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Use what you got! Fast and flavorful homemade cooking oils

April 25, 2013 at 3:06 PM ET

oils- How to Make Flavored Oil
James Baigrie/The Image Bank/Getty Images /
oils - How to Make Flavored Oil

Spice up your cooking or give these tasty oils to your friends as a special gift. They are delicious in salad dressings, marinades or alongside a loaf of crusty bread.

Lemon Spice Oil
Stir this oil into cooked rice or pour it sparingly onto poached, steamed or sautéed fish.

  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup peanut or vegetable oil

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2. With a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, coarsely grind the lemon zest, cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon, allspice and peppercorns with the lemon juice to form a paste.

3. In a 1-cup metal measure or very small metal bowl, stir together paste and oil. Set the measuring cup or bowl on a baking sheet and cook in lower third of oven for one hour. Cool on a rack for 30 minutes.

4. Line a small strainer with several layers of cheesecloth and strain oil into a glass jar. Covered loosely and refrigerated at all times, flavored oil keeps for one month.

Servings: Makes about 1/2 cup.

Pesto Oil
This oil is good in vinaigrettes or on mashed potatoes or sandwich fillings. See directions below.

  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil

Curry Oil
This oil may be drizzled over seafood or steamed vegetables. See directions below.

  • 4 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 cup peanut or vegetable oil

Orange Rosemary Oil
Serve this oil in a shallow dish for dipping bread or toss it with roasted potatoes. See directions below.

  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • zest of 1 navel orange, removed with vegetable peeler and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 cup peanut or vegetable oil

Dill Caraway Oil
Vinaigrettes take on greater depth with this oil. See directions below.

  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2. In a 1-cup metal measure or very small metal bowl, combine all ingredients. Set the measuring cup or bowl on a baking sheet and cook in lower third of oven for one hour. Cool on a rack for 30 minutes.

3. Line a small strainer with several layers of cheesecloth and strain oil into a glass jar. Covered loosely and refrigerated at all times, flavored oil keeps for one month.

Servings: Makes about 1/2 cup.

A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.

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