Once you have
used fresh herbs in cooking you will be spoiled! Their special
flavor and aroma contributes greatly to the enjoyment of food.
There are no
rules when cooking with herbs. Start to experiment using small
amounts of herbs and see what you like. The following ideas may
help you get started:
A good general
rule of thumb is not to mix two very strong herbs together,
but rather one strong and one or more milder flavors to
complement both the stronger herb and the food.
In general, the
weaker the flavor of the main staple item, the lower the
level of added seasoning required to achieve a satisfactory
balance of flavor in the end product.
Dried herbs are
stronger than fresh, and powdered herbs are stronger than
crumbled. A useful formula is: 1/4 teaspoon powdered herbs =
3/4 to 1 teaspoon crumbled = 2 teaspoons fresh.
Leaves should be
chopped very fine because the more cut surface exposed the
more flavor will be released.
in the amount of an herb used until you're familiar with its
strength. The aromatic oils can be strong and objectionable
if too much is used.
The flavoring of
herbs is lost by extended cooking. Add herbs to soups or
stews about 45 minutes before completing the cooking. But
for cold foods such as dips, cheese, vegetables and
dressings, herbs should be added several hours or overnight
and hot sauces, add finely chopped fresh or dried herbs
directly to the mixture.
familiar with the specific flavor of an herb, try mixing it
with margarine or butter, let it set for at least an hour,
and spread on a plain cracker.
Try herbs as a
flavoring in vinegars or "butters." Use one cup of "bruised"
leaves for every 2 cups of white wine vinegar. Allow to
steep two weeks. Use 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh
herbs to 1/2 cup margarine, butter, cottage cheese, low fat
yogurt or cream cheese.
Try some new recipes at
History of Herbs
Herbs for Beginners
Drying & Preserving Herbs
Indoor Herb Gardening
Hints & Tips
Oil and Vinegar
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