Chili Infused Olive Oil {Homemade}

Home made pizza drizzled with chili infused olive oil has got to be one of my all time favorite ways of enjoying pizza. This infusion is very easy to make but it takes time for the infusion to mature and the right ingredients make all the difference. I love the California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil; Not only is it local to the USA (you all know how I like to support local, American produce), it’s has a delicate nutty flavor with little acidity aftertaste. I prefer to infuse the oil with chilies I have dried myself, rather than store bought, crushed and blended. I think this results in a subtler deeper flavor where you can enjoy the richness of the oil , the kick of the chili without the overpowering bitterness of crushed chili seeds. I’m not a fan either of frying the peppers before adding them in the oil. I feel this also casues the chilis (and hence the infused oil) to become too bitter.

CHILI INFUSED OLIVE OIL

Ingredients:
1 cup of Thai red chili peppers, fresh, cleaned and dried
1 liter of extra virgin olive oil
My favorite is The California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:
Wash the bottle you will put your olive oil into and sterilize it in the oven at 225°F for about 15 minutes
Now lower the oven temperature to 200°F
Wash your chilies and discard any soft, mushy or moldy ones
Remove the stems from the peppers
Spread your chillies in a single layer onto a baking tin and into the in the oven
They will take several hours to dry (4 to 5 hours)
Keep an eye on them! You don’t want them to burn
They should retain some flexibility but have no signs of mushiness
Take them out of the oven to cool
Tear about half of them with your fingers, add them to your empty, dry bottle
Top up with olive oil
It will take a couple of weeks for it to fully infuse. Shake the bottle every now and then
Mine keeps for up to 6 months in a dark and cool cupboard

© 2014-2015 Caroline’s Family Kitchen and CarolinesFamilyKitchen.com

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