A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog about flavored oils, which are a great pantry item to have on hand. Unfortunately, flavored oil can have a short shelf life. The other night I needed chili oil for a peanut sauce. I had discarded the bottle I had and, because I don’t use it often, I’d forgotten to replace it.
Always willing to do it myself, I made some and was surprised to remember how simple it is to make it. Should you find yourself in my predicament, here’s my recipe for do-it-yourself chili oil.
Take 2/3 cup of oilve oil, 2 small very hot Thai red chili peppers slit down the middle (not minced or chopped) and 1 teaspoon of hot paprika. The paprika is optional, but I think it adds a nice layer of flavor. In a small heavy pan, heat the olive oil with the chilis until they begin to sizzle. Remove the pan from heat, add the paprika if desired, and put the oil aside to cool.
When it’s no longer hot, transfer the oil to a container, leaving the peppers suspended in it. The peppers left in the oil will intensify the heat. This chili oil should keep for a couple of weeks.