I received a LOT of comments about the Solid Oil post a few days ago. Questions ranged from “Can you substitute it for butter in baking?” to “Can you add seasonings?” and “How long will it stay frozen?”
So this post is a quick addendum that will answer those questions. If you’ve got more, let me know!
Will frozen oil substitute for butter? Oil and butter and be used interchangeably in certain recipes, but frozen oil will never act nor taste like butter.
Yes! You can add seasonings and I had some fun doing just that.
When the oil is frozen solid, it’s too hard to serve. But, within 5 minutes of being removed from the freezer it becomes “serve-able,”, and it will stay solid for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the ambient temperature.
Seasoned Solid Oil
*Note – if you want to make shapes with the oil, let it freeze solid, then bring it out of the freezer and as soon as it is malleable, make the shapes and re-freeze. This is a little bit like trying to catch an eel with your bare hands, but try it anyway.
For 1/3 cup (80ml) extra-virgin olive oil, use:
1/2 teaspoon minced zest (from the zest of 1/3 lemon) OR
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper OR
1 teaspoon minced garlic (without germ) OR
1 generous teaspoon thyme leaves, minced OR
1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, minced OR
many other seasonings!
1. Place the minced herbs in the oil in separate bowls. Heat each blend separately in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan or skillet, just until the oil is hot. Don’t let it boil. Remove it from the heat and pour it immediately back into the bowl so it cools quickly.
2. When the oil is cool, place it in the freezer. After about 45 minutes it becomes slushy; mix the oil so the seasonings are incorporated into it rather than sitting at the bottom of the container. Smooth out and return to the freezer. The oil should be frozen solid in about another hour, but this will depend on the temperature of your freezer.
3. Remove from the freezer 5 minutes before you plan to serve the oil.
4. Serve the oil in the bowls in which it was frozen, or do as I do and dip it quickly in a bowl of hot water and turn it out; garnish with the thinly sliced vegetables and serve it with other crudités and freshly sliced baguette; Place some of the frozen oil atop shaved cabbage or thinly sliced lettuce, and serve it with lemon wedges and herbs. The oil looks lovely as it melts, and once it is melted, gently toss with some lemon juice and herbs and voila! Salad.
5. And if all you have is toast, well, seasoned or unseasoned oil on toast is food of the gods.