This post seems like a no-brainer. You LOVE to cook and want to get creative with all of the flavored oils that you see in the store, but can’t afford- I UNDERSTAND! You need to stop before embarking upon this mission and realistically evaluate your own culinary abilities.
When making infused oil with fresh herbs or any ingredient that has a natural water content, you will run the risk of breeding Botulism in your newly infused oil. I’m not saying that this is a bad idea, but I am stressing that you need to be well informed before you do this for your own safety and the health of those you are serving. There are many good resources on the web that discuss this, so do some research if garlic is the flavor that you covet! (click here for more information) Now, what I am telling you is that if you would like to make flavored oils, it is safest to use a dried herb. That being said, lets make some tasty flavored oils!
Vinegars, however, are a whole other beast! I don’t have much to add to the current brilliance of Ethel’s Guidelines, but I will throw in a few ideas 😉
Ingredients-1 bottle of olive oil (do not get the most expensive stuff unless you have a taste preference) 1 bottle of Red Wine, White Wine, or Apple Cider Vinegar 2 oz. Kansas City Steak Seasoning, Dried Rosemary, Italian Seasoning, or berries 1 large pot of boiling water Enough glass jars to contain the amount of oil or vinegar you are making Combination Ideas- Olive Oil with Dried Rosemary– always a versatile flavor. Olive Oil with Kansas City Steak Seasoning– a little spice in your oil. Olive Oil with Garlic– be sure to sterilize the garlic by heating it to at least 200 degrees F for 10-15 minutes and always store in the refrigerator! This has a shelf life of about 1 month, so don’t make too much. White Wine Vinegar with Strawberries and Raspberries– Great for Salads! Red Wine Vinegar with Strawberries and Raspberries– A fun flavor for marinades. Apple Cider Vinegar with Italian Seasoning– so many uses, very versatile. Instructions- 1. Bring the water to a boil and place the jars and lids into it to sterilize. You can also do this in the dishwasher if it is set at it’s hottest temperature, but you must wait until they are dry to put anything into them. 2. Fill the jar 1/4 of the way full with the herb/blend/berry combination you prefer and fill with oil or vinegar. Seal the containers and store in a cool dark location where they will not be disturbed. If you are using fresh herbs or organic flavors in the oil, such as garlic, make sure to cure these in the refrigerator so that you do not inadvertently poison yourself. 3. Allow the oil or vinegar to sit for 2 weeks before tasting the product to see if it has enough flavor. If it is not yet ready, allow it to sit for another 2 weeks or until it is at the correct strength. 4. Using a cheesecloth lined strainer or a coffee filter, strain the solids from your liquid and bottle in a pretty container 🙂