Have you tried making infused cooking oils? I did for the first time this year and I was surprised how easy it was. The first ones I tried were basil infused oil and a wonderfully fiery chilli oil, then I got a bit more adventurous! I love that I can now have these delicious oils in my fridge without the expensive deli price tag. Infused oils make wonderful homemade gifts too. All you need is a printed label and a homemade gift tag to make your bottles of oil into something special.
PLEASE NOTE: There can be a risk of botulism in infused oils if they are not made/stored properly. For more information on this, here is a link to an article from the University of Maine that you may find useful: http://umaine.edu/publications/4385e/
Infused Cooking Oils
Did you know that most commercially produced infused cooking oils are made with inferior quality oil and are packed with sugars and other preservatives to prolong shelf life? Yuk! Not what I’m looking for, as I strive to keep my family diet healthy.
Basil Infused Oil
I’ve always loved basil infused olive oil drizzled over my plate when eating in Italian restaurants … it’s the vibrant, enticing green colour and the amazing flavour that is such a winning combination! It’s incredible how just a little oil can pack such a punch, and how well it brings out the flavour of the food it accompanies.
I like nothing better than the sweet smell of basil from the herb planter on my kitchen windowsill first thing in the morning. This summer my basil plants grew bigger and better than ever. They never seemed to stop growing so I’d made plenty of pesto, I’d dried some and I’d even frozen some too, but I wanted a way to use up my basil surplus. I had my Eureka moment while I was making some hot chilli oil. I remembered those Italian dishes I love, with their glossy, green dressing and that was when I decided to make my own basil oil.
Fancy giving it a go too? It’s so easy, the kitchen smells divine and I’ve got a bottle of delicious herb infused oil in my fridge which has been well used already. I’ve also given 2 bottles away as very well received gifts. Here’s the recipe I used. It’s unbelievably good drizzled over eggs and bacon (hold the toast if you’re eating gluten free like me!)
Of course, once you get started making infused cooking oils, there are lots of varieties to try. So exciting!
Alyssa from EveryDay Maven is a blogger whose recipes always work. I tried out her Chinese Chili oil recipe when I was looking for a healthy chili infused oil with a real fiery kick. The recipe is ridiculously easy to make if you’ve got a food processor and the oil is unbelievably tasty. I’m kicking myself for buying chili oil for so long, but I won’t be buying it anymore. I drizzled this over barbecued chicken thighs last night for friends and it went down a storm! Here’s the recipe …
Oooh garlic! It’s an important part of my life as I love the flavour and it’s so good for you. The kitchen smells divine when something delicious and garlicky is cooking. Here’s how to make garlic oil...
After being treated to homemade fettucine with slow roasted red and yellow peppers, served with lemon infused oil (limonato), I just had to learn how to make lemon oil! I tried out a few recipes but just couldn’t replace the flavour of the oil I had tried. I was so disappointed. Then, I stumbled upon Sally’s recipe. Her secret is not to use any lemon juice as it makes the oil very acidic, but to get physical pounding the lemon zest in submission in a mortar … very satisfying! The result is an intensely lemony oil without any acid kick. You’ll find Sally’s recipe here …
Vanilla Infused Olive Oil
Oh boy, have I saved the absolute best for last! I came across Dorothy’s amazing recipe very recently and have been using my precious vanilla infused oil like crazy since. It’s perfect with strawberries, tastes heavenly with avocado and is superb with grilled meats and seafood. Yummy yummy! I will ALWAYS have this in my fridge.
What’s your favourite infused oil? I’d love to know, and to hear what you use your oils for.