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Barbara Tropp, the author of China Moon, is also the author of "The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking". TROPP, Barbara. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc. 1982. 623 pp. ISBN 0-688-00566-7. "Modern Art..." is an excellent Chinese cookbook which unfortunately (or fortunately) has a high level of detail aimed at novice cooks. Non-the- less, it is a wealth of information. In it, she has recipes for and much discussion about infused oils. Her recipe for "Homemade Hot Chili Oil" from p 479-480 follows (chili spelling changed to chile): Infusing the oil: Combine the sesame oil and corn or peanut oil in a small, heavy saucepan. Heat over medium heat for several minutes, until several chile flakes foam instantly without blackening when added to the oil. When the test flakes foam, add the tablespoon of chile flakes to the oil, remove the pot from the heat, and cover the pot. If the test flakes blacken, turn off the heat an let the oil cool somewhat. Test with a few more flakes until the oil temperature is low enough for them to foam without burning, then proceed as above to add the flakes and cover the pot. Let the oil sit overnight or until cool. Straining and storing the oil: Strain the oil through a mesh strainer lined with dry cheesecloth to extract the flakes. Store in a clean glass jar, away from light and heat. A cool, dark cupboard is best. I you must refrigerate the oil, allow it to come to room temperature before using. Stored properly, the oil will keep indefinitely. Yields 1 cup. Technique Note: For a successful infusion, the oil must be hot enough to extract the flavor and color of the seasonings, yet not so hot as to cause them to burn. To safeguard against burning, use a heavy pot and heat a single bit or two of chile along with the oil, so you can see precisely the moment at which it will sizzle without blackening. I find that when air is allowed to get to any oil, it tends to turn rancid over time. Refrigeration greatly slows oxidation. Harold McGee covers this and many other food topics from a technical perspective in his excellent book which has become my bible: "On Food Food and Cooking". McGEE, Harold. New York: Charles Scribners Sons. 1984. 684 pp. ISBN 0-684-18132-0. McGee states that certain trace metals, salt and light also accelerate fat oxidation. While phenolic substances (Vit E) and such spices as sage and rosemary inhibit oxidation. Lynn Ashley <email@example.com> CHILE-HEADS ARCHIVES From the Chile-Heads recipe list. Downloaded from Glens MM Recipe Archive, G Internet.
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