Homemade piri piri oil is a spicy alternative to seasoning your foods with everyday flavors. Keep some on hand when you want to bring the heat while sauteeing chicken or fish, tossing with cooked pasta or vegetable salads, dipping fresh bread, or drizzling over soups. Colorful jars of piri piri oil also make great gifts for friends.
Spice up your cooking
Piri piri oil
MAKES 1 CUP
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 fresh red chili pepper (such as serrano pepper)
8 dried red chilies (such as Thai or bird’s eye chili peppers)
2 dried bay leaves, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
Sterilize a glass jar or bottle for your oil by heating it in a 225 F oven for 20 minutes.
In a saucepan over medium-low to medium heat, heat olive oil until it reaches a temperature of 220 F.
Place all peppers and herbs into your sterilized jar. Pour heated oil into jar. Keep jar loosely covered until the oil cools to room temperature, then seal tightly. Store in a cool, dark area for about a week to allow flavors to infuse oil. To preserve the oil longer, store it in the refrigerator, but let it warm to room temperature before using.
Handling spicy peppers and chilies – Wear vinyl or rubber gloves when handling spicy peppers and chilies. Avoid touching your eyes or sensitive areas of the skin after you have been working with the peppers. If you are handling extreme peppers, you may want to wear a double layer of gloves. Wash your hands thoroughly after you have finished, even if you’ve been wearing protective gloves.
Piri piri chicken – Kick up the heat in your chicken with this dish marinated and basted in a Thai chili pepper sauce.