8.12.07

Herb-ful cooking anyone?

I have been cooking since 2003. Yes, mostly, by my lonesome. Extra help may come but they are few and far between. But I must not complain because I looove cooking. If only there was less heat.

Anyway, my cooking is really herb-ful. I don't need any reason to lace my dishes with herbs. The 'cheapest' recipes bloom with elegance once paired with herbs.

And I have 10 favorite herbs that I can't do without:

1. Basil is an annual and used for the clove scent from leaves; works well with tomato dishes, specially pizza and spaghetti sauces.
2. Dill is an annual with its seeds serve as flavor for dill pickles.
3. Fennel is a perennial which adds zest to fish and vegetable dishes; seed also said to work as appetite suppressant.
4. Horseradish is a perennial and acts as a strong flavoring for meats and oysters. Root is harvested for use as a vegetable.
5. Mints are perennials. Both spearmint and peppermint are used to enhance teas, garnish lamb dishes and general flavor enhancer.
6. Oregano is a perennial and is aromatically strong, earthy, minty in character, used with any tomato dish, especially pizza and sauces. I also use this when my children have cough and colds as infused in boiling water. It works. It really works.
7. Parsley is a biennial and serves as a garnish for practically all food recipes. Also adds flavor to soups and stews. But it is the only herb to have a herbicide labeled for use.
8. Sage is a perennial. Silver-gray, spear-shaped leaves of small shrub. Prized for aromatic, piney, slightly medicinal character; leading use is for flavoring pork sausages.
9. Thyme is a perennial with gray-green leaves which give out a pungent warmth to chowders, seafood and vegetable dishes.
10. Rosemary is perennial and most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking. Bitter and astringent taste, rosemary goes well with lamb and anything that’s oily. It belongs to the mint family.

Haute cuisine or not I am definitely sure herb remains a staple ingredient.

Other herbs and spices I find okey are curry powder, paprika, cumin, bay leaf, cinnamon, tarragon, and saffron as garnish for chicken porridge.
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