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Friday, December 2, 2011

Bouquet Garni Infused Olive Oil

So, I've flavoured my olive oils before.

Usually that just means throwing a bunch of herbs and spices into a bottle willy-nilly, and keeping it full up.

However... today I decided to try a different approach.

I've made bouquets garni before, for soups and stews and such... however I figured, why not infuse some olive oil with one?  That way, no slimy, over-saturated bits of spices and herbs taint the luxurious texture of the oil.

So, for anyone who's never made a bouquet garni... it's essentially just a sachet of herbs tied up and easily contained for convenient removal after cooking.

Typically used with herbs associated with French cuisine like lavender and parsley, these are especially useful for containing bay leaves.  It's great to just yank the whole sachet out and know that you've got it all.

So, you need a twice- or thrice- folded bit of cheesecloth, and some butchers' string (food grade string).  And some herbs of course.

My choosings today were: Bay, Thyme, Fennel, and Green and Black Peppercorns.

It's real simple.  So simple that you don't really need instructing on how to pull it off.

Leave herbs relatively whole/coarse, dump in the centre, wrap em up, and tie it off with string.

Normally, I'd do it a little more like a sachet or pouch, but this needed to squeeze through a narrow bottle opening, so I had to get creative.  :D

All in all, it went smoothly, and I'm excited to have clear, infused oil.

Should go well with most pastas, vegetables, and meats, and also as a decent finishing oil.