World Flavors: Create Flavored Oils And Vinegars

the complex properties of olive oilCraft oils and vinegars line the tables of fine-dining establishments and make beautiful additions to gift baskets. Just the appearance of herbs suspended in oil imparts a sense of elegance to the glass bottle. These flavored concoctions are a great way to add depth to a dish without overpowering subtler tastes or adding too many components. And with the absence of extra salt or fats, these infusions are a healthy way to pack a flavor punch to your dish.

Infused oils and vinegars can be used for a number of tasks in the kitchen when working on your online short courses. Whether you are dressing a salad, dipping a freshly baked piece of French bread, or using the oil to cook a stir-fry, you will taste the difference. A great extra-virgin olive oil has impeccable flavor when standing alone, but what ingredient can’t benefit from the addition of some aromatic herbs and spices? Infused oils and vinegars are a great way to add flavor to a dish with little effort and without overpowering the natural flavors of the main components of a dish. Great ingredients shouldn’t be overpowered by seasonings. They should be able to shine through with a leg up from the supporting elements.

Making your own flavored oils and vinegars is easy and cooks have been doing it for ages. Once you know how to build flavors and understand what herb and  spice combinations speak to your palate, you will be able to create unexpected infusions that compliment some of your best dishes. Until you’ve mastered the art of flavor, try starting simple.

You can use the bottle that your quality extra virgin olive oil comes in and incorporate your herbs. Use a sprig of fresh rosemary, oregano, thyme and a few fresh basil leaves to flavor the oil. The longer you leave the herbs in the bottle, the more the flavor will develop, so you may want to wait before you start using your infused oil. If you don’t have time to wait, you can do a hot infusion that will help bring the flavors out quickly. You can heat half the oil with the herbs in a saucepan until the flavors develop and allow the mixture to cool, then combine with the rest of the oil. Crushing the herbs will also allow the flavors to permeate the oil more quickly as well.

Once you have mastered the art of infusing oils and vinegars, you can play with more complex flavor combinations. Try a mix of shallot, tarragon and lemon in cider vinegar for a fresh mix that pairs well with oil for a light salad dressing. Whether you plan on gifting your creations or starting a collection of your own, these oils will be your right-hand-product in the kitchen.

If you like this post, please be sure to check out the following!

Cooking Oils 101
Comparing Cooking Oils
Free Cooking Course – World Flavors: Salt, Spices, & Herbs

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