with herbs is not a mystifying art. If you cook, you already are using
herbs in many of your recipes. The same principles that apply to using
parsley, onion, and poultry seasoning apply to many other herbs as well.
To go beyond the basic, all that is needed is the herb, and an adventurous
in mind that seasoning and flavoring with herbs is a matter of personal
taste. There is no right or wrong. If it tastes good to you, it is right.
herbs sparingly when you begin. A little goes a long way. As you gain
experience, you may wish to add more, particularly of the potherbs.
Potherbs are those that may also be cooked and served as a vegetable
such as borage, chervil, lovage, and chicory.
selective, use taste and smell to guide you in choosing harmonious flavors.
using an herb for the first time, use it alone. Chicken is a good food
for herb testing because of its versatility. Poach the chicken, using
a poaching liquid of white wine or chicken broth with a little of the
identifying the herbs, mentally classify them into groups, much like
a mixed bouquet. Some provide background, some are filler, some work
best when in combination with others, some are the star, and some prefer
to work alone.
these adjectives in mind when identifying herbs: aromatic, sweet, pungent,
bitter delicate, cooling, warming.
or two dominant-herb dishes or sauces is enough if the balance of dishes
supplies background for companion flavors. Too great a variety will
overwhelm your palate.
Remember that not everyone like the same herbs. There are cultural as
well as personal favorites.
approximately /2 teaspoon of dried herbs as the equivalent of one tablespoon
of fresh herbs. This will depend on the age of the dried herbs. As the
essential oils in dried herbs slowly dissipate, the flavor diminishes.
the herbs either with your fingers or with a mortar and pestle will
release more of the herb's flavor.
herbs can withstand long cooking while others either lose their flavor
or become bitter with cooking. These are best added at the last minute.
herbs work better if they are allows to "sit a spell" in either
the cooking stock or other liquid before being added to the dish. Wine
or cooking oil works great for freshening dried herbs.