Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

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Making your own oil and vinegar dressing

May 13, 2009

For those of you who like a nice homemade dressing for your salad, there are plenty of options!  One that I have always used was Good Seasons makes a packet of seasoning, which you mix the oil, vinegar, and water together to create a nice dressing.

Well, this weekend I figured out a way to make some real interesting dressing!  I took a pan on the stove top and put it on medium (5 on my glass top) and added my oil.  I used extra virgin olive oil for this.  I have a good amount in the pan also.  What we are doing is heating up the oil to about 225+ degrees, preventing anything from burning in the oil.

To start, I peeled and thinly sliced some garlic.  While the garlic is roasting, I am cutting up my other flavor enhancers.  Onions, peppers, olives, really anything that you want to add to your oil flavoring.  Remember, this is an experiment, and it’s alright to mess up, or even fail.

Your garlic chips(they will be nicely roasted to a almost brown color) should be removed from the oil with a skimmer or other device that suites your fancy.  Set those on a paper towel on top of a plate, and let them rest for a moment.  They are going to turn into some nice little snacks while doing the rest of the work.

Once your oil is garlic free, start adding other ingredients.  So far I have made a few different oils.  I really like Basil, so I’ve used that in all of the oils I have tried so far.  Want a twist on onions?  Soak them in some hot water for a few minutes(before you put garlic in pan).  Once they are down soaking(remove from water), coat them with some of your favorite seasoning that you would like on in your oil (I used a greek seasoning that the meat man at Harris Teeter recommended) along with some fresh ground pepper and basil.  Here is the twist– I sprinkled sugar all over these.  This really did something different for me!  It made these onions very tasty (I have used them for bratwurst and for pork burger topping) and also added a sweet flavor to an otherwise non-sweet dressing.  Really your possibilities are endless with the different items you can infuse into your oil.  There is no right or wrong items here, it’s totally dependant on what you feel like putting in.

Here is a good saftey net for you unsure cooks out there.  Make sure you use an oven safe pan — and when your chopped items are starting to brown up a bit, put them in the oven.  This will prevent them from burning, and cook those veggies into the oil.  (Oh yeah, turn your oven on to about 250 — And don’t make the mistake I have, grabbing that handle.  250 won’t sear your hand right away, but it will cause you to want to drop that pan.  You don’t want that oil on you at 250, no way jose!

After you feel you have infused your oil (I waited a good 45 minutes total time between the stove top and the oven – I don’t know if more or less is better) pull it out and let it cool.  Get yourself a funnel and put that into a nice looking bottle.  Remember to grab a bottle twice the size of the original amount of oil.  Go ahead and add your vinegar(almost the same amount of oil, I use a little less than oil amount) and a little bit of water.  You can leave the vinegar out and let people mix it(and use your oil to cook other things in also) on thier own.

White Balsamic Vinegar — That stuff right there is soo tasty, and really livens it up!

Go ahead and experiment a little, it’s not gonna hurt you to try something new.