Sunday, November 4, 2012

Red Pepper Infused Olive Oil

Stephen and I went to dinner last week at a delicious pizza place in Inman Park, Fritti.  Not only is their pizza amazing and unique but the atmosphere in the dining room is electric.  We went on a cool evening and the main doors were closed, the seats were full and the fire in their oven was working hard to bake all the pizzas.  Fritti is one of my favorite places to grab pizza.  It's not where I'd go to pick up pizza for a crowd coming over to watch a game, that will always be Mellow Mushroom, Fritti is where I go for a class of wine, appetizer and a delicious pie.

While we were eating, our waitress came over and gave us a teeny bowl of some red oil.  I wasn't sure what it was and she told us it was Red Pepper Infused Olive Oil.  She warned us that it had a little kick but we dove in anyway.  Wow.  I had no idea it existed and I feel like I was missing out for the past 30 years.  We asked where to buy it and she said the chefs make it in house.  It sounded super easy and the results are so yummy, we had to give it a shot.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Red Pepper Flakes
(We didn't measure any specific amounts of either ingredient, it doesn't matter, it really depends on how much oil you want in the end.)

Roast the red pepper flakes on a cookie sheet for about 20 minutes.  Don't let them burn, but they should be turning brown.  Pour your desired amount of olive oil in an air tight container.  Once the flakes are roasted pour them into the olive oil.  Shake to combine.  Then it's the easy part - just let them sit together for a few days.  After two or three days, depending on your taste, strain the flakes out of the olive oil.  The oil will now be an red/orange color.

To make sure all the red pepper is out of the oil we strained the flakes in a mesh strainer and then through coffee filters.  To do this, we poured the oil through the mesh strainer into a bowl then we threw away all of the flakes that were in left behind.  To get the rest of the red pepper flakes out of the oil we put a coffee filter in the mesh strainer and poured the oil into the coffee filter. Straining through the coffee filter takes a bit of time, but if you let it sit and drain through you'll be left with oil that doesn't have any red pepper bits left.

The oil is best with warm bread for dipping.  We haven't used it in cooking yet, but that's coming soon.  Enjoy!

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