Infused oils: getting more flavour into your meals

chilli oilHere’s a quick and easy way to add a little more flavour to your cooking. Depending on what you’re making, using infused oils to cook with can make the difference between a good dish and a great one.

I like to use this garlic, rosemary, chilli and tomato vine oil to make tomato sauces for pasta, such as arrabiata or beef ragú.

Ingredients

The vine stems from four packs of tomatoes

1 sprig of rosemary

5/6 cloves of garlic

2 chillies (serrano are good for this)

400ml olive oil

100ml rapeseed oil

A splash of cider vinegar

Method

  1. Gently heat the oil and add all the ingredients to the pan.
  2. Cook on a medium heat for five minutes, until things start to sizzle and change colour.
  3. Turn the heat off and leave to cool and infuse for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the vinegar and store in sterilised airtight glass jars or bottles.

Other oils

Oils are good to experiment with; here are some other ideas for oils that can add in-depth flavour to your cooking:

Curry oil: a mix of cumin, coriander and cardamom seeds with peppercorns, cloves, garlic and ginger powder in a 50/50 mix of olive oil and rapeseed oil.

Chilli oil: add chilli flakes, a selection of fresh chillies, some garlic and a dash of vinegar.

Lobster oil: roast lobster shells in a little oil, then smash them up and add more oil before storing in a jar.

Lemon oil: this one is great for South East Asian cooking. Blend lemon grass, lemon zest and lemon juice with some kaffir lime leaves and, if possible, verbena in a 50/50 mix of olive oil and rapeseed oil.