Tips for Making Flavored Olive Oil at Home
Olive oil with different flavors Far from being just another trend, flavored olive oil has begun to gain a foothold in DIY cuisine. With the use of simple ingredients, like herbs and spices, you can inject a distinctive flavor...
Far from being just another trend, flavored olive oil has begun to gain a foothold in DIY cuisine. With the use of simple ingredients, like herbs and spices, you can inject a distinctive flavor into your olive oil that will enhance the taste of your meals. While the term "flavor infusion" may sound time-intensive, it's actually a quick and easy process, taking anywhere from five minutes to a half-hour to complete. If you're curious and have some olive oil handy, read on to learn how you can jazz up your meals with this simple trick.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of infusing olive oil yourself is getting to decide which flavorings you'll use. While it's easy to get experimental and try to mix several flavorings together, it is best to choose just one to begin with. Some additives can compliment each other, but oil infusion doesn't require a cocktail of ingredients. Rather than running into a flavor clash, select one flavoring whose scent and taste you wish to showcase most. Also, try to keep in mind the types of food your oil will be used in. Then, pick a flavor that would best suit those dishes.
Here are some natural flavorings that work great for infusing olive oil:
- Lemon Balm
- Cinnamon sticks
- Whole cloves
- Star anise
- Roasted cashews
- Toasted hazelnuts
- Lemon Zest
- Lime Zest
- Orange Peel
While the amount of flavoring you use can be dependent on the type of additive, it is generally best to use 2 tablespoons of flavoring for every 1 cup of oil. This portion is large enough to allow the flavor to spread throughout the oil, without becoming so potent that it masks the oil's natural taste.
Once you've selected your flavoring, you are ready to begin the flavor infusion. There are two tried and true methods to infusing olive oil, so choose the one that works best for you.
Stove top Method: Place the olive oil and flavorings in a heavy bottomed saucepan and heat to a simmer. Allow the oil to simmer for five minutes, or until it becomes bubbly, before removing it from the heat. Let the oil cool, then strain through a fine mesh.
Oven Method: Heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the olive oil, with the flavorings, in an oven-safe bowl or dish. Once your oven has had time to heat up, let the oil cook for thirty minutes. Allow your oil to cool before straining.
Having just created flavored olive oil of your very own, you'll likely want to use it in everything you cook. This is encouraged for the most part, however, there are some uses you'll want to avoid. Deep frying with infused oil is not recommended. Once infused, flavoring particles are still floating around in your oil. These particles are easily scorched. Not to worry, though. Flavored olive oil does wonders for sauteing and can be used as an oil rub for meats, breads, and produce.
Once infused, olive oil will last approximately one month. Because of the remaining flavor particles sprinkled throughout, you'll want to store your olive oil in the fridge.
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