Gourmet Style: Dragon-fire Oil

Do you like to spice things up? Are you hard-core? Perhaps you’re even a real chili-head; and it actually would surprise me if you were; maybe you even know what a Carolina Reaper is, or maybe you think Jalapeno is a walk on the wild side…If you like to know for 45 mins afterward that you just ate something spicy then have I got the recipe for you.

So maybe you live the gourmet lifestyle; and I trust that you do; you are constantly pushing the envelope in the search for the ultimate ingredients. and naturally everything you do is international fusion, I mean there is a whole-world of flavours out there and why stick to the same tired old regional traditions. So you’d probably get to thinking about the usually closely guarded secrets of the Chinese; I myself prefer the cuisine of the Sichuan provincials. The usual base of all things Szechuan is hot chilies and peanuts(but in today’s age such are nearly-banned in public), the essential ingredient to any dish is chili-oil.

So you get to thinking about how to take the secret sauce to the next level. Well first off we can ratchet up the heat to stupid levels, so say bye to those wimpy Asian red-chilies, and hello Ghost-Peppers, Habanero, and Scotch Bonnet. For food-safety reasons you need dried ingredients, infusions of oil are susceptible to Botulinum growth and the associated toxic poisoning, so you can’t have any water in your mix for the bacteria to feed on. And like me you probably have an ample stock of dried super-hot peppers on-hand that you processed by-hand in the old-world fashion(or maybe you acquired them from an artisan like me). And for personal-safety you need to take precautions when working with Ghost-Peppers, I mean they are the actual key-ingredient in institutional-strength pepper-spray; they will dissolve your eyes(at least that is what it feels like), savage your mucous membranes, and corrode your skin. Treat this like you are working in a chemical-weapons  facility(because they are in-fact a chemical weapon). Gloves, Goggles, Masks, the whole-works…

You grind those babies up in the mortal and pestle, and for the love of all things sacred do not touch your face, eyes, or anything-else alive. take an empty oil bottle and put a table-spoon of the flakes into the bottle, I also threw in some whole rainbow pepper-corn and also some mixed whole Canadian mustard-seed. I mean Canada is the world’s leading producer of mustard so it’s literally everywhere. You then need to top-off the bottle with a neutral-oil. You will not be able to taste the flavour of the oil at all when this is done so there is no-sense in using any costly Olive oil. Sunflower or just plain-old Vegetable is fine.

Now this is a cold-infusion method, also for food-safety reasons, but the absence of heat-treatment means that the peppers will not cook, or scorch but some time and effort is needed to properly impart the flavour into the oil. Now you’re really dedicated so you diligently shake the bottle, multiple times a day, for two-weeks while the fat-soluble essences infuse. The rest of the time the bottle needs to be stored in a cool, but not cold, dark place. It isn’t a bad idea to taste some along the way as it matures, if you want to stop the heat from increasing even more you need to siphon off the oil from the top or otherwise filter out the solids. Your oil should be orange to red in colour. Or maybe this is way too much and you’d rather acquire it from an artisan like me…

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