I used to work for a French company and used to travel to Paris frequently. On most of these trips I would have to take customers out to the latest trendy restaurant in town, but on one trip I was working with my friend Philip, who lived there for a number of years, and we went to some of his favorite neighborhood places – and discovered a new side to dining out in Paris.
One of the places he took me to was a small, late night, neighborhood pizzeria, who served their pizzas with a bottle of huile piquante, or spicy oil.
The pizzas in Paris are very similar to Italian style pizzas with thin, occasionally dry bases. The spicy olive oil serves a dual purpose, adds softness to the crust, and a kick to the pizza.
Fast forward two months. I now have a large bottle of spicy oil that has been emulsifying. Since I rarely make pizza or eat it, I found myself with a lot of spicy oil and not much to do with it until I realized that it was perfect for cooking spicy stir-fry, chili, or curry dishes. It takes two minutes to prepare and two months to stew, but well worth the wait!