Hops infused olive oil - input wanted
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Check with your County Extension service to verify food safety issues on this one.
Hello Sly Pepper and welcome to ChefTalk. I'm not quite sure how a good olive oil goes with hop, also a bitter component? The very best olive oils can have a very strong peppery aftertaste and are quite bitter too.
But maybe you could consider macerating hop in... vinegar. It could then be used in lots of sauces, vinaigrettes, in dishes to correct the balance by adding a little acidity etc.
I recently posted a thread for making tarragon vinegar; http://www.cheftalk.com/t/77083/high-time-to-harvest-your-tarragon
I have other vinegar infusions like this, made with elder flower blossoms, rose petals, branches of lovage. You never have to worry about bacteria when infusing in vinegar. If I were you, I would try both red and white vinegar hop infusions. I even think it's a very good idea to use hop that I might steal from you.
BTW, the young shoots of hop are harvested in my beer country Belgium and are sold as a luxury culinary product. Normally, only a few shoots are left and allowed to grow on the plant. In early spring, the young redundant shoots are collected and prepared like mini white asparagus, shortly poached, served in a light Hollandaise or mousseline sauce. Fresh hop shoots are incredibly expensive over here!