BM # 56
Week : 3 , Day : 3
Theme : Condiments
Country : China
We are in the third week of our Mega Marathon with Buffet on the table and we continue to cook condiments. For the third day under this theme I have infused oils.
Infused oils are oils where we add herbs, spices or fragrant leaves to the oil. The oils can either be used for cooking or for massage depending upon the ingredients used for the infused oil. In most cases, infused oil is used in cooking, and is especially good in final products where one can taste the oil, such as salad dressings.
While on my search for this condiment , I found that most popular infused oil is Chilly Oil. The Chinese use it a lot, besides Chinese , Korean and Japanese too use it.
Before we start making these oils we must remember a few important things.
First we have to choose our base oil. Since we are adding additional flavorings there is actually no need to splurge on the most expensive oils. Any good quality cooking oil is good enough.Olive oil is a great one to start, but use one that’s neutral and not too peppery or fruity — unless you really want those flavors in the final product. I chose to make my infused oils with three different oils.
Next is choosing the flavor.For herbs, consider using thyme, basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, cilantro, lavender or lime leaves. For aromatics, consider using garlic, chile peppers, scallions or lemongrass. For spices, consider coriander, cumin, star anise, fennel, nutmeg or cinnamon. For nuts, there’s almonds, walnut, hazelnut or pecans. I chose to make all different ones, I made a herbed oil, a aromatic and a spice oil.
Now there are different ways to make these infused oils. If you search on this you shall find a number of different methods. I have chosen very simple method and I was very happy with these oils. In routine I do make chilly garlic oil, but this time I made all different ones and I loved all of them.
Well I normally like to serve these oils with Pizzas or some breads, but these oils can jazz up salad dressing, drizzle over pasta or use to make stir-fry or simply have on hand to dip bread into as an appetizer for guests.These are great on noodles and I love them over boiled steamed rice too.
Since I have put these oils under a Chinese Country, I served some noodles with this chilly oil.
Storing these oils is also important. They should be stored in sterilized bottles and they should be allowed to sit at room temperature for at least a day before use . The oils should be refrigerated. They should last for about a month.
And finally coming to the procedure
Chinese Chilli Oil
This has a red tint and I used our regular cooking oil for it. I used chilly flakes, but you could also pound the whole red chillies and use.
1 cup cooking oil.
1/4 cup chilly flakes
Pour oil in a deep pan.
Add the chilly flakes and simmer at low heat for 5 minutes.
Remove from fire, let cool.
Strain and pour into sterilized bottles.
Let stand out for a day then store in the refrigerator.
This is the oil that I made with extra virgin olive oil , used whole garlic cloves. The garlic can be crushed for a stronger flavor.
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
10-15 cloves garlic
Pour a table spoon of oil in a pan .
Add garlic and let it turn golden.
As soon as it turns golden add the rest of the oil.
A pinch of salt could be added for extra flavor.
Remove from fire and let cool .
Once it comes down to room temperature , pour it in a sterilized bottle.
I left the garlic cloves in the oil, but one can strain it too.
1 cup pure olive oil
1 cup fresh basil
1/4 tsp dehydrated lemon zest
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp coarsely ground pepper
Wash and wipe the basil leaves.
Place them in a blender and pour half the oil.
Give it a quick pulse , just a few seconds.
Remove and pour into a pan.
Place on slow fire , add dehydrated lemon zest, sea salt, pepper and rest of the oil.
Let it simmer on slow for 5-7 minutes.
Remove and let cool.
Pour into a sterilized bottle.
All oils must be stored in refrigerator.