What do you get for that person who has everything? If somebody’s love for food surpasses all else, chances are they’ll already have the latest gadget and newest cookbooks which can leave you at a bit of a loss as to what to get them for Christmas. However, Metro have come up with the perfect solution to this problem- and they’ve used LSA from Amara to help them.
Chile de Árbol Oil
Brilliant for drizzling on finished dishes, this oil is also a great short cut for adding a little extra heat during cooking, especially when fresh chillies are elusive and the shops are shut.
200ml extra virgin olive oil
Leaves from a sprig of thyme
Good pinch of dried oregano, preferably Mexican
3 bay leaves
1 garlic clove
6-7 chiles de arbol, or 12 small dried red chillies
Step One: Put the olive oil in a saucepan with the thyme, oregano, bay leaves and garlic. Crumble in the chillies, discarding the stalks. Place over a medium heat until the oil starts to simmer, then simmer very gently so only a few bubbles break the surface- you want to warm the ingredients together rather than fry them. This will preserve the flavour of the olive oil and stop the chillies from burning. Season with salt.
Step Two: Cook for about 15 minutes, by which time the chillies will be fragrant and the garlic will be soft. Remove from the heat, allow the oil to cool down, then pour the whole mixture into an airtight jar or bottle.
Chile de árbol oil from Wahaca – Mexican Food at Home by Thomasina Miers (Hodder & Stoughton, £20)
Wrap it Up
Make this oil in an elegant botle and lash a packet of Mexican cinnamon to the neck with a pretty ribbon for an extra cook’s treat.