A Simple Infusion

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Spicy Garlic Infused Oil

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Every time we cook, we’re always looking for simple ways to kick the flavor up a notch or two. Using the freshest ingredients, citrus zest, and a variety of herbs have always been our go-to methods to enhance the taste profiles of our food. Plus, we both love spice! A few dashes of red pepper–in its many forms–to turn up the heat does just the trick when it comes to heightening flavor. Lately, we’ve been into infusions. Almost all of our homemade cocktails and even some tasty treats have some kind of flavored simple syrup in them to add a little jazz. As you probably know already, making these infusions is super easy—as easy as making a cup of tea. So we thought, why not go the savory route and tweak the average olive oil? Let the experimentation begin.

For a breakdown of infusing oils check here. The site has interesting tidbits that may come in handy, and it shows that the process couldn’t be easier. If you picked up a container of whole, aromatic spices and never used them, here’s your chance to drop in pods of cardamom or little pink peppercorns. Walk through your garden and snap off a bunch of fresh, pungent rosemary, tarragon, lavender or hibiscus. The options are endless! You’ll get better results using a tasteless oil such as canola or grapeseed. If you use olive oil, choose one with the cleanest olive flavor as not to overpower the additional ingredients. Olive oil breaks down faster than other oils, especially if you are working with a hot infusion, so use it quickly. The recipe below is for a hot infusion, which produces immediate results and helps to protect you from any nasty bacteria that may breed in the oil, especially if you’re playing with garlic. Many food items that grow in the ground or contain moisture require extra precaution when infusing oils. Play it safe by keeping all infused oils in the fridge between uses to keep them as fresh as possible. And use them quickly–within one and a half to two weeks at the latest. If you make them in small batches, you’ll use them up before you know it. They will add pizazz to any marinade, salad dressing or savory dish.

Spicy Garlic Infused Oil – Makes 3 cups
2 cups dried whole chiles, plus extra for the bottle
1 head garlic, peeled
Juice of 1 lemon
3 cups light olive oil

1. Mix first 3 ingredients and 1 cup of oil into a food processor or blender, while slowly adding in the remainder oil.

2. Heat mixture in a large pot over medium-heat until oil begins to lightly bubble. Turn heat to low and let simmer for 3-5 minutes, being careful not to let the oil burn. Remove from heat and set aside and let cool completely.

3. Strain through cheese-cloth or a fine, wire strainer. Store in an airtight container with additional whole chiles for display. Refrigerate in between uses, and do discard after 2 weeks.

Click HERE for the printable recipe.


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20 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. Ahhhh another use for my dried chilies that I have been playing with. Very nice.


  2. You know, i love infused oil with pizza…


  3. I love roasted garlic infused oil and chile oil but I’ve never thought to pair them! Have I mentioned lately how much of a genius you are?


  4. I was just thinking that I needed to make chili oil. This is such a versatile condiment, it goes great over pasta, drizzled in noodle soup and I recently had it over pizza which was fab!


  5. I can’t wait to make some infused oil – I’ve never really thought about it but it definitely opens the door to endless possibility.


  6. Never heard of the hot infusion method. Thanks for the great info.


  7. That must be awesome, I love chili oil but haven’t had a garlicky one.


  8. Awesome tips! I’ve always wanted to try infusing oils, and it would never occur to me to take extra precaution with garlic.


  9. I love infusing oils and I really like your add of lemon 🙂


  10. Thanks for these very helpful tips on olive oil infusions. Love flavored olive oils…they are wonderful added to so many dishes & salads 🙂 xo


  11. A great way to jazz upcoming Christmas gifts too!


  12. Flavor infused oils add so much to the plate when you want to add just a little something extra. Love the kick the chiles bring to this one!


  13. What a great idea! Glad you told us how long it lasts – I would have made this and kept it for months!

    Hope you had a great weekend!


  14. Thank you guys so much for adding the caution about garlic in oil. As a long, long time canner I’ve been aware of the risk of botulism from garlic stored in oil and I just cringe every time I see it on the internet. Your method completely avoids that danger! Fabulous recipe and technique. Great job!


  15. Oh wow, I would totally be using this on EVERYTHING!! I think I can already taste it.


  16. […] Spicy Garlic Infused Oil [recipe/technique/tips] […]


  17. I LOVE infused oils…and vinegars…they just give flavour a KICK where its needed. Nice ideas my fave Duo!


  18. What an awesome idea – such an easy peasy way to infuse flavor 🙂


  19. Wow I never would have thought to do that. My sister would absolutely love this idea, and it’s a great way to flavor foods but also in a healthy way. Thanks for sharing! Like the pictures too.


  20. This is an awesome recipe. I am fascinated with infused oils. I’m not a fan of chilli though, so I’ll have to use some other ingredients.


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