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 Serving Size  : 1    Preparation Time :0:00
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   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
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                         Oil, Infused
   Here are some guidelines for making your own infused
   oil. Always sterilize the bottles into which you will
   put the oil. Wine bottles are a good choice, but you
   may want to use smaller containers, such as cruets,
   because the flavor of infused oil, like all oils,
   deteriorates with age. Don't use more expensive
   extra-virgin oil to make infused oils. Because you are
   introducing flavors into the oil, you do not need or
   want the often peppery or perfumey flavor that is
   intrinsic in fine first pressings of olives. Don't
   exclude grape seed and canola oils, especially for
   flavors such as ginger, mint, and mustard.
   In his book “Marinades” (Crossing Press), Jim
   Tarantino says that he uses grape seed oil for
   steeping fresh herbs. When he is heating the oil to
   make infusions with dried chilies, mushrooms, curry,
   dried lemon grass or other Asian spices, he prefers
   light peanut or canola oil. Pure good-quality olive
   oil is a good match for spices and herbs ~- rosemary,
   oregano and the like -- with Mediterranean character.
   After the flavoring ingredients are placed in the oil,
   keep the bottle in a cook, dark place while it is
   infusing. Crumple and bruise herbs such as basil
   before adding them to the oil to help the flavor and
   aroma to escape. These are four main techniques for
   infusing oil: |    1.  Simply clean herbs (or use
   dried ones) drop them in a bottle of oil and allow to
   sit in a cool dark place for at least two weeks. This
   technique does not produce an oil with added color. |
     2.  Blanch an herb such as basil in boiling water
   for a second or two, pat dry with paper towels, puree
   the herb with a bit of oil and then add it to more
   oil. After a few days, strain the oil. This method has
   produced lightly tinted, highly flavorful but
   sometimes muddy-looking oil. When omitting the
   pureeing step, and simply adding the blanched herb to
   the oil, the result is a highly flavored, fragrant
   oil, but not one that changed color.
   |    3.   Warm the oil in a microwave for a few
   minutes, in a saucepan over medium heat, or in a
   double boiler. You can add the infusion ingredients
   while warming the oil, or drop them in after the oil
   is warm. This method is speedier. It produces
   flavorful oil in a day or two. |    4.   Make a paste.
   This method comes into play when using dried spices.
   As described by James Peterson in his book, “Sauces”
   (Van Nostrand, Reinhold $39.95), ground spices (as
   well dehydrated foods such as dried mushrooms) must be
   moistened before being combined with oil. |
          Then, if using ground spices, make a paste with
   an equal amount of water before whisking the paste
   into a quart of oil. Allow to stand for a week before
   straining. The author made an interesting cardamon oil
   and an orange curry oil this way.
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