DIY INFUSED COOKING OIL

DIY INFUSED COOKING OIL // THE KITCHY KITCHEN

Food should be nourishing and delicious. It sounds simple, right? With sweets especially, it can be so hard to find treats that are as good to eat as they are for you. My friend Laurel, the baker behind the grain-free and refined-sugar-free (and sometimes vegan) goodness known as Sweet Laurel Bakery, has shared some of her simplest and most satisfying recipes with me. My favorite thing about her recipes is that they’re always made with whole ingredients, no funny stuff or filler, so even the biggest sweet-tooth loves them.

Simple, delicious ideas are my favorite, and it’s even better if they can make a thoughtful gift or be a pretty addition to your kitchen counter. When I think of infused oil, I can’t help but envision those over sized, wax sealed, dusty bottles our mom’s had knocking around in the 90s – next to the bouquet of dried garlic or chilies that would hang limply from disuse. What made these oils feel so sad was that they were obviously props, not meant to improve a dish with a splash of flavor. And that’s the beauty of infused oil – instant flavor on any dish. Add it to a soup, salad, even on top of ice cream – it immediately adds a new dimension. For this little round up, I included some of my favorite combinations: Sichuan inspired chili oil, fragrant Rose and Saffron oil, and simple and earthy herb oil. You can combine any flavors you like, this truly is an opportunity to experiment and have fun. What are your favorite combinations to infuse? Share in the comments below!

Tips for making the best infused oil:

1. Use the freshest, best ingredients you can find.

2. Wash your “add ins” and then dry then thoroughly. This will help your oil last as long as possible.

3. Get the most out of your ingredients by bruising the herbs to release the oils or toasting spices.

4. If you’re using the oil that day, or shortly after making it, you can keep it on your counter ready to go. But, if you’re planning on gifting your oil or saving it for the long term, you need to use sanitized canning jars.

5. Botulism can be a concern when making any kind of preserve, including infused olive oil. These oils usually keep for a month, especially if kept refrigerated. If the ingredients in the olive oil start to show any signs of spoilage, throw out the oil immediately.

There are two approaches to making infused oil, with heat and without. Either way, start with sanitized, sealable jars, set aside.

To infuse without heat, simply cover the ingredients with olive oil, seal the jar, and let it sit in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks before using it. The oil will slowly infuse over this time. If you like, strain out the solids and re-bottle the oil once you’re happy with the flavor, though I think the jars look prettiest with the add ins still in them.

To infuse with heat, combine the oil and ingredients in a saucepan on medium-low heat, and cook to barely a simmer.  Let the oil cool, and then strain out the ingredients before bottling the infused oil, unless you want to keep the ingredients in for aesthetic reasons. This is the faster way to infuse oil, but the flavor might not be as rich.

DIY INFUSED COOKING OIL // THE KITCHY KITCHEN

DIY INFUSED COOKING OIL // THE KITCHY KITCHEN

DIY INFUSED COOKING OIL // THE KITCHY KITCHEN

DIY INFUSED COOKING OIL // THE KITCHY KITCHEN

INGREDIENTS (HERBS DE PROVINCE OIL)

Each recipe yields 1 cup

1 tablespoon herbs de Province

1 cup olive oil

DIRECTIONS

Mix all ingredients together and pour into sealable glass jar.

DIY INFUSED COOKING OIL // THE KITCHY KITCHEN

INGREDIENTS (ROSE SAFFRON OIL)

3-4 rose petals (dried)

5 sprigs of saffron

1 cup olive oil

DIRECTIONS

Mix all ingredients together and pour into sealable glass jar. Use in a dish or massage onto skin!

DIY INFUSED COOKING OIL // THE KITCHY KITCHEN

INGREDIENTS (CHAI SPICED OIL)

2 sprigs cinnamon

7 cloves

5 anise stars

1 cup olive oil

DIRECTIONS

Mix all ingredients together and pour into sealable glass jar.