Some of us have a lot more time on our hands than ever before so it's time to learn some new skills and infusing olive oil sounds like it'll do the trick. If you've ever wanted to make your own to avoid paying premium prices for the pre-made type, we've got you.
Olive oil is probably the most widely-used oil given its versatility and delicious taste. Drizzle it on some veggies, pop it in your pot of water or use it to fry some onions, the humble olive oil's range knows no bounds.
But at a certain point in history, humans decided to level up and figured out a way to make it even better. The result: infused olive oils. These are usually reserved for people who can afford the premium price tags slapped on the delicious oil by craft brewers. Today, we change that and tell you how to make your own fancy infused olive oil on the cheap.
There are a range of usual suspects to infuse olive oil with including rosemary and garlic but the more adventurous types have added chili too. A word of caution before we get into it, however, making your own infused oil can be unsafe. That's because anything with moisture in it can grow bacteria in the oil resulting in potential food poisoning. To avoid that, you'll have to store your little creations properly and consume them fairly quickly.
For infusing oil with herbs, the process is fairly straight forward. According to this AllRecipes article, pop a few of your favourite herbs — rosemary, basil, thyme and oregano — in a bottle with a cup of olive oil and then refrigerate. The thing to take note of is the oil lasts only a few days but if you used dried herbs, it may last a little longer.
For a garlic infusion, the safest way is to cook the garlic to kill off any of the bacteria. This will let you keep your refrigerated oil for up to a week. For The Love Of Cooking recommends you use around four garlic cloves per half cup of olive oil. Place the garlic in the olive oil and let it simmer for up to 45 minutes. Once it's fully cooled down, strain it into a sealed jar or storage container, making sure no garlic slips in.
You'll be able to do a similar process if you want to infuse your olive oil with chili too. Just put the oil on low heat with your desired amount of chili, slowly simmer for about 15 to 30 minutes, cool down and then store in the fridge.
It's definitely easier to just buy it from commercial producers who have the processes to offer long-life infused olive oils but if you want some on the fly, it can be easily done at home too.
When it comes to confusing labels and price points, I find olive oil to be second only to wine. Once you get a handle on the whole virginity thing, there is the matter of region to contend with, and it can be hard to know which one you "should" cook with.