It’s going on four months at home and it looks like we’ll be here for quite a while longer. I am not complaining at all. I actually love working from home and staying in the house. At times I do miss getting dressed and eating out but I have to admit that cooking and eating at home had done wonders for my health. I have never felt better and more energized and just overall lighter. I know a large part of that is due to me eating whole, homecooked foods.
Since I’ve been cooking more, I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate the max amount of flavor into my food. I’ve played around with various spices but now my new obsessions are infused oil and confit.
Infused oils are really the quickest way to infuse flavor into meats and vegs and they are so easy to make. Not to mention they are great bases for marinades and dressings. My go to oil is a lemon and garlic olive oil. I take a few left over lemon rinds and throw them in a mason jar with course black pepper, a handful of smashed garlic cloves and a healthy pinch of salt and then cover all of the contents with olive oil. Give the oil a good shake and let it sit for 2-3 days (shaking occasionally). After a few days the oil is ready for use. I’ve use this oil on corn and on chicken and to make a quick and easy salad dressing. The uses are endless.
I’ve also been playing around with various herb confit. Confit is any food (herb, meat, vegetable) that is cooked in oil or fat over low temperature and over a long period of time. I actually made my first confit several years ago. It was a tomato and basil confit and I made it all wrong! I didn’t know then that you weren’t supposed to bring the oil to boil or make sure that all of the contents were completely submerged in oil, so for 3-4 hours I boiled tomatoes and basil in a hot oven. For a while the oil was fine but after a while it became rancid.
This time around I got it right! The first batch of confit I made was with garlic, onion and rosemary. I cooked it low and slow for 8 hours taking care not to let the oil simmer or even bubble. No stirring or anything. The flavor was so rich and intense and was the perfect base for a marinade for chicken and steak. For a quick weeknight meal, I covered a thin piece of steak in the confit oil, rolled it in black pepper and grilled it. Perfection! Last week, I repeated the process this time I only used garlic. The flavor was a lot milder but still perfect none the less. I actually used some of it yesterday to make homemade french-fries and I plan to use a bit of it today to grill fish. Once again the possibilities are endless. This oil can be substituted for regular oil in a variety of recipes to help kick up the flavor.
I hope that you all are inspired by this post and try your hand at infused oil or confit. Like I said, they can be used in a ton of recipes and they make really nice gifts. Play around with the flavors and contents and see what you come up with.
Until Next Time!!