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Categories: Sauces and condiments, Vegetarian

Piri piri oil

In the 15th century, Vasco da Gama and other Portuguese seamen left their Atlantic-facing nation to cash in on the spice trade. They established colonies in South America, India, Africa and beyond, and as they gathered up the riches of ... Read more

Total time: 15 minutes, plus steeping time | Makes about 1 1/4 cup
Note: From "Piri Piri Starfish" by Tessa Kiros. Kiros writes: "The heat will mellow with time, but once you have used up some of the oil, if you feel it's absolutely too strong, you can always top up with more oil." Fresh piri piri chiles are hard to find, but you can substitute fresh red Fresno chiles, which are widely available. Dried piri piri chiles can be found online; you can also substitute dried arbol chiles.
  • 3 to 4 medium fresh piri piri chiles with seeds
  • 6 to 8 small dried piri piri chiles
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons whiskey
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup olive oil, divided

Step 1Stem and roughly chop the chiles. Pulse the chiles and garlic in a food processor or use a mortar and pestle to mash them to a paste. You need about 2 tablespoons of chile paste.

Step 2Scrape the paste out into a small saucepan, add the whiskey and heat over low heat until warm. Add the lemon zest and juice, vinegar, bay leaf, salt and 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil (you can add extra garlic if you want it more garlicky). Simmer until aromatic, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and lightly whisk in the rest of the oil.

Step 3Pour into a sterilized jar and refrigerate for at least a few days for the flavors to mingle. The oil will be hot at first, but you'll find it will settle and mellow later.

Each tablespoon:
91 calories; 0 protein; 0 carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 10 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 105 mg. sodium.
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