Infused oils – a fast track to flavour
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We all know that meals can be time intensive, and during the week – we need all the ideas we can to get dinner done quick. So, I have a great trick that’s going to cut down the time you spend with your chopping board.
Infusing oil with different flavours, including garlic, chilli, rosemary and even ginger – is a great way to add flavours to your salads, sauces and marinades without having to chop anything up. Perfect! This is a concept the express cooking queen, Nigella is very fond of.
You can buy infused oils at the supermarket, but why not do it yourself when the process really doesn’t take that long, expect for the need to leave the oil and your flavourings to steep for a week.
You can do different combinations, depending on what food you like.
In the case of garlic oil, place about 500ml of olive oil in a saucepan, over a low heat. While it warms, break up a bulb of garlic and hit the cloves with the flat part of your knife. This will break the cloves and allow them to release their flavour.
Once the oil is warm, but not hot, add the garlic to the oil and switch off the heat. It’s important not to over heat the oil, as it takes away its natural flavour.
Transfer the oil into a sterilised, dry jar and pop it in the fridge for a week. This will make the oil go thick and cloudy.
After a week, remove the jar from the fridge and allow the oil to come to room temperature.
Strain the garlic from the oil and place it in a sterilized jar or bottle with an air-tight lid. Store in a cool, dark place in the pantry and use when desired. Keep for up to two months.
This garlic oil is very basic, but you can add more flavours, like chilli. Just cut 4 whole green or red chillies in half, and add them to the oil at the same time as you add the garlic. You could also do herb infused oil.
Mix and match however you like – and you will be very pleased to not have to peel and finely diced garlic cloves when all you want to do is get a tasty meal on the table, fast!
Have you used infused oils before? What kind of flavour combinations have you found work well for you? Leave a comment below and let us know.
Posted on May 2, 2011, in Cooking techniques, Preserves, Quick and easy, Random thoughts and tagged chilli, Cooking, dinner, entertaining, food, garlic, home, infused, Inspiration, Nigella, oil, preserves, Recipes, vegatarian. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.