Tue 17 May 2011
What staples do you have in your pantry no matter what? What key things are in your fridge that you could not do without? What is that ingredient in your kitchen that makes appearances so often it’s ubiquitous?
I have a new favorite pantry staple, it’s bringing an additional depth of flavor to a surprising amount of foods, and that is without adding much effort at all to my day to day meal preparation. What is it? I’m sure a number of you out there in the internet ether already use this, but it’s garlic infused olive oil.
Now that I’ve got a bottle of that golden goodness in my arsenal, any time I need to use a cooking oil where I would use olive oil, I use the garlic infused. Not only do you get the additional garlic flavor, but you also avoid the presence of chunks of minced garlic where you do not wish them to be, or the acridity of overcooked garlic.
Instead of frying an onion in a splash of oil, why not use garlic infused olive oil. The additional world of flavor is there, and you don’t need to make any extra steps to what you normally would in pouring some oil into the pan. Also, it is so worth having around if you make your own salad dressings or vinaigrettes. The only preparation you need to do is to infuse the oil, and that isn’t too much work either.
Garlic Infused Olive OilIngredients
8-10 cloves of garlic (~ 1 head)
2 Cups olive oilDirections
- Remove the skins from the garlic cloves.
- Thinly slice the garlic in order to give maximum surface area for infusion. Discard the hard bottom ends of the cloves.
- Mix the sliced garlic into the olive oil. Cover and allow to steep for 2 days, stirring occasionally.
- Strain the garlic out of the oil, and store your infused oil in the fridge in a sealer or a bottle with a cork.
I keep the oil in the fridge because I worry that some of the garlic essence imparted into the oil may spoil kept at room temperature long term. Having the oil in the fridge will cause it to solidify, but as long as you take it out of the fridge before you need it (and maybe set it into some warm water to rush the process) it will go back into the liquid phase.
So, that’s my pantry staple as of recent, and it’s something I’m quite converted to the use of. What is indispensable for you in your kitchen, or makes your food extra special?