Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Oils and Reductions

Use these oils to enhance flavor of salads, pastas or even a toasted baguette.

Basil Oil

1/2 lb basil leaves
1 tsp salt
juice of one lemon
2 cups olive oil
Place basil leaves in boiling water for 10 seconds. Drain and quickly cool in cold water. Squeeze out all water and chop. Using blender of food processor, puree with salt and lemon juice and olive oil. Blend on highest speed until blended, several minutes. Strain through a coffee filter or cheesecloth.

Balsamic Reduction

4 1/2 cups good quality balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
In a saucepan on medium heat, reduce by half. (I usually don't need to do this last step but just in case.) You can thicken more by whisking in 2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water.

Chile Oil

2 cujps vegetable oil
1/4 red chile flakes
1/4 cup spanish paprika
1/4 cup mexican chile powder
1/2 tsp salt

Whisk all ingredients together. In a medium sized heavy bottom pot on medium heat, cook mixture until chiles just start to brown. You do not want to burn them. Let cool to room temperature and strain through a coffee filter or cheesecloth.

Lemon Curry Oil

2 cups vegetable oil
1/2 cup madras curry powder
zest and juice of 2 lemons

Place all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake until ingredients are well blended. Let sit 24 hours.

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