I like eating out. I think everybody does, right? I (obviously) also liked cooking at home but going out always feels special. It's all the little things, mini dishes to hold sauces (even simple things like ketchup), garnishes, cloth napkins, a sometimes unexpected starters like crusty bread with infused oils. None of this is rocket science, and yet I somehow don't manage to recreate it all at home often enough. I secretly wish every meal started with warm bread. If you, like me, have aspirations to make your tiny dining room feel like a restaurant here's something easy to try this week: homemade infused olive oil.You can change out any ingredients you like to make infused olive oil. What I've listed below are just suggestions/jumping off points for your own creative ideas. This also makes a really fun hostess gift the next time you are invited over to someones house for dinner and want to make a homemade gift.Infused Olive Oil, makes 8 ounces.
8 oz. olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
3-5 sprigs of fresh thyme
Other ideas: red pepper flakes, other herbs (like rosemary), zest peels (like the rind from an orange) or hot peppers.
In a small pot combine all ingredients and heat over medium/high heat (below the smoking point). Heat for 6-8 minutes. Strain out the infused ingredients from the oil. Store the oil in a an airtight container (you can add in a few fresh ingredients to make it more fancy looking*).Serve the oil along side balsamic vinegar with warm bread. Do it. Enjoy! xo. Emma
*Note: Never add fresh garlic to olive oil you do not plan to refrigerate. Fresh garlic cloves added to unrefrigerated olive oil can cause botulism poisoning.