Making Flavored Oil

27Aug08

Flavored Oil

Flavored oil has been around for a while now. While many restaurants still prefer using olive oil to flavored oils, there have been buzzes about ‘healthy’ oil, which most of the time points to oils that contain less saturated fats or none at all. Food Central won’t be looking at healthy food alternatives here, but we’ll be looking at how to make your finished product taste better without damaging your body.

Many of us at home do not see the importance of flavored oil – Yes, they aren’t, most of the time. Simply because our culture practices less of such food items. While Food Central is talking about foodstuff like these all the time, we’re also trying to implement the little details in Home Cooking or Restaurant Food.

Flavored oils need to be made prior to usage, and has to be kept on shelf for a long period of time. Think of it as an investment – Something like sauerkraut or cheese (we wouldn’t want to mention wine because there are many times where wine isn’t very applicable to the situation). Certain oil-flavors do not take a long time to develop, however fresh ingredients do. Flavored oils can be used as a flavoring ingredient, marinade, accompaniment, and of sorts. More details are at the bottom of the post.

How to make flavored oil

Flavored oil’s science is simple – Integrate robust flavors of ingredients which you think the combination might work, and then test it out on olive oil or good quality oils. Note that here, we’re only going to touch Olive Oil, and if you can’t afford to get one for your home, you should start investing. Here’s are a few simple combinations you might want to try. Note that in this case, taste is subjective: And if you can’t take the heat, you can try mixing other ingredients. If you’re still not sure, drop Food Central an e-mail.

  • Jalapeños + Rosemary + Sage
  • Basil + Cilantro / Coriander
  • Dried Chilly + Cinnamon Stick + Cloves + Star Anise
  • Lemon Zest + Orange Peel + Thyme
  • Cinnamon stick + Lemon Zest + Rosemary
  • Applemint + French Tarragon
  • Plump Chillies + Cloves + Bay Leaf
  • Strawberry + Peppermint + Raspberry
  • Ginger + Shallots + Garlic + Bay Leaf
  • Ginseng Roots + Garlic + Onions
  • Dried Chinese Mushrooms + Thyme + Cloves
  • Screw Pine Leaves + Thai Basil + Tarragon
  • Allspice + Cumin
  • Lime leaf + Ginger Flower + Mint + Tamarind

There are many other combinations – And you can also experiment each ingredient at one time. Note that you need to ’empower’ your ingredients before letting them sit in the oil.

  • For dry herbs like cumin, allspice, Masala (whole), Cloves
    Toast them first – In a skillet/pan, heat the herbs up (without oil) until you achieve the fragrance.
  • For fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, tarragon
    Dip them into hot boiling water (blanch) for a while or let them sit in the oven for a while for it to ‘dry’ out so that the flavor is more intense.

Basically, a simple recipe can be concluded:

Jalapeños + Rosemary + Sage

  1. Jalapeños are peeled and washed; removed of its seeds.
  2. Rosemary and Sage is blanched, stalks removed and set aside.
  3. Jalapeños, rosemary and sage are fried in little oil for a while, with its stalks.
  4. Bottle is ready, pour everything into the bottle and add in olive oil.
  5. Seal tight and keep in shelf for minimum of 3 months prior to usage.

Usages of Flavored Oils

Flavored oils can be used as a dressing, to eat like that, to mix and make up something home-made like mayonnaise, or used for cooking. Be aware that high heat can actually take away a lot of its smell, and you wouldn’t want that to happen. Also, if you need an alternative to olive oil, use Canola or Corn oil. Sunflower seed’s oil (which can take high heat) is also fine.

  1. Direct accompaniment to regular bread or vinaigrette mixes (oil + acid : flavored oil + balsamic vinegar)
  2. Accompaniment to unseasoned foods or replacement of flavor like potato and sour cream or steamed Pak Choy and Oyster Sauce.
  3. Used to flavor cooked ingredients like Dory Fish, Clam Pasta or Beef Stew
  4. Used as a flavorful addition to sweet sauces like Cinnamon Sauce, Apple Sauce or Sweet Fruit Sauces
  5. Toppings for end-products like Garden Salad or Ratatouille.
  6. Make sauces like Hollandaise Sauce (Egg-based sauce) or Mayonnaise.
  7. Season pureed items like Banana Fritter Sauce or Crepe Suzette’s sauce.
  8. Marinade for various items before baking, BBQ or slow-cooking.
  9. Used as part of the ingredient in a recipe like Pilaf Rice or Spinach Pasta.

You can now share the joys of flavored oils in a very good manner with your friends, family and loved ones. Give them something to think about!

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