Thanks! Topo Gigio from Baton Rouge
Be careful with this one. I believe there have been some problems with botulism growing in the anaerobic environment of the oil and various herbs. (11/17/2005)
By Katie A.
You might want to consider some of the flavored Grapeseed Oils from Watkins. They are some of the most favorite products and come in four "flavors", including original (plain), Black Pepper, Citrus & Cilantro, and Garlic & Parsley. Grapeseed Oil is very healthy as is it lower in saturated fat and higher in unsaturated fats than nearly all other oils. It has a high smoke point, making it perfect for grilling or sauteing. I use the Garlic & Parsley with chicken or drizzled over a roast before roasting; it's very good. It comes in very attractive glass bottles as well. I think a gift of a bottle of one of the oils, along with some of the Watkins bread mix for dipping would be a great gift. I'll send you a catalog if you'd like.
If you have access to a copy of the Ball Blue Book (the "bible" of food canners and preservers), use their guidance in preparing your oils. Most herbs are fine, but you should totally avoid garlic because of the high risk of botulism. (11/18/2005)
I remember watching a cooking show where the chef made various flavored oils. He boiled and included a little vinegar in each bottle. He said it would keep the oil from developing botulism. The main culprit was garlic. I've checked all of my canning books--none tell how to make oils. I'd definitely do some research on the Web before making gifts that may make people sick. E-mail Ball, Kerr, and different cooking sites with the question. I'm sure you'll get some answers and some great recipes for making the oils too. Good luck! (11/21/2005)
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