Basil Basil Everywhere And Lots Of Drops For Me (Crisco Oil Review)

Yum, yum yum... and yes, that's the bottle of basil Oil next to it. Such a purty green color.

I don’t have a garden. Yet. I have a small back porch that I use for potted herbs and such. I plant them and as of recently I dream about what it will be like when we move to the new house and I can have a garden about 1/2 acre large. Me… that much land… plants… equals scary. I have a bad habit of thinking “Oooo, I LOVE such and such and need to plant lots and lots of it!!”. I kinda did that this season with potted basil. I bought five plants. Now I love basil, but there are only so many times one can make Caprese pasta or Caprese Salad or add 72 cups of basil to spaghetti sauce before you start watching your skin turn a funny shade of green and have people ask why they smell basil every time you are in the room.

So when I was lucky enough to be chosen through the FoodBuzz Tastemakers Program to receive some of the new Crisco Olive Oils, I was tickled green pink. I knew what I wanted to use it for the second I opened the box. On a side note, is it just me or is it like Christmas when you receive an unexpected box of something yummy in the mail? πŸ˜€

Moving on, I knew what I wanted to use it for. The only oil I use when it comes to vegetable or canola is Crisco because I trust the brand (no, I’m not just saying that because I received the olive oil; it’s the truth πŸ™‚ ) so I knew that their olive oil would be good. I received one of each of the three types they market- Extra Virgin, Light and Pure-

So with all the basil I have (I am thinking of trying to spin it all into Basil yarn or maybe make a Basil Pillow; possibly sell it on the Basil Black market for those addicts who can’t get enough of it.) I decided to make Basil Oil. I absolutely LOVE flavored oils and have used Crisco Vegetable Oil before to make other flavored oils (yes, I will post those recipes too). I used the Extra Virgin because I wanted to add a nice fruity olive flavor along with the basil flavor and extra virgin olive oil has the strongest flavor, not to mention a wonderful aroma. If you’ve never made basil Oil before don’t be nervous and don’t listen to all the scare stories about botulism from home flavored oils. Yes, that can happen if you use unsafe practices or leave the oil sitting out but if you make it and keep it refrigerated all will be fine. This is extremely easy. You just need a pot, a strainer, basil, a cooking thermometer and some yummy olive oil. So c’mon… stop spinning that Basil pillow and get out a pot and go buy some Crisco Olive Oil. This makes about 2 cups of oil.

Bottom line? I loved this oil. It was just as good, if not better in some cases, than many of the more expensive olive oils I have used. It had a wonderful aroma, a mellow yet nice flavor and while it may be a small thing, I liked that this comes in a plastic bottle rather than a glass one. Glass is always an issue when you have kids around. So will I get this again? Definitely.

Home Made Basil Oil Using Crisco Olive Oil

  • 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cups Crisco Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  1. Rinse your basil leaves. Dry them well by rolling them around in a wad of paper towels. Don’t be afraid to use some pressure. You actually WANT to bruise the leaves anyway because that releases some oils.
  2. Take them out of the towels and just wad them up in your hands. Same reasoning applies; releasing the oils.
  3. In a large pot, combine the Crisco oil and the basil.
  4. Put over low heat and slowly heat up to 165 degrees. Keep it at that temp for about 4 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat and let the basil sit in the oil for at least one hour.
  6. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the oil into a two cup capacity container. Store in the fridge. This will solidify some in the refrigerator but will liquify again when heated.Β  Keep refrigerated when not using.
  7. This can be used soooo many ways. Use to drizzle over meats or veggie; use as a dipping oil for bread (you can use as is or add herbs and spices to it), drizzle over pasta (the picture at the top is my dinner tonight- Cheese ravioli with Asiago and Mozzarella cheeses, Some Sopresseto salami, Heirloom tomatoes & drizzled with some of my basil oil. So so yummy and oh so simple!)

 

*I received Crisco Olive Oils as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program (Crisco Olive Oil). The opinions posted here are my own.*

To Die For??? :P

 

Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows how much I hate that phrase. I have joked before that as much of a foodie as I am (albeit a foodie with a crappy appetite who has to be forced to eat half the time lol) I can’t think of any foods that I would be willing to die for. Not even a medium rare ribeye with potato wedges and roasted brussel sprouts, which is my all time favorite meal (what btw, is YOUR favorite meal??? Tell me in comments section? πŸ™‚ ). I may be willing to be seriously wounded for it (so long as my knife and fork skills aren’t ruined) but no dying. I just can’t think of any food worth dying for.

But there are some foods that I love enough (when I bother to eat πŸ˜› ) to consider using the phrase. Twinkies and Cheetos of course. You didn’t know THAT was coming I bet did you? Hehe. Sushi is another; I LOVE sushi though if anyone ever tries to get me to eat the kind with raw eel in it, they are, as my dad would have said, “cruisin’ for a bruisin’. EWWWW!!!!! GOOD chocolate (we’re not talking Hershey bars here though there is a time and a place for them too) is something to think about using silly phrases for. Buy me a pound of Godiva (or twelve) and I’ll think about it. Buy me more and I may ask you to marry me. Just don’t tell my husband. He can be a bit touchy about that for some reason. Silly man. I’d share the Godiva. Maybe.

But this following recipe is so utterly delicious, so supremely satisfying and so summery (even with the use of canned tomatoes) that I actually thought about using the phrase “to die for”. I didn’t of course; I have my standards but I THOUGHT about it! That right there should tell you how wonderful this is.

I have only been to the restaurant this soup is purported to have been cloned from two times and I thought the food was passable but nothing worth writing home about. I had not however had this soup. I have made this a couple of times for my family and even my picky kids love it. This is creamy and tomatoey (again; now a word πŸ˜› ), bursting with the flavor of fresh Basil with a mild sweet edge that helps cut the acidity of the tomatoes. Summer or Winter, this is a winner. So give it a try. Even in this hot weather, this is SO good!

This is adapted from a recipe on top secret recipes.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (I used considerably more of this and the onion)
  • 2 28 ounce cans (good quality) crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups (good quality) chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh basil (you can sub the pureed basil that comes in tubes in the produce section)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley (I omitted this because I didn’t have any & I saw no difference)
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese (optional. The original recipe didn’t have this but I added it)
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for about 3 to 4 minutes until softened.
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth and bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn heat off and let cool for up to an hour.
  3. Pour half the mixture in a blender (hold lid down with a towel if the soup is at all hot so the lid doesn’t fly off). Blend on high speed for about a minute and pour into a large bowl. Do the same with the second half (I actually don’t do that because I like a little bit of texture in the soup). Add all the soup back to the pot and add the remaining ingredients. Bring the soup back up to a low bubble then reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Garnish with desired toppings. I use Parmesan cheese and some julienned basil.

Is There Such A Thing As “Basil Rehab”?

Cause if there is, I think I need it. Every year I plant a handful of Basil plants and every year, I have the poor things picked down to baby leaves before we even get to July. I need Basil Twinkie Curry and Cheeto rehab. At the rate I’m going I am going to have to buy every basil plant at the store come Spring each year. The first year it was one plant. It wasΒ  a mild addiction. I used fresh basil in spaghetti sauces and in tomato sandwiches and periodically went out and just crushed a leave in my fingers and smelled it,. Then I would be caught sniffing my hands for hours afterward. Talk about awkward.Β  The next year I bought three. That was when I ventured out into making homemade pesto and using the Basil on anything involving tomatoes and cheese. there was also the time I was found on the back porch by my husband, late at night, with my head buried in the basil leaves and suspicious green streaks around my mouth. But we don’t talk about that. It traumatized him. This year I bought five plants. They are already nubs. I think I have been doing sleepwalking basil eating. that or my love of Caprese has also turned into a serious addiction.

Todays recipe probably doesn’t help if I were to deny a Caprese problem.

Everyone knows what Monkey Bread is right? Well, with my mind wrapped firmly around the idea of “pant pant drool drool… what else can I do with basil? Slurp slurp.. BASSSSIIILLLLLLLL”Β  the idea occurred to me that a version of Caprese would make a good Monkey bread. So I tried. I tried first stuffing rolls with a yummy Sun dried Tomato Bruschetta topping I have but that didn’t work. Too oily and the rolls wouldn’t seal. So instead I took rolls, stuffed them with a mix of sun dried tomatoes, fresh Basil and mozzarella. Then I sprinkled it with Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning , drizzled the whole thing with garlic butter and baked it. Oh my God. Talk about cheesy basily (yes that is now a word cause I said so πŸ˜› ) Heaven. Between the tart chewy sun dried tomatoes, the gooey cheese, that wonderful addictive Basil and the garlic butter and oh yeah the soft yeasty rolls, this was so full of flavor it should have been illegal. I’m glad it wasn’t though or I’d be in jail for eating three of them in quick succession. What!? I was hungry! My husband never feeds me. He’s mean like that. Plus, I can’t tell all of you what it tastes like If I haven’t tried it. Right? Of course right. πŸ˜€

So give this a try. If you have a thing for Caprese or just love cheese, I think you’ll love this one. πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

Caprese Stuffed Rolls

A La

Monkey Bread Style

  • 28 frozen raw store bought yeast rollsΒ 
  • 1 pound block mozzarella cheese, cut into 28 cubes
  • 28 to 56 fresh basil leaves (depends on the size of the leaves how many you will need)
  • 28 bite sized sun dried tomato pieces
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) SALTED butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning for sprinkling
  1. Thaw the rolls on a greased piece of foil or waxed paper.
  2. When rolls are thawed, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a monkey bread pan or any circular straight sided and flat bottomed baking pan.
  3. Take each roll and with your hands, flatten out into a circle. On each roll, put one to two basil leaves, a chunk of the mozzarella and a piece (or two if small) of the sun dried tomato. Press the roll around the cheese, making sure to seal well so they don’t pop open as they bake.
  4. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the salted butter, garlic powder and red pepper (if using) on high. Should take about 60 seconds. Stir well to mix
  5. Make a layer of the stuffed rolls in the greased pan. Drizzle liberally with the garlic butter.Β  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning.Β  Make one more layer. Drizzle with the rest of the garlic butter. Sprinkle with more Parmesan and Italian seasoning. Bake at 350 until puffed and golden brown on top. Let sit in the pan for about 3 to 5 minutes then invert over a large plate. Eat until you’re going to burst. πŸ˜€