Here is the very simple recipe for my Lemon & chilli-infused oil. Very easy to make, delicious to taste & beautiful as a gift!
Extra virgin olive oil or an oil of your preference
Rind of a whole lemon
Dried chilli flakes
Dried whole chillis
Your choice of oil bottle/pourer & tag or label
Sterilise the bottle by washing in warm, soapy water then placing in the oven (110-140 degrees) for about 15 minutes.
Calculate the amount of oil you will need for your bottle then pour into a small pan. Peel the rind from the lemon with a rinder or vegetable peeler and add to the oil. How much chilli you put in really depends on how spicy you would like your oil to be. I put in a dessert spoon of chilli flakes and a couple of dried whole chillis.
All you need to do now is warm the oil on the hob until it starts to bubble ever so slightly and keep it at that gentle bubble for 5 minutes. Do not boil it vigorously.
Take the oil off the heat and allow it to cool completely before straining into the sterilised bottle. I removed the chilli flakes at this point but included the whole chillis and lemon rind in the bottle. Leaving these in the oil does make the liquid cloudy rather than clear but I love the flavour that develops over time.
Some people keep oil that has been prepared in this way in the fridge but I find the coolness of the pantry is enough.
I made a simple prawn cocktail for lunch yesterday and the zesty flavour of the oil with a gentle kick of chilli worked so well on the mixed leaves. It is great for dipping, drizzling on freshly-cooked steak, seafood and pizza and I'm sure much, much more!