Cooking With Herbs

You have decided to cook with some delicious herbs but do not know how to cook with them. Then you wait and your fresh herbs go bad. Herbs can be bought fresh, or dried. You can even grow them in your own home. Herbs are flavoring agents used for enriching or altering the flavor or odor of foods. Herbs make a dish complete. Different herbs have different uses. Herbs add great flavor to your dishes but also contain many healthy nutrients.

Here are some tips on using herbs:

At the store: When you’re picking up herbs at the grocery store or the farmer’s market, they should always look fresh. Watch out for discolorations or wilting. Smell the herbs to see if you like their potency and their flavor.

At your home: Once you get the herbs home, it’s best to store them on the top shelf of the refrigerator, which is often the warmest area. Wrap them in a damp paper towel and place in an unsealed plastic baggie. If the roots are still attached, you should leave them on the countertop in a glass with a little water. Wash your herbs just before you use them, not before you store them. In most recipes you can very easily substitute fresh herbs for dry herbs by using about 3 times the amount. For 1 teaspoon of dry herbs, you can use 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs.

Herbs in your meals: Keep in mind that robust herbs such as rosemary and thyme can withstand long cooking times. But tender herbs such as basil and cilantro should be added right before the dish is done cooking. Tender herbs can also be eaten raw.

Freezing Herbs: The quality of the herb can suffer a bit once frozen. They’re best used in cooked dishes rather than as a garnish or raw. Chop the leaves or use them whole straight from the freezer but do not thaw. When freezing herbs rinse the herbs and pat completely dry. Spread out on a sheet pan and freeze. Transfer the frozen herbs to freezer-proof bags, and freeze for up to one month. The best herbs for freezing include: rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, parsley, tarragon, dill and chives.

Have fun experimenting with herbs, but be careful not to put too much of them in a dish at once. Start with small amounts, especially when using strong herbs like sage, rosemary and cilantro. A safe amount to start out with for a meal serving four is 1/4 teaspoon of powdered herb or 1 teaspoon of dried herb or 1 tablespoon of fresh herb.

Below is a wonderful herb and spice chart to use for cooking.

Beans (dried) cumin, cayenne, chili, parsley, pepper, sage, savory, thyme
Beef basil, bay, chili, cilantro, curry, cumin, garlic, marjoram, mustard, oregano, parsley, pepper, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme
Breads anise, basil, caraway, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, dill, garlic, lemon peel, orange peel, oregano, poppy seeds, rosemary, saffron, sage, thyme
Cheese basil, caraway, celery seed, chervil, chili, chives, coriander, cumin, dill, garlic, horseradish, lemon peel, marjoram, mint, mustard, nutmeg, paprika, parsley, pepper, sage, tarragon, thyme
Chicken allspice, basil, bay, cinnamon, curry, dill, fennel, garlic, ginger lemongrass, mustard, paprika, rosemary, saffron, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme
Corn chili, curry, dill, marjoram, parsley, savory, thyme
Eggs basil, chervil, chili, chives, curry, dill, fennel, ginger, lemon peel, marjoram, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, sage, tarragon, thyme
Fish anise, basil, bay, cayenne, celery seed, chives, curry, dill fennel, garlic, ginger, lemon peel, mustard, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, saffron, sage, savory, tarragon, marjoram
Fruits allspice, anise, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ginger, mint
Lamb basil, bay, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, curry, dill, garlic, marjoram, mint, mustard, oregano, parsley, rosemary, savory, tarragon, thyme
Potatoes basil, caraway, celery seed, chervil, chives, coriander, dill, marjoram, oregano, paprika, parsley, poppy seed, rosemary, tarragon, thyme
Salad Dressings basil, celery seed, chives, dill, fennel, garlic, horseradish, marjoram, mustard, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, rosemary, saffron, tarragon, thyme
Salads basil, caraway, chives, dill, garlic, lemon peel, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme
Soups basil, bay, chervil, chili, chives, cumin, dill, fennel, garlic, marjoram, parsley, pepper, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme
Sweets allspice, angelica, anise, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, ginger, lemon peel, mace, nutmeg, mint, orange peel, rosemary
Tomatoes basil, bay , celery seed, cinnamon, chili, curry, dill, fennel, garlic, ginger, gumbo file, lemongrass, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, savory, tarragon, thyme
Post by Adam R

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