Need recipes & suggestions for making infused oil
I have a large amount of basil and rosemary growing in my garden and thought about making some infused oils.
To this end, can any one either point me to an internet site that has good recipes and directions for making infused oils or can anyone provide me with such? Any hints and advice you can offer, e.g. equipment, how long the oils keep, best ways to use, would also be appreciated.
I simmered EVOO with some whole garlic in a saucepan, removed the garlic, let it cool slightly, and poured it over sun-dried tomatoes and basil in sterile glass jars. I capped them, and store them in the fridge. Outstanding drizzled over good sliced tomatoes and fresh mozz slices, and I'll be using some tonight in a fresh tomato and fresh basil uncooked pasta sauce.
And no botulism deaths have been recorded....yet. :o)
There's an article for sale at finecooking.com and in the July 2004 edition of the magazine, p. 38, about how to infuse things generally. Basically, pouring warmed oil over your carefully washed flavor components into a very clean, preferably sterilized container, will do it. You should strain the oil through cheesecloth, a coffee filter, or undyed paper towels once the flavor has developed. Flavor will develop more quickly if you chop your flavoring agents. It's reccomended that you only make small batches, due to the risk of botulism.
A standard in Provence - I've never been, but I've seen many recipes and even bottled versions for sale - is an herb and pepper oil. Place 2 sprigs of rosemary, two sprigs of thyme, a bay leaf or two, a teaspoon (or more depending on freshness/flavor) of oregano, a teaspoon (or more) of fennel seeds, and 3 - 8 small dried hot peppers (depending on how fiery you want it) in a clean bottle, cover with a cup of extra virgin olive oil (no need to heat), and let sit for at least a week. You can toss in some whole peppercorns as well if you like. No need to strain out the herbs/spices. It's a small amount so you shouldn't have problems using it within 3/4 months ... though it will keep longer. I reuse my old olive oil bottles - I just wash and boil them first to get them completely clean. Dark tinted bottles are best since they keep out the light that damages olive oil. This is great drizzled on pizza, for dipping breads (along with some reggiano if you like), for grilling chicken (or other meats, I suppose), for pommes frites (you can dip them in it but I sometimes make pseudo-frites by coating them with the oil and broiling them until crisp), to make an herb aioli, for salad dressings (drizzled on fresh tomato slices and crisp fried onions), for frying eggs, etc. Any time you want an herbal flavor with a spicy kick.