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Italian Infused Oil

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I've been playing around with infused oils. This in the second that I've felt is good enough to post. I essentially used the spice combination from my Seitan Italian Sausage recipe and it really has a flavor reminiscent of sausage. I will be using this oil in my next batch of meatballs for sure.

I'm playing with a number of infused oils and I'm testing their flavor three ways: with simple fried tofu, plain french bread, and drizzled over popcorn. This particular oil had mixed results. You just don't associate the flavor with tofu or popcorn (especially the popcorn) and I didn't like them much at all. But the french bread was awesome. What really tipped the scales for me, though was the marinara sauce. I made a simple marinara (tomatoes, basil, salt, garlic & white wine) with the oil and the sauce was amazing. The flavor was subtle, but made all the difference in the world.

Italian Infused Oil

Italian Infused Oil
1 cup olive oil
1 tsp peppercorns
1 tbs fennel seed
1 1/2 tsp anise seed
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
6 tsp paprika
6 cloves garlic
1/4 cup basil, finely chopped

Heat oil over medium heat. Add the whole spice seeds and simmer until they begin to sizzle. Turn the heat down and add the paprika, garlic and basil. Continue to cook the spices so the oil just bubbles around the garlic for about one hour. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, at least a couple hours. Put the spices in the refrigerator overnight (or longer). The next day, strain through several sheets of cheesecloth.

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4 comments

  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. That sounds delicious! I wonder how long it would keep? It would make a nice gift to give to someone...would you/they need to store it in the fridge?

    Thanks!
    Courtney

     
  3. Matt Says:
  4. From what I've read, it depends on the water content of the oil. If you are just using seeds, dried herbs, etc, the oil should last longer, maybe a month, I would guess. If you're using fresh herbs, zest, garlic or anything with water content, it should be used within a week or two.

    Also, you should store it in the refrigerator.

     
  5. Anonymous Says:
  6. Can you tell me how you prepare and fry your tofu to get it to turn out so beautifully? I can never get that uniform golden color. :)

    Thanks!

     
  7. Matt Says:
  8. I coat a large frying pan in oil (a thick coat, but not so much that it pools), maybe 1-2 tbs. Then I put the cubed & drained tofu over medium-high heat and let it sizzle.

    Every minute or two, I shake the pan, so the bottoms of the tofu don't stick, scraping them off with a spatula when they do. Than, just, toss the tofu, or gently turn with a spatula, every so often until the tofu is evenly cooked. The last couple minutes, I add whatever spice I'm using and toss to coat.

    I probably cook it for 15-20 minutes.

     

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