Infusing Oils

The beautiful thing about utilizing oils in cooking is the ability to enhance the oil.  This is something I used to do in the restaurant business quite a long time ago, but it still holds value today and not-too-mention it is really easy to do!  Think about how fantastic the natural flavors of extra virgin olive are and how much more amazing it could be if you got a hint of fresh rosemary in it.  Not only do you have to use herbs to flavor oils, but you can also use roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, hot peppers, etc. Literally you can do anything and are only limited by your creativity.

So how do you do this exactly?  First be sure to use a sterilized jar and that your herbs are slightly dried out or wilted, reason being is if there is any moisture in the herbs, it can cause molding.  Next, simply add the herbs to the jar followed by the oil (I would recommend using olive oils or vegetable oil).  It will take 1 to 2 weeks for the herbs to infuse into the oil and release all the flavor.  At that point, strain the oil through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth and reserve for cooking, vinaigrettes, sauces, etc.  This is a very old school technique, but a simple quick fix when looking to maximize flavors in your cooking.

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