Spicy orange chili oil
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup canola oil
Peel of 1 large orange or tangerine, without the white pith, in strips
1 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper flakes
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
Bring all the ingredients to a simmer in a 2 1/2-quart heavy-bottom saucepan. Remove from the heat as soon as it comes to a simmer. Cool a few hours before transferring to a bottle. Leave the spices and peel in the oil when you bottle it. Makes 2 1/4 cups.
Chef Steve's tip: Use this oil for stir frying in the wok or drizzling over salads. If you cook a lot of Asian-inspired food at home, you can substitute half dark roasted sesame oil for the olive oil when making this. It's important that you don't boil the oil, just barely bring it to a simmer before removing from the stove. Boiling shortens the shelf life of the oil and, if stored improperly, can increase the possibility of the oil becoming rancid much faster. It also can make the oil bitter because of some of the orange pith and red chili flakes producing an off flavor. After cooling, keep this oil in a jar in a cool, dark place in the kitchen for three months.
Nutritional information per (1-tablespoon) serving: 111 calories, 100 percent calories from fat, 12 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, .08 g carbohydrates, .04 gram total fiber, .01 g total sugars, .04 g net carbs, .01 g protein, .02 mg sodium.