Guajillo chile pepper and garlic oil is easy to make, delightful to gift to friends, and delicious to use in your home cooking.
This post is sponsored by Selefina. All opinions are my own.
What is a guajillo chile pepper?
If you’re not familiar with guajillo chile pepper, Wikipedia describes it as a variety of chile pepper of the species Capsicum annuum which is widely used in the cuisine of Mexico.
Whole dried guajillos are deep red to burgundy in color, with smooth, shiny skin. They are pliable to the touch and are anywhere from four to six inches in length with a slight curve at the bottom.
Its heat is considered mild to medium. They are milder than jalapeños and have a fruity, smokey flavor.
How can I use guajillo peppers?
Selafina Guajillos are used rehydrated or dry roasted or can be pan seared to bring out more flavor. They combine well with other chiles and with tomatoes without overpowering the dish. Use guajillos in small amounts to add flavor, color, and, of course, heat.
What do I need to make guajillo chile pepper and garlic oil?
I often make gourmet oils as hostesses and holiday gifts. I realized I had none on the blog. So when I received the beautiful guajillo chile peppers from Selefina I thought about making a gourmet oil. I’ve made garlic oil many times before so I thought why not add the chile pepper?
So you need:
- Guajillo Chile Peppers – these dried chiles add a bit of heat. Mine are from Selefina.
- Olive Oil – I like to use extra virgin
- Garlic Cloves – these need to be peeled. The best way to do so is to use the side of your knife and gently smash them. Remove the peel and place them in the oil.
Pro Tip: When cutting the guajillo pepper into strips, use kitchen shears. It makes the task super easy!
How can I use homemade chile oil?
- Garlic and chili peppers go well together and would work nicely with fish, chicken, or drizzled over roasted vegetables. Marinating a steak would be a nice option too.
- You could also use it as a dipping oil for a nice, crusty bread. Similar to the herb oils in Italian restaurants. Add some minced garlic and chopped guajillo peppers.
- Marinade a selection of olives in the guajillo chile pepper and garlic oil then serve the marinated olives on a charcuterie board.
- If you sauté any vegetables (onions, mushrooms, broccoli, green beans, etc.) in oil, substitute this garlic chile pepper oil for the neutral oil to elevate the flavor of the veggies.
- Use this guajillo chile pepper and garlic oil as a finishing oil over a ricotta bruschetta, grilled seafood, or chicken.
Pro Tip: I bought an 8-ounce bottle of olive oil for this recipe. I used the oil, took off the label and put the guajillo chile pepper the jar using a small funnel.
I found a couple of bottles at a thrift store but they are available online and in some craft stores. I found the corks at a craft store. Be sure to sterilize them prior to filling them with the oil.
Pro Tip: Infused oils can turn rancid over time so it’s best not to let the oil sit unused for too long. Use it within a week or two.
Should I strain the homemade guajillo chile and garlic oil?
There are two schools of thought about whether or not to strain homemade oils. If you want to keep the oil a bit longer, strain it. The peppers and garlic can become rancid and spoil the olive oil. I would strain it for gift giving.
If you are making this for yourself and plan to use it up in a week or two, you can keep the chiles and garlic in it but store it in a cool place out of the sun.
Can I use another oil besides olive oil?
Yes, neutral oil such as canola or vegetable would be perfect for this guajillo chile pepper and garlic oil recipe. I initially thought about using canola but went with olive oil because it’s so popular.
Whatever oil you use, don’t be alarmed when it starts to change color. You heat the oil with guajillo chiles, which are red in color, and the oil will turn reddish.
Looking for More Hostess Gift Inspiration? Check Out These Ideas:
- White Chocolate Cranberry Popcorn – Easily made with store-bought popcorn.
- Chocolate Mixed Nut Clusters – Always a favorite when I gift this to co-workers.
- Original Chex Mix – My Mom’s choice for gifting to neighbors during the holidays.
- Gingerbread Spice Mocha Mix – This makes a great holiday gift in a jar for your favorite foodie.
- 3 small garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 medium dried guajillo chilis, sliced into strips
- 8 ounces olive oil
- Glass jar
- In a heavy bottom pan, gently heat olive oil over low heat. Warm for one minute and add crushed garlic and guajillo chili strips. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let cool 5 minutes before transferring to a glass bottle. Cool before capping the bottle.
- The oil will darken and get a reddish color from the chili. It is now ready to use.