Peperoncino-infused olive oil

I’m far from an expert cook, but I’ve banged around kitchens long enough — enjoying myself in the process, I might add — that I’ve learned how to whip up a tasty dish or two. I am also, as I have mentioned before, a cheap bastard.

It is the convergence of these two points that leads to this blog entry.

oil1I use olive oil like a mad fiend; sometimes the plain stuff works fine, but other times when I’m making a more savory dish, I want an olive oil that has a bit of kick to it. You could shell out an inordinate amount of money for an herb-infused olive oil at the snooty grocery store, but frankly I’d rather make it myself.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Hanamasa is your go-to spot for buying things in bulk, and for a lot less than you’d find elsewhere. The beer bottle you see here has been filled with extra-virgin olive oil from an industrial-sized, Hanamasa- purchased number, and filled with dried peperoncino, crushed garlic, lemongrass, bay leaves and rosemary. (The huge bag of peperoncino was also purchased at Hanamasa — I tear the things up by hand and toss them into pretty much everything.)

It doesn’t take more than a couple weeks for the flavors to soak into the olive oil, and it is friggin’ incredible. I use it to coat the frypan when cooking up meats or tofu, and also drizzle it over salad, adding vinegar, crushed black pepper, a dash of cayenne and several shakes of Pieffe brand grated Italian cheese blend to make a rocking good salad dressing. Yes, I like spicy food so much that even my salads are spicy.

If you like to cook, I’d recommend giving your own flavored olive oils a shot. It takes next to no time to do, and the results speak for themselves.

Tofu also pan-fried in spicy olive oil. 辛い!

Salad topped with tofu pan-fried in spicy olive oil. 辛い!

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2 Responses

  1. What did you do with the real John? and who replaced John with Martha Stewart???

  2. I agree with your love for flavored olive oil, but you are missing out on the health benefits of nicer olive oils. they have much higher polyphenol (antioxidant) levels.

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