A simple and intense infusion of dried chillies and oil; perfect to top pizza, fish or to be used as a condiment in any other dish.
Hot chilli oil – an essential in any pantry for a spice lover. I’m sure that from the few recipes that I have posted to this blog it is clear that I quite like to add a little umph to my food. And by that I mean a little something to wake up those taste buds and potentially your sinuses and tear ducts every now and again.
I appreciate that not everyone enjoys spice but for some of us a dish just isn’t complete until without a little heat, someone out there surely knows what I’m talking about. This post is for you guys that need that something extra.
Chilli oil is a great way to add heat to your dish without the risk of biting into a whole chilli; unless of course that is the part you most look forward to in your meals, you can still add larger chilli portions to your dish if you so desire.
This chilli infused oil is a great condiment to top your pizzas, salads, bruschetta; I use it in marinades for my meats. Sometimes even if I’m doing a quick sauté of onions or vegetables too. It’s just amazing and you truly do get that hint of spice with almost every bite!
Lately I’ve been using it to create a light salad dressing which comprises of balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and of course the chilli oil. It just brings so much more interest to your everyday salad; how could you not want it in your dressing. Truthfully I sometimes forget I added the chilli oil and when I get that kick of spice I’m sometimes puzzled for a second while I try to decipher what I ate that had that spice.
When making chilli oil the first thing to decide is what you are more likely to do with it most often. If you primarily want to use it to sass up your stir fries and fried rice dishes you may wish to choose a lighter oil such as sunflower or vegetable oil. These oils will not weigh down your dishes and are great for cooking. They are also typically less expansive which is always a plus.
You can however also use olive oil as your base oil which as well all know is better for you and is great for cooking. Olive oil would also be the best choice for your infusing if you intend to use it as more of a condiment to top your dishes.
I am one of those folks who love to display pretty things in my kitchen, who doesn’t though right? So one of the things that I considered before making the oil infusion; and you may wish to consider this as well; is to choose a really nice container. I wanted something transparent and simple that would show off the rich amber colour of the oil and the crushed and dried chilli pieces in the oil. I also wanted a container that had a spout that would allow for easy pouring of the oil.
Tip: When buying your oil look at the container it comes in and you can reuse it to store for your finish product!
When making the oil you can choose any dried chilli of your choice, I’ve opted for dried cayenne chilli peppers. If ghost chillies peppers are your thing by all means go for it; they are just too far out of my league though I don’t think I could bare it.
To increase the intense flavours of the oil a cinnamon stick is also added. Guys don’t be afraid of the cinnamon in this oil. It really does not overpower the infusion and you do not get a cinnamon-y flavour either. It simple helps to adds more spice flavour and makes the entire fusion have a warmer vibe about it which enhance the earthiness of your oil – trust me it’s a good thing.
Making the chilli spiced oil is really quick and simple. Start off by sautéing all the crushed and whole chilies lightly for 3 to 5 minutes. This process will allow the chillies to quickly heat up and release their flavours. The remaining oil the then added and the mixture is kept below the simmering point.
The most important thing when making your oil is to ensure that it does not burn because if it does your oil will have a bitter burnt taste and you will have to start all over again.
Be sure to let your oil fully cool down before transferring it to your container of choice and don’t forget to add all the crushed and dried chillies to the container. The chillies will continue to release flavours which further infuse the oil.
Another great thing about the chilli oil is that the bits of chilies found at the bottom of the container can be used in different recipes such as marinades. It’s good till the last drop – nothing goes to waste here.
- 15 Dried Cayenne Chillies
- 4 tablespoons Crushed Chilli
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 1 cup Olive Oil
- Slice bottom two thirds of all chilies lengthwise
- Add 8 tablespoons of oil and all of the chilli flakes and dried chilies to a medium sauce pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Add remaining oil and the cinnamon stick to the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Do not let it reach a simmering point.
- Remove pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Remove cinnamon stick.
- Use a funnel or a container with a spout to pour oil into desired container.
- Add the crushed and whole chilies to the container.