What to do with surplus oil.
Here´s a problem I bet many people would love to have.
Every year, José´s father sends us a case of extra virgin olive oil. The best, fruitiest, green-molten gold stuff you can think of, straight off the presses, made with olives from their own actual olive trees.
Sometimes, in the mad Christmas rush of parcels, we even receive two, one from Oleoestepa and one from Torcaoliva .
And that is a lot of oil. Especially when you consider that I don´t fry.
I´m generous with the bounty, and give away bottles to deserving friends. I even take a bottle of oil rather than wine to parties.
I cook with it, and also splash it around freely for escabeches, for pestos, and to cover jars of roast peppers or tomatoes.
But there are still five 500 ml. bottles there, so I´m going to make a batch of aromatic stuff.
For starters, chili oil.
I´ll take a bottle over to my father. He treats pasta like a personal insult, and the only thing that makes it palatable for him is a good glug of oil and a liberal shake of Tabasco. So I´m making it easy for him, and making sure I have a good chance of eating spaghetti at home.
The recipe, from the Ballymaloe cookery course , couldn´t be simpler. Take 500 ml. oil, and 25 grams of chili flakes or whole dried chilies. Bring slowly to the boil, turn off, and leave to infuse for an hour.
It will keep in the fridge for months.