Some say he is the secret love child of Delia Smith and Heston Blumenthal. Some say he has a temper to rival that of Gordon Ramsay and it is said that he is not legally allowed within 100 yards of Ainsley Harriot. All we know is…He’s called Chef. Born and raised locally The Chef has worked his way up through some of the countries finest kitchens. Since escaping from Guantanamo Bay, this highly trained militant of cuisine is back behind a stove at a secret location on the South coast.
Flavoured oils are a great way of injecting some pokey flavour into a dish and with its high burn temperature you loose the risk of burnt flavours. They are readily available off the shelf but all too often these mildly infused oils have no real depth and come with relatively high price tags. By making your own you have more control on the concentration of the flavour and you’re also left with an equally useful by-product. Cross usage from ingredients is a practice seen almost as religion in the professional kitchen and in effect makes this a more viable and savvy way to approach any type of cooking. My most recent meeting with Chef was in a moment between services where he was calm enough to take me through his chorizo oil without dismembering any incompetent Commis'.
Chorizo oil will liven up even the dullest of pasta dishes. Drizzle over pizzas and salads, use as dipping oil with bread, fry your onions in it and use as a meaty risotto base. The oil will not only impart its flavour to other foods but also it’s colour which can add lovely red tinges to chicken and fish. Chorizo oil marries especially well with shellfish, so be sure to drizzle plenty over crab ravioli or prawns. So get yourself some of this made up and keep close to hand at your cooker. It opens up all kinds of possibilities and makes a great gift too.
1 Litre of mild olive oil
500-700g Chorizo sausage
Preheat your oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Slice your chorizo into coins about 1cm thick. Lay out flat in a high-sided roasting tray and pour your litre of olive oil over the top. Your chorizo coins should be submerged.
Place the tray in the oven. After ten minutes take out the tray and give it a little stir to make sure none of your chorizo is sticking to the bottom. (be careful here as the bubbling oil may spit.) Then return to the oven for a further ten minutes.
Once the twenty minute cooking process is over remove the tray and leave to stand for half an hour before straining the oil through a sieve and funnel into your re-useable glass bottle. Leave the lid off for another half an hour or until the oil has cooled. This prevents condensation forming in the neck of the bottle.
The remaining chorizo coins are now full of intense flavour and are great on their own as antipasti. You can also chop them down and use in salads, pizza toppings and tomato sauces.
Keep your eye out for more future collaborations from me and Chef - we have a few irons in the fire...