Oil infusions may not come new to many of us and that enough speaks for the wonder of this culinary technique. Perhaps born more out of the need for another form of preservation, it has indeed given cooks yet another excellent way to add flavor to their culinary creations.
With this simple olive oil infusion, we turn to a combination of ginger and lemon, both capable of uplifting any dish easily with its bright and citrusy notes.
While infusing oils may be done using the cold method(leaving it at room temperature), this option would certainly take quite some time. A fast yet equally effective way of doing the task would be by subjecting the infusion to a precise temperature over a relatively shorter period of time.
With sous vide cooking making its way into our homes at present, creations such as these infused oils couldn’t be easier.
Take any oil you like, going by your own preference for flavor. Olive oil, coconut oil, peanut oil, almond oil, practically any oil would work.
Next, choose any combination of aromatic ingredients you could think of. . . herbs, spices, fruits, liquor. . . it would really be harder to think of something that won’t do well in this case.
Combine everything in a sous vide bag, going by any measure you like.
Seal the bag, and leave it to infuse for 1-4 hours in a 140F water bath.
Being extra careful against any bacterial activity, it would be best to chill your infused oil in an ice bath before storing.
Though not necessary, passing the oil through a cheesecloth-lined fine sieve would keep it clear from any possible sediments.
The moisture brought in by the addition of fresh aromatics means that this oil needs to be refrigerated to keep the possible growth of bacteria from happening. Though you may find extended shelf-lives for these oils, I do suggest that you discard any leftover after a month. It would thus be good practice to properly label your bottles with expiration dates.
The uses of this oil are practically endless. They’ll work for any recipe that requires plain oil, enhancing its flavor in the process. Use it for salad vinaigrettes, emulsified sauces, for basting grilled items, making toasts, or garnishing soups. . . this list could go on and on.