Tuesday 25 February 2014

Posted by Judie on Tuesday 25 February 2014
Making infused oils is a process of transferring flavour and scent into a carrier oil. It can be used to add wonderful flavour to cooking oils, which can be used as dressing or even as a base for frying instead of plain oil. 

There can be as many variations as you want, however here I list Garlic and Chilli, and Rosemary and Peppercorns. There are two methods for infusion, I here use the hot method, where you heat the oil with the herbs and it is ready for use. The cold method is to leave the herbs to infuse for about 2 or 3 weeks. 

Please note that I here use dried herbs, since the use of fresh herbs (such as fresh rosemary or fresh garlic) can increase the risk of Botulism. If you infuse the oil (hot method) with fresh herbs, the oil should be refrigerated and only lasts about 2 weeks. Garlic should also not be left in the oil. On the other hand oil infused with dried herbs lasts for months. 

Makes a 250 ml bottle
  • 125ml + 125ml olive oil 
For the Garlic and Chilli flavoured oil: 
  • 2 tbsp small dried chillis or one big dried chilli
  • 1 tbsp dried garlic flakes or granules
For the Rosemary and Peppercorns:
  • 2 tbsp dried rosemary or two dried sprigs
  • 2 tbsp peppercorns

Sterilise the bottles by putting them in boiling water for a few minutes, then put in a warm (not hot) oven standing upwards to dry completely.

Meanwhile put 125ml of olive oil in a pan, along with the desired infusion herbs, and heat gently, being very careful to just warm the oil and not boil it. Leave to heat for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Taste the oil, it should already have the smell and flavour of the infusion herbs, but if not you can heat gently for some more minutes. 

Pour the infused oil in the sterilised bottles with the help of a funnel, then top up the bottle with the remaining 125ml oil. 

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