One of the easiest ways to enhance a meal is with a little pat of butter or olive oil, especially when infused with chili peppers. These 3 infusions show how versatile this recipe can be. Use any fat and any chili pepper (fresh or dried) and you have some vibrant finishing sauces for grilled corn, pasta, or steak.
While you don’t need to heat the oil, I like to warm it in the microwave just to encourage the oils to mingle. Here’s what I made:
- olive oil + garlic + smoked paprika
- olive oil + ancho chili pepper (dried, de-seeded, chopped)
- melted butter + 1/2 fresh jalapeno
Tomorrow, I’ll show you how to use an infusion to turn grilled corn into a gourmet side. Which chili peppers do you have on hand right now?
You can store an infusion in the refrigerator in a mason jar or container for several months and use as needed. For pre-portioned servings, you could fill a small ice cube tray (like this small size version), freeze, and place over hot food. The oils/butter will melt a bit as it touches the food.
- 1/2 cup oil such as olive oil, butter, or any neutral oil
- 1 clove minced garlic optional
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika 1/2 jalapeno, or deseeded (chopped) ancho chile pepper
- Combine the fat, garlic (if using), and chile. Warm the oil for up to 1 minute to encourage the oils from releasing. Infuse for 30 minutes or up to 1 day. Strain the oil and refrigerate or freeze. Use as a finishing oil to add a little color and flavor.
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