infused olive oil fresh vs dried

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by gnnairda, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. gnnairda

    gnnairda

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    I'm about to experiment with some olive oil. I take it that you take w/e herb and blanch it quickly then blend it with some oil and let it sit for a day and you got your infused oil. 

    Is there a significant difference in taste when making it with fresh compared to dried after straining? Take Basil for example. I'm guessing fresh would have a stronger taste so would adding more dried basil make up for it?

    :edit : I'm working with Extra virgin olive oil so would I simply just add the dried herbs in it and let it sit for a couple of days?
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2010
  2. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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  3. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    When ever you're going to put a fresh (read as moist) ingredient in oil to infuse it. you run the risk of botulism. Dried ingredients are  much safer if you're going to go with the let sit a few days method. 

    But not everything dries well such as basil. A mild heat technique would be my preference. Make only a SMALL amount you'll use quickly and keep it refrigerated to curb any bacterial growth, using it up quickly before any growth reaches dangerous levels.

    Yes, this is a stringent attitude towards the topic and many people, including pros, have and continue to ignore it. But the risk is real so just rise to the extra level of work to do it safely even if it means you have to do it more often.
     
  4. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I am weary of herb infused oils because of the reasons that phatch mentioned.  What do you need to use it for?  In my experience people I know who make infused oils are more interested in the pretty bottle than the actual necessity of the oil.  When I infuse oil I infuse it for one day's use, not for storing and keeping.

    In order to make an herb infused oil that tastes really good it can't look so pretty.  The herbs need to be crushed by hand, knife, or mortar pestle.  This way they release their oils.  A good way to make an infused oil is in the FP.  The strain through a fine sieve lined with a paper towel or cheese cloth.  But again, this is not for storing and keeping for more than a day or two otherwise you run the risk of botulism.
     
  5. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    I used to experiment with it too, such as dried porcini in olive oil, rosemary, dried mini chili peppers...

    Don't use fresh herbs, unless you mix oil and herbs and use it "à la minute".

    First of all, IMO it's not done to use perfectly good extra virgin olive oil. What a waste of money and good flavor. I would use other, cheaper vegetable oils. As a matter of fact, I used olive oil for nearly everything -even for frying eggs- until a few years ago. Now, I only use extra virging in cold preparations or to drizzle some over a prepared hot dish, such as pasta. For frying, I always use sunflower.

    The only flavored oil I make is garlic oil. I use a mix of ordinary olive oil and sunflower and make a confit of garlic cloves. The by-product is garlic oil.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2010
  6. gnnairda

    gnnairda

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    I really just wanna taste it and give something new to my family  dinners. I'll probably only make just enough for 1 day of immidate consumption, because I know that it might be another couple weeks before they are willing to try something else lol. but when worse comes to worse can't you just freeze it?

    I  plan to make some seared scallops on bruschetta with extravirgin infused with basil on top. So I'm just using it for the last stage.  I'm curious on how you guys make yours because some people sterilize a container and let it sit for a month and some simply add the herbs and heat it on the burner (low) for 10 minutes . note : with dried herbs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2010
  7. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    For just a little bit I'd probably use a mortar and pestle Put in a few basil leaves and grind it a bit. Then some oil and grind gently to minimize mess. Let it stand for a bit, maybe 30 minutes, then strain/filter and use.  Do this for up to maybe 1/4 cup of oil or what ever fits in your mortar and pestle with enough free space for you to work it without a mess.