The food is not ready until you add the “finishing touch” Food
You can add the finishing touch when you take the dish out of the oven, off the stove or grill, or after the food has been poured out. If you are serving a family-style dish, then add the finishing touch to the whole dish. If you are delivering food to a plate, add it after it is scattered.
So what is the final touch?
It can be just a pinch of fine sea salt, such as soft sea salt or crispy Maldon sea salt, as well as a pinch of really good olive or ghee.
I love olive oil and tend to use it on everything except cookies and sometimes fatty grilled steaks. For olive oil, which is good for cooking and finishing, I like the fresh green notes of California Olive Ranch olive oil. They have good prices and great taste. If you want to go all out, the Italian classic Laudemio from Tuscany is a luxury, but worth the extra price. This is the olive oil you leave to finish – it’s too valuable to cook. Both are extra-solid, which means they are the oil from the first squeezing of the olives.
If you want to improve the taste, prepare olive oil and a multifunctional spice blend. When I make the infused oil, I leave about 3-4 tablespoons for another use and add the herbs and spices to the bottle that received the oil.
I also keep beautiful bottles as soon as I used all the oil or vinegar that was in them, to make infused oils.
There are no rules when making infused oil with your own hands. Choose your favorite herbs and spices to customize the oil.
If you use fresh garlic and herbs such as a sprig of rosemary, always store the finished oil in the refrigerator to avoid spoilage. Note that you will need to remove the oil from the refrigerator an hour before use so that it can return to room temperature and can be poured. If you use fresh garlic cloves, peel and lightly crush them before adding to the bottle. I usually add citrus peels, such as oranges or lemons, which are thinly sliced from the fruit using a vegetable peel, and make sure there is no bitter white core. A little dried red chili pepper and multicolored pepper peas add a little heat to balance the oil.
Depending on what you put in the finishing spice mix, you can use it as a multi-season and finishing salt. I like to do this, so I use both a combination of Mortan’s kosher salt (which is coarser than other kosher salts, and retains its shape) and sea salt. I like to add a little dehydrated garlic that goes well with all foods; dried red chili flakes; my favorite dried herbs; and black or white pepper. The total proportions are 6 parts kosher salt, 2 parts coarse sea salt, 1 part garlic and herbs, one and a half teaspoons of red chili flakes and ground pepper.
You can see the exact measurements of my favorite combination of salt and spices on my website, elizabethkarmel.comalong with olive oil recipes and my favorite spice finish mix.
Whether you follow my recipes or cook your own, you’ll find that the finishing touch improves everything that comes from your kitchen, from simple boiled eggs and avocado toast to your holiday feast!