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Infusions

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Infusions

Postby city2countrygal » Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:20 pm

I recently got a small bottle of truffle oil and really like it as a topper to some of my savory dishes. For honey infusions, I get a ginger one at World Market, and my friend suggested a lavendar infused honey. Are there any other infused oils or other products out there (vinegars) anyone can recommend? I usually prefer savory. Is Vom Fass worth the time and effort, or is it overpriced, buying the bottles and all? I'm pretty frugal nowadays.
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Re: Infusions

Postby Athena » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:00 am

I think Vom Fass is worthwhile. They have inexpensive options for bottles and you can reuse them if you clean them out and bring them back. I love the rosemary infused olive oil and last week I used a little sample of the pomegranate infused vinegar to make a sauce for lamb that turned out wonderful. They'll let you taste anything so you can see what you like.
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Re: Infusions

Postby kittenwithawhip » Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:06 pm

Vom Fass has some really delicious oils and vinegars and I do love me a pretty bottle! However I prefer to make my own infusions. It's especially easy with vinegars as they tend to be self-preserving for the most part. Oils are a bit trickier since using fresh herbs, garlic or veggies in oil is a recipe for botulism so you MUST make sure anything you put in the oil is completely dry unless you intend to use it right away. I prefer a hot infusion method, I think it extracts more flavor.
I mostly make an Italian chili oil which is wonderful for spicing up anything from spaghetti, pizza, seafood or soup. Basically its just a whole bunch of dried crushed red pepper flakes added to some heated oil, then bottled. Canola or peanut is best for this as you lose any of the nuances of a good olive oil to the chili.
For vinegar, this link gives some basic ideas:
http://www.lelonopo.com/2008/09/infusin ... -with.html
But what I like MOST is making liqueurs. Just started a new batch of Limoncello last weekend after mine all mysterioulsy dissappeared Halloween night!
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Re: Infusions

Postby Marvell » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:03 pm

A little grilling tip; take a metal measuring cup, pour some olive oil into it and put it in a corner of a grill. Then, take a bunch of fresh sage and put it in the oil.

The sage will infuse the oil as it simmers on the grill, and you can grab the sage by its stem and basically use it as a basting brush. At the end of the process you drizzle the remaining sage oil on what you've been grilling as a last touch before plating.

This works great for steak and lamb.
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Re: Infusions

Postby city2countrygal » Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:27 am

Thanks for all the Vom Fass feedback! I will give it a try.

I noticed all the comments about lamb in the responses, so I have to mention a dish at Lombardino's that was double lamb (lamb chops on a bed of shredded lamb shoulder) on eggplant sauce. It was seasonal in October, so hopefully they still have it. Lamb lovers try it! So good!

kittenwithawhip, limoncello is my favorite liquor, next to grappa, depending if I'm in a sweet or savory mood. Thanks for the link!
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Re: Infusions

Postby rabble » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:07 am

I don't understand why you wouldn't use any excuse to spend some time shopping at Vom Fass whether you're going to get the oil or not.
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Re: Infusions

Postby NullDevice » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:32 pm

If you've got one of those iSi cream whippers, you can do nitrogen cavitation infusions. Works great with herbs and alcohols.
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Re: Infusions

Postby city2countrygal » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:53 pm

NullDevice, you fancy now! Going all Top Chef molecular gastronomy up in here!

J/K! Thanks for the idea! I’ve been trying to think of some new kitchen gadgets to put on my xmas list. :D
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Re: Infusions

Postby kittenwithawhip » Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:51 pm

How did I not know about this? I totally want an iSi whipper now! This looks like it would be endlessly captivating:
http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/08/11 ... technique/

The comment section is the best part of this article, lots of different ideas on how to use this. It will definitely make the long winter months go by quicker! On my wish list along with an endless supply of cartridges and booze! Anchovy infused grappa? Fennel infused gin? I am all over it.

BTW, gal, I bottled my limoncello Sunday, it's gorgeous. Liquid Mediterranean Sunshine. Now I am moving on to Sambuca. Or Strega. Not sure yet.
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Re: Infusions

Postby NullDevice » Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:59 am

You jest, but I have sodium alginate in my spice rack now. :)

Those cream whippers are fun. Even the small ones!
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Re: Infusions

Postby LaughingGirl » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:41 pm

A lot of people must have read that article! The iSi is out of stock on Amazon. Gotta get my hands on one before 12/25....
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Re: Infusions

Postby fennel » Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:35 pm

kittenwithawhip wrote:How did I not know about this? I totally want an iSi whipper now!
And then you'll be kittenwithawhipper! Thanks for the link. I just ordered my own. Fennel sounds good for a first infusion, naturally, but I'm thinking of lemon peel/ginger with Apple mint.
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Re: Infusions

Postby kittenwithawhip » Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:41 pm

Kittenwithawhipper! I like the sound of that!
I added this item to my birthday list, it is in fact the only item on my list. The rest will consist of extra catridges, booze to infuse and ingredients to try out! I see an infusion party in my future, kind of like when my sisters and I would try to gross out the poor soda jerk at Baskin Robbins by asking for the most unappetizing combinations of ice cream and syrups in a custom shake and see what was accidentally delicious!
Hmm, maybe Mango with pipe tobacco and tuna?
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Re: Infusions

Postby fennel » Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:46 pm

So this turned out pretty well, though I found the infusion times needed to be a bit longer. For an infusion of cardamom seeds (whole, decorticated), cinnamon stick (slightly crushed), and grated lemon zest – it took about two full minutes after the charge.

The only fresh herb I've tried so far is rosemary which seems a little resistant to infusion. It required around 3-4 minutes before it was noticeable.
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