel nuggets and a light drizzle of the Smoky Chipotle oil on top.
Bonus Recipe! Pretzel Nuggets
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
- 1 pound of pizza dough
- 1/3 cup of baking soda
- 1 egg, beaten
- Sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 450°F, and bring about 5 cups of water and the baking soda to boil. Pull pieces of dough and roll into small balls. I made about nine and they get pretty big after cooking.
- Drop a few pieces of dough into boiling water, and cook them about 30 seconds before removing them with a slotted spoon to shake the excess water off.
- Place them on a oiled cookie sheet about 1/2 inch apart. Brush dough with egg and sprinkle with salt.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes, then immediately remove to cooling rack for about five minutes. Serve pretzel bites with the fresh nacho dip.