Friday, August 2, 2013

HOT Pepper Oil - DIY Infused Oil

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I am a BIG fan of flavored oils.  Generally you use these as finishing oils for salad dressing or a last minute drizzle to brighten a dish.  This particular oil is wonderful to use in a meat marinade.

But mostly I like to use these as a bread dipping sauce.  Occasionally when my wife with her inconvenient day job comes home, I greet her with a bottle of wine a small dipping bowl of flavored oil and a few bread slices.  And of course this makes a fantastic first course or appetizer for a dinner party.  And your guests will certainly Oooh and Aaah once they find out that you made this yourself.

Indeed, as advertised, this simple infused oil will take your table to the next level!  Tat's why it is one of my new series of "52 Simple but Next Level Dishes".  It also fits into my definition of "Small Batch Canning".  While not typical canning with jars and boiling, etc; it is a condiment that is made one day and then enjoyed with different dishes throughout an extended amount of time (in this case, a month).

So, before I get to the recipe, a couple of tips and tricks to success with this.  It is just a tiny bit more complicated than throwing a pepper into a bottle...

OK... this takes several hours to cook.  But instead of making this on the stove top, I like to bake my oil.  Simmering low temperature works perfect (see the recipe for those details)

 It takes 3 or 4 hours for the chili peppers to cook through.  They become blackened and dried out, leaving their oils, tastes and deliciousness behind.  So look for that blackened color for fullest flavors.
Next step is to strain... I just use a couple of coffee filters lining a strainer and all of the blackened charred bits do not end up in your bottle.

 And viola, your infused pepper oil is done.  Now, this is important... Your oil will spoil over time.  You can slow the process by keeping the oil in the refrigerator.  This will be good for a month, any longer and you are risking contamination.

Also, I dropped a pepper in the oil for the photos.  If you do this for presentation at the table, this will decrease the amount of time before the oil spoils. First time I made this, the pepper started to mold.  So, either do not do this or just plan on using the oil up in 2 weeks or less.  But even when you do this, do not put any of the green stem part in the oil... That part will spoil much faster.

OK, with the recipe below and these tips you are now armed for success!!!

OK... Here's what I did...

HOT Pepper Oil

  • 2 Small HOT Peppers (I used Cayenne Peppers
  • 2 TBS Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 1-1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cooking Directions
  1. Remove stems from peppers and slice lengthwise. If you use the seeds, your oil will be much Hotter. Use seeds to taste, if you want REALLY HOT Oil, use the seeds, Mildly HOT, discard the seeds.
  2. Place Peppers, Peppercorns and oil in an oven proof heavy glass bowl (A Large glass measuring cup works fantastic).
  3. Bake in a preheated oven at 300 degrees for 3-4 hours or until the peppers turn Black and crisp.
  4. Remove from a rack to cool for an hour.
  5. Line a strainer with a double coffee filter and strain the peppers, seeds and peppercorns from the oil.
  6. IMPORTANT, store in the refrigerator and use within 3-4 weeks.
  7. Serve as you would a finishing oil, salad dressings, meat marinades, bread dipping oil, etc. and ENJOY!


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my very favorite Growing list of  "52 Small Batch Canning Ideas"!!!

I love Canning! Love the idea of it, Love having my own Jellies, Pickled produce, Sauces, Chutneys... All those pint, half pint, 4 Ounce jars,,, Even big quart jars of Spaghetti Sauce Lined up in my basement storage shelves.  Small batch means I can usually finish a project in no more than an hour of hands on work and usually less.  Easy DIY Projects that last a month or more... Great ideas for first time canners!


This simple recipe has also been added to my growing list of "52 Simple but Next Level Dishes"!

Kind of an odd title for these posts. But the longer sentence is... Simple recipes that are easy and inexpensive that will take your cooking to the next level... Things like easy pickled items (I always have a jar of Pickled Red Onions for sandwiches in my fridge). Or how about the easiest bread to make in the world... Beer Bread that is tasty on it's own but also makes a wonderful open face pizza style sandwich... With easy to make Tomato Sauce. Or how about Roasting Garlic for a spread on toast points for a unique appetizer. Infusing Oil with Herbs or spices or spicy peppers. Or how about making your own BBQ sauce. Nothing sets you apart as a grill master like setting out a jar of your own specialty BBQ Sauce.

You get the idea. These recipes are very simple, take very little time but will set you apart as a better cook...


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