Autumn Spice Oil

4 star anise
1/2 tablespoon juniper berries
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon allspice
1 medium cinnamon stick, crushed, or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/3 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
2 pieces dried orange peel, optional
1 cup oil (heidi note: I used olive oil – a mild tasting one) – He uses canola in some of his other recipes.

Put the star anise, juniper berries, cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, and cloves in an 8-inch saute pan and toast overmedium heat, shaking constantly, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool.

Transfer the spices to a spice or coffee grinder and pulse for a few seconds.

Transfer the spices to a bowl, add the vanilla bean and orange peel, if using, and set aside.

Pour the oil into a small pot and heat it over medium-low heat until warm. Pour the oil over the spices and vanilla. Cover and let infuse at room temperature for 24 hours, periodically mixing the bowl. (heidi note: terrance says not to strain, but i strained anyways at this point – I think my spices were a bit on the chunky side of a fine grind).

Cover and keep at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or refrigerate for up to 1 month.
Makes 1 cup.

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