Infused Olive Oil is a cooking oil that has been enhanced in flavor with natural seasonings. Infused Oils can add a instinct taste to dishes that are sautéed or fried. Flavoring oil can be great for bread dipping or slowly drizzled on a salad. Furthermore, did you know that olive oil is known to be one of the healthiest forms of cooking oil? It’s really the infusion of added flavors which makes it all the more popular.
The simplest is to place the olive oil and the desired spices in a clear bottle. The bottle is sealed and left at room temperature for a few hours, or as long as a month or more. It is extremely important to be sure the bottle and cap are completely sterile, as the introduction of the flavorful ingredients can cause the oil to become rancid. After the infused oils have reached the desired flavor level, they should be refrigerated to ensure freshness.
Another process for cooking infused olive oil is hot infusion. The olive oil is combined with herbs and spices in a saucepan; then carefully and gently heated on a stove. To completely release the flavoring into the cooking oil, the mixture is brought to a temperature between 180 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit (82 to 93 degrees Celsius). Finally, the flavored cooking oil is then strained into a bottle, sealed and refrigerated.
The cold method of making infused olive oil involves a food processor or blender. This kind of method works especially well for dry spices and woody fibers. The olive oil and added ingredients are placed in the food processor and liquified until they are well blended. The mixture can also be strained, depending on the taste of the chef. The infused oils are then poured into bottles and immediately refrigerated to preserve optimum flavor.
There are a mixture of herbs, roots and spices that can be added to olive oil to make flavored cooking oil. Infused oils featuring fresh rosemary, thyme, taragon, basil, chives, or oregano are popular. Spicier flavors of oil can contain fresh or dried chilies, curry, cumin, or cardamom. Root additions can also include shallots, ginger or horseradish.
The seasonings used in making infused oils are up to the individual cook themselves. Some people just like to add one or two cloves of fresh garlic for an all-purpose flavoring oil. Others will put together exotic creations featuring mint or citrus zest infused with specialty cooking oils. The best recipe for infused olive oil is the one that suits the taste and cooking needs of the chef.
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