Nothing Fancy Here, Just Spicy Hot Goodness
The beauty of this recipe lies in its simplicity. Taking five minutes to prep, five minutes to cook, and only requiring two or three ingredients makes this one of the most straightforward recipes on this entire site. Don’t let the simplicity fool you, however. The mixture of olive oil and chili flakes creates one mean spicy chili oil (even more so if you add in the optional dried chili peppers).
What makes spicy hot oils and sauces so good is the beneficial effects they can have on your health. Hot foods like chili peppers work wonders for reducing inflammation levels in your body. Recent research has found that anti-inflammatory foods and lifestyle practices can help prevent and delay the development of many chronic diseases such as cancer. (1) Not only does the capsaicin found in chili peppers protect your health, but they also contain antioxidants, vitamin C and carotene as well. They’re an incredible superfood for boosting your immune system.
Olive Oil, A Heart-Healthy Source of Monounsaturated Fats
By using olive oil as the base for this recipe instead of the more commonly used vegetable oil, you are also lowering your risk of inflammation even further. Vegetable oil is extremely high in omega-6 fats, which have been shown to increase inflammation if the ratio with omega-3 fats gets out of balance. (2) In contrast, olive oil is high in the more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, making it a far superior cooking choice.
Is Olive Oil Good for Cooking?
Many say that olive oil isn’t a good choice for cooking due to its smoke point, but this is a myth. The smoking point of olive oil well above the temperature required for all but the highest-heat cooking. It has been shown to be resistant to frying conditions (3) and is therefore appropriate for most cooking methods, especially for paleo dieters.
What Type of Chili Should You Use?
- Poblano Chili Pepper – 1,000-2,000 Scovilles
- Ancho Chili Pepper – 1,000-2,000 Scovilles
- Anaheim Chili Pepper – 1,000-5,000 Scovilles
- Jalapeno Chili Pepper – 2,000-8,000 Scovilles
- Chipotle Chili Pepper – 2,500-8,000 Scovilles
- Serrano Chili Pepper – 10,000-25,000 Scovilles
- Tabasco Chili Pepper – 30,000-60,000 Scovilles
- Habanero Chili Pepper – 150,000-300,000 Scovilles
- Ghost Chili Pepper – Over 1,000,000 Scovilles – CAUTION
As you can see, not all chili peppers will deliver the same level of heat. Choose your chili peppers wisely as it can have a huge impact on your chili oil. Also, the spicier the chili pepper, the less you’ll need, so you’ll also get less flavor from it unless you’re really look for something that is out-of-this-world spicy. On the other hand, something like the the chipotle chili pepper will add a slightly smokey flavor to your chili oil without adding too much heat.
All in all, these two simple ingredients combine to not only make a delicious spicy oil, but it also has tons of great health benefits as well. It can be stored in the fridge for an entire month, though the level of heat may vary the longer you soak your chili. When you consider that the 10 minute prep time yields approximately two cups of chili oil, that’s plenty to last you for quite a lot of spicy hot meals all throughout the month. You’ll probably only need a few drops of this at a time, anyway, unless of course, you’re huge on spice like me. In that case, this particular recipe won’t last you very long.
You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for all things spicy. Definitely check out some of my personal favorites. I love these when I have a slight cold or if I feel a little under the weather. Chicken noodle soup is always good, but nothing gets my nose running like some spicy broth. Yum!
- 2 cups olive oil
- 4 tsp dried chili flakes
- 2 dried small chili peppers (optional)
- In a saucepan place all the ingredients and cook over very low heat for 5 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the oil registers 180ºF.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely at room temperature.
- Transfer into a bottle and seal the lid.
- Refrigerate for up to 1 month.