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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Good Taste

Experience may be the best teacher of the use of herb and spice, but it is not the only teacher.

The notes which follow are taken in part from the pamphlet, "Do Yourself a Flavor" by Holly H. Shimizu. An expert may be a good source from which to learn.

Most of the herbs and spices mentioned here probably came into use for their antibiotic, preservative, and antiseptic properties.That they  have fewer ill effects than do most medicines, antibiotics, preservatives, and antiseptics is a plus. They have probably stayed in popular usage because we found their taste pleasant..We know them for their attractive taste and aroma.

Here is some lore for the use of herbs and spices for flavor:
~ 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.
~ Us two to three times as much fresh herb where dry herb is called for in a recipe. 
~ Many of the best cooks prefer fresh herb where it is available.
~ The flavor of most herbs is lost in extended cooking and are best added last in the process.

Suggestions for seasoning specific foods.

Eggs: basil, dill leaves, garlic, parsley.

Fish: basil, crumbled bay leaf, French tarragon, parsley, fennel, sage, savory, garlic.

Poultry: lovage, marjoram, sage, oregano, rosemary, savory.

Salad: basil, parsley, French, tarragon, borage, burnet, chives, garlic.

Vegetables: basil, parsley, savory, chevil, chives, dill, French terragon, marjoram, mint, pepper, thyme.

Barbecue: Cumin, garlic, red pepper, oregano.

Beef: bay, chives, cloves, cumin, red pepper, black pepper, marjoram,  rosemary, savory.

Lamb: garlic, marjoram, oregano, mint, rosemary.

Pork: coriander, cumin, garlic, ginger, savor, thyme.

Cheese: basil, chervil, chives, curry dill, fennel, garlic, marjoram, parsley.

Fruit: anise, cinnamon, coriander, cloves, lemon verbena, mint, rose geranium, sweet cicely.

~ Try it on yourself before you try it on a guest.
~ Make slits in roasts and put the herbs in them.
~  Buy hers one at a time and, at first, try them one at a time.
~ Start with herbs mentioned most often here or elsewhere.

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