September 02, 2005

Preparing Hot Chile Oil

My enthusiasm for creating my own hot chile oil was dampened over the last day or so. I posted the method and recipe that I was planning on using to both the harvest forum at gardenweb and on the hot pepper forum at MSN. I was told that to make this oil might be dangerous if I included garlic and fresh herbs. I was disappointed, but it was pointed out to me that chinese food restaurants always seem to have hot chile oil on their tables. The key in making the oil is to use dried pods -only-. Also, I've been advised to always keep the homemade oil in my refrigerator and store it only for a few months. If it will keep for at least a month or two, that is more than enough time for a small batch of oil, so the project seems feasible again.

Therefore, I am making a small test batch of hot chile oil this afternoon. I took 1/2 cup of peanut oil, heated it until it was smoking and then put in around 3 to 4 of the dried habaneros. The oil doesn't have that red color that I was expecting, but I have a different recipes that also uses paprika that probably would give me the color that I want next time. Currently, the cooked oil is cooling in the pan and I will strain it into one of the small self corking bottles I purchased at CostPlus Imports the other day. So far, it has been a fun use of my garden chiles.

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