tips for tuesday
notes from maggie's farm
A simple way to load your dishes with loads of flavor, infused oils are easy, and fun, to make.
For this rosemary orange infused olive oil, we've used fresh rosemary, which has been washed, and allowed to air dry, and a long curl of orange peel, with white pith removed. Combine in an oven-proof bowl of pure olive oil, and heat slowly in a 250 degree oven for 2 hours, or until the aromas of rosemary and orange heavenly ensconce your entire kitchen, and beyond. Remove oil and allow to cool slightly, still warm, but able to handle safely. Discard herbs and orange peel. Load fresh herbs and peel (which have been well-washed and allowed to air dry) in bottle of your choice. Pour oil over herbs in bottle. Allow to cool further to room temperature. Refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to using, as olive oil will harden when chilled. Use within 7-10 days.
Infused oils are safe, too, if you follow just a few guidelines.
Refrigerate after opening. Why? Botulism. Botulism can flourish in any anaerobic condition, and introducing moisture to oil makes for a friendly environment for bacteria. In other words, infused oils are perishable and must be refrigerated. Use any oils that have water-based ingredients (like garlic,ginger, citrus peels, etc...) within a week. While there are methods and ingredients that will prolong the life of oils infused with dry ingredients, (such as herbs, alone) lasting far beyond, and some suggest almost indefinitely, if refrigerated, to be on the safe side, we recommend making small amounts, and using within four weeks.
I, too, have seen those lovely pictures of herbal concoctions all lined up upon a windowsill with the sun's rays illuminating them from behind. So pretty, and so not edible. All infused oils should be refrigerated unless used for decorative purposes, only.
See the following links for more information:
Coming this spring, from maggie's farm will offer herb-infused oils and vinegars. More news, soon!