I remember when I was last in Italy in a little town called Toricella Peligna. It was hot pepper season. I, for the life of me, could not understand this obsession….until about a week later I was so addicted to the stuff I was even pouring it on my ice cream! Tiny green chili peppers were finely minced by hand and then pounds of them were soaked in these giant tubs of olive oil for days and days… The oil became so concentrated with the hot peppers that it became hotter than the peppers themselves. It was phenomenal stuff. We were drizzling it on bread, on fresh lasagna, on steak, on top of soup… endless… we just could not get enough.
When I got home, I tried to make it again. And failed. The weather in Ottawa is to humid- the peppers began to rot rather than infuse. The whole situation was a big disappointment.
However- I did find a fun, and very quick way to infuse dried chilipeppers into olive oil, and ooooh my it is some kind of wonderful! All you need is about 20 minutes or so, and suddenly you will have the most spicy hot olive oil ready for drizzling… *cue angelic chorus* yay!
Here it is!
Hot Pepper Infused Olive Oil
- 2/3 cup dried hot pepper flakes
- 2 cups virgin olive oil
- Pour the olive oil into a heavy-bottomed small pot, and heat on medium-low.
- Gently stir in the hot pepper flakes- they should sizzle slightly but not alot- if they crackle the oil is too hot.
- Heat the peppers and oil through gently for about 15 min (make sure the peppers do not go black, that means the oil is too hot and they are burning. You do not want to fry , you want to infuse).
- Turn off the heat and let the oil cool on its own. Pour the mixture into a glass container and store in the fridge. Voila!