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Infused Olive Oil

I grew up in Italy, and always remember ordering a Diavolo Pizza and my father and I would always put a hot, or spicy olive oil on top of it, drizzling it on. I wanted to recreate the olive oil, but was wondering: If I put Jamaican hot peppers into a bottle of olive oil, is there anything I should worry about? i.e, bacteria forming like when garlic is left in olive oil over say a week or two?

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  1. I've only seen infused olive oil with dried peppers in it. Garlic itself does have some antibacterial properties in it -- what you might want to do is gently heat the olive oil, then pour over your garlic/peppers. We purchased a jar of garlic cloves marinated in olive oil in Italy recently. The instructions say to keep in the fridge Here's a link I found that may be helpful:

    http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/...

    4 Replies
    1. re: sweeterpea

      I'm thinking about doing some infused oils and vinegars as holiday gifts -- do you all have ideas for where to get pretty, food-safe, airtight bottles?

      Also, does anyone have tips or instructions for making infused vinegars (is there any reason to think that it's different from making the oils)?

      Thanks in advance!

      1. re: hungry in carrboro

        I usually pick up bottles from craft stores, like Michael's or Ben Franklin's . My husband sometimes picks up old wine bottles from thrift shops for me to use. They are much more interesting, but a lot of work to clean.

      2. re: sweeterpea

        Garlic infused olive oil is a botulism hazard. Any fresh item that has come into contact with soil is a botulism hazard if stored in an anerobiuc environment like oil.

        If you infuse oil at home with fresh items, say garlic or peppers or herbs, you need to keep it refrigerated and use within 10 days to 2 weeks. It is a particularly bad idea to give something like this as a gift, IMO.

        Better to infuse oil with only dry herbs or, better yet, make vinegar instead.

        In the US, commercially infused oils must by federal law be properly acidified. If you brought the jar of garlic cloves back from Italy and citric acid isn't listed as an ingredient, I'd think twice about using them.

        Here's a gazillion links about infused garlic oil and botulism: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&am...

        1. re: C. Hamster

          They're kept in the fridge and we're still alive. They were canned or processed in some way when we purchased them.

      3. I would love to give little oils and vinegars this holiday season, too! What fun.

        Here's a more general link on herb or spice infused olive oils -- add fresh herbs to warm oil, and let steep for two weeks until you like the flavor. According to this link, as long as you remove the cloves of garlic, you also remove the threat of botulism. Hmmm. Use oils within two months according to this.

        http://homecooking.about.com/library/...

        Mollie Katzen includes garlic oil and garlic-basil oil in Still Life with Menu -- suggested to brush on grilled polenta discs (YUM) or use in salad dressings. Drizzled on open-faced sandwiches, these are delicious too -- or on bruschetta! She just heats to combine about 1/2 cup olive oil with a few minced cloves of garlic -- heat gently for a few minutes, about medium heat.

        I also found this site:
        www.giftsfromyourkitchen.com

        and here's the link to flavored vinegars, a general recipe that could be adjusted to various flavorings:
        http://www.giftsfromyourkitchen.com/v...

        and an extensive list of specific flavored vinegar recipes (I want to try raspberry vinegar!) WOW -- this is so much easier than I would have imagined. I wonde

        http://www.giftsfromyourkitchen.com/v...

        One more link:
        http://www.datsplat.com/homemade-herb...

        Looks like infused vinegars should be stored in the fridge.

        I found this recipe on epicurious (no reviews, though) -- olive oil infused with porcini and rosemary. Recipes states it keeps in the fridge up to three weeks.
        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        2 Replies
        1. re: foxy fairy

          Thanks so much; these look like great sites! Keep me posted if you try any of these!!

          1. re: foxy fairy

            They are seriously wrong about this.

            Botulism is nothing to monkey with.

          2. already many such topics here if you search; e.g.,
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/297956
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/452082

            hounds, why is nobody searching before posting?

            1 Reply
            1. re: alkapal

              I agree with searching before posting but how is someone suppose to get new members opinions on something if the topic hasn't been represented in a present time. Although topics are still archived maybe somethings never get answered.