The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

4:12 PM

Food Tip - Infusing Oils

Posted by Magic of Spice

Infused Oils
Infused oils are a great and simple way to get your favorite herb and spice flavors for cooking creations
Here is also another way to show off some flair and get your
 dinner quests attention. They make great gifts too
Get as creative as you would like, although some herbs and spices 
work better in combination than others

Here are just a few herbs that work well
Lavender
Mint
Chamomile
Rosemary
Thyme
Sage
Basil
Oregano

Marjoram
To get a nice savory flavor going, try adding some spices as well
You can also try a sweet and spicy combination
Peppercorns
Bay leaf, dry
Star Anise
Cinnamon sticks
Whole Nutmeg
Whole Clove
Vanilla Beans

Fresh verses dried herbs:
For a spicy touch, dry chills are also a great addition
As you can see the varieties are nearly endless
Using fresh herbs gives you a superior, but will not last as long as dried
For storage, you will want to find jars that can be seal tightly
Stoppers with either cork or rubber work best
Special bottles and stoppers can usually be purchased in stores and online


Some base oils to consider:
Olive oil
Almond oil
Walnut oil
Peanut Oil
Jojoba oil
Coconut oil
Other choices to consider:
Lemmon or orange slices
Mushrooms
(See not on heating oil if using these)

Infused oils can be used for culinary as well as beauty oils
However if  for culinary use be sure 
that your oil grade is meant for this purpose

Let’s get started:
After deciding what herbs you would like to use
Blanch them briefly to soften 2-3 minutes
Make sure to strain, pat out visible water, and leave to dry
Out in the sun is best, but indoors for 24 hours if not
Note: Bacteria can grow if moisture remains
To preserve for longer times, soak herbs overnight in a vinegar solution
This is especially important if using fruit or garlic additions
Use your rosemary and thyme whole, as well as chills and vanilla beans
For other herbs and additions, chop coarsely
The oil will begin to absorb the intense flavors rather quickly, 
but leaving it set for at least a month will continue to produce a more powerful, distinct flavor

Store the bottles in a cool, dry place for at least a week to a month
Your additions should take up no more that 1/4th of your bottle or jar
Note: If using oil that prefers refrigeration, such as walnut
You can store in the refrigerator

Note: Pureeing the herbs, or heating the oil, quickens the process 
so that the oil can be used sooner
However leave oil to cool to room temperature if adding fragile herbs like basil
Your oils should keep for up to two months or longer

Add To Facebook Share with Twitter Stumble This Digg This Add To Del.icio.us Add To Reddit Post to Google Buzz Share on Myspace Share with Windows Live Pin It

blog comments powered by Disqus