Infused oils are used in a variety of culinary preparations as garnishes to plated foods, marinades, in sauces and dressings. Use good quality, mild flavored oils including pure olive, grape seed, peanut and canola oil. Avoid using strong flavored oils including sesame or extra virgin olive oil.
Four Basic Methods
Cold Infusion Method - Simply place some sprigs of fresh clean herbs, or dried spices in a bottle of oil and let it sit in a cool place for at least 2 weeks. The fresh herbs can be bruised or broken to bring out more of their flavor.
Blanching Method – Blanch fresh herbs in boiling salted water for five seconds and shock in an ice bath. Drain well squeezing out excess moisture. Place the fresh herbs and oil in a high speed blender and puree the herbs. Strain the oil through a coffee filter or cheesecloth. This oil is best used within a week and should be refrigerated.
Steeping Method - Warm the oil to 180˚F/82˚C with the herbs, spices, citrus zest, or other ingredients. Let steep for at least 30 minutes. The oil can be left to sit
Spice Paste Method – Combine equal parts water and ground spices to create a paste. Combine ingredients with oil and allow to sit up to 1 week. Strain before use.
Garlic & Shallot Oils- A note of caution
Garlic or shallot oil prepared and left at room temperature can be the perfect breeding ground for botulism. Always refrigerate garlic oil to ensure that it remains safe for consumption.