Running out of time to get a Valentines Day gift for your sizzling romance? No need to panic, look into your pantry for the perfect spicy treat!
Dating a strapping Italian man, one would think that my kitchen is stocked with a variety of Tuscan staples – balls of mozzarella mounds of pasta, filets of bottarga, decanters of infused olive oil and fresh sprigs of basil, rosemary and oregano…. But, the Asian in me takes precedence, having bottles of soy, oyster and fish sauce, soba noodles (hey, at least they are noodles!), white rice, tamarind soup mix and vinegar.
This Valentines Day, however, I’ve decided to honor the Italian in my life (I hope you’re not reading this), looking forward to preparing a plate of pasta (not using gluten free, whole wheat or quinoa varieties – in his eyes, these are sins) and presenting him with a Calabrian addition to the pantry. Chili infused olive oil.
Olive oil can be infused with a variety of flavors: herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest, and so much more; but to celebrate my spicy romance, a chili infused oil seems most appropriate.
To create: Pour a high quality olive oil into a glass decanter and with your fingers crumble pieces of Calabrian chili peppers into the spout (the more you add, the spicier). It is the seeds and oils of the pepper that make the oil picante. For finishing touches, add whole peppers to the oil as decoration and make festive homemade labels. Mine say: “Burning Love”, “What a Hottie” and “Hot” to celebrate Valentines Day.
A thoughtful, lighthearted and red-hot gift for a peppery romance.