Posts Tagged ‘Basil’

Herb or Spice Flavored Oils

One of my favorite gifts I like to make and give is  herbal or spiced infused olive oil.  It can be used for salad dressings, cooking, or as a table condiment.
It is easy to make herb and/or spice infused olive oils at home. You do though have to plan ahead to let the oil steep for 2 weeks before using.
Herbal oils may be made with any oil but lighter oils allow the flavors of the herbs to be enjoyed more fully.
  • Light oils: extra light olive, extra virgin olive, corn, safflower, sunflower, vegetable
  • Heavy oils: peanut, sesame

To make an herb oil, first sterilize any size jar or bottle (I suggest boiling in water for approximately 10 mins.) then half-fill it with whole fresh herbs. Fill jar with oil (must cover all herbs) Tightly cap and sit aside to steep in a warm place out of sunlight for about two weeks shaking daily. Strain through coffee filter and discard herbs.

Taste the product and repeat steps for richer flavor and body. Re-sterilize container.

Decant final product into a sterilized container with tight-fitting cap. Add a couple of fresh sprigs of herbs and/or a few compatible seeds to final product for a festive looking bottle

Typical herbs to use: garlic, tarragon, thyme, various peppers (hot or mild), basil, rosemary, oregano or bay leaf.

I like to use my flavored oils when grilling vegetables or seafood.

What are some of your uses.  Send me your comments.

Chef Lynn Ware is a private/personal chef specializing in healthy cooking, culinary educator, and food blogger. Chef Lynn offers: Corporate Cooking Classes, Group Cooking Parties, Private Cooking Lessons and Gourmet Catering. Contact Chef Lynn (ChefLynn@ChefLynn.com) for additional information.

Savory Herb Butter

      

 

HERB BUTTERS

Herb butter is great way to enhance the flavor of any dish that benefits from the addition of herbs: pasta, steamed vegetables, fish, etc. It is easy to make and keeps well in your freezer. Make some today to keep on hand for jazzing up those last-minute meals.

Here’s how:

Use unsalted butter soften at room temperature

Add two tablespoons finely chopped herbs to ½ cup (1/4 lb/1 stick) butter. Combine with fork or electric beater. Do not whip. Form into log on wax paper, roll up and refrigerate until firm. May be frozen in freezer for up to three months.

Presentation tips:

  • Slice log or butter into rounds
  • Use a melon baller to form balls.
  • Flatten between wax paper and use mini cookie or canapé’ cutters to form decorative pats.

Herbs and seasonings to try:

  • Parsley or cilantro for seafood and breads
  • Basil, oregano, garlic, grated parmesan (½ tsp each per ¼ lb) for Italian garlic bread.
  • Tarragon (1 tsp per ¼ lb) for seafood, mushrooms
  • Lemon or lime juice (few drops per ¼ lb) for seafood (add slowly so mixture will not separate).
  • Honey and mustard (1 tsp each per ¼ lb) for ham or chicken basting or as a sauce
  • Honey butter (3 tbs. per ¼ lb) for bread, toast

 

Savory Basil Butter

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