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1 Cooking with Herbs on Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:07 pm


Admin / Weyrlingmaster

General Techniques and Preservation

Note from Kes: I found this info in an email from almost a decade ago, but I don't think it's probably changed very much. Feel free to add comments!

Serving Techniques

  • To serve four people with a sauce, soup, stew, or sauté, use about 2 teaspoons of minced fresh herbs.
  • For fullest aroma, rub leaves between hands before slicing or mincing.
  • For long-cooking foods like soups and stews, add fresh herbs during the last 20 minutes of cooking.
  • Fresh herbs may not have a chance to release flavors in uncooked foods or during microwaving, so more herbs may need to be added.

Keeping Herbs Fresh

  • Fresh herbs are best kept growing in pots.
  • Bouquets of fresh herbs placed in jars in an inch or so of water and covered lightly with plastic wrapped and refrigerated stay fresh for about two weeks.
  • Small sprigs of herbs can be thoroughly dried, wrapped in paper towels, and sealed in ziploc bags kept in the crisper drawer for about two weeks.

Using Dried Herbs

  • To develop flavor, soak for several minutes in a liquid that will be used in the recipe -- stock, oil, lemon juice, vinegar, etc.
  • Soak herbs for 15-60 minutes for salad dressings.
  • Work the herbs into meats by rubbing them in with your hands before cooking.
  • Add herbs to melted butter 10-15 minutes before seasoning steamed or boiled vegetables.
  • Toast whole herbs lightly in a dry, heavy skillit before using.
  • Use 1/4 the amount of dried herbs as the amount of fresh herbs called for, and 4 times the amount of fresh herbs as of dried herbs called for.

Drying Herbs

  • Hang bouquets of herbs upsidedown under paper bags in an airy place for 1-2 weeks.
  • Place unwashed bouquets of parsley, coriander, and rosemary in a PAPER bag in the refridgerator for about a month.
  • Leaves are best for eating, so separate the leaves from the stems after drying. Do not store herbs above the stove or microwave as the heat will dissipate the flavor.

Combinations for Drying

If you use certain herbs together in cooking, so why not preserve them together?
  • basil, thyme, Italian parsley
  • marjoram, lovage, thyme
  • coriander leaf and chilies
  • chives and dillweed
  • dill, mint, parsley
  • oregano, thyme, Italian parsley
  • tarragon and lovage
  • sage, thyme, chives
  • lemon verbena and tarragon
  • mint, lemon balm, dill
  • dill, lovage, chives
  • oregano, basil, thyme
  • chives and marjoram
  • oregano, epizote, parsley
  • mint and zatar

Combinations for Flavored Vinegars and Oils

Making Flavored Vinegars and Oils
Heat the vinegar or oil, but don't boil. Pour into jar containing herbs, about three two-inch long sprigs for each cup of vinegar or oil, and one clove of garlic, shallots, or one chili per cup. Let cool, then cover it and store in a cool, dark place for 6 months to a year.

With White Wine Vinegar

  • rosemary, raisins, orange peel, garlic
  • borage, dill, shallots
  • mint, honey, cardamom seed
  • fennel leaf, garlic, parsley

With Red Wine Vinegar

  • sage, parsley, shallots

With Cider Vinegar

  • chilies, garlic, oregano
  • dill, nasturtiums, garlic
  • savory, chive blossoms

With Rice Vinegar

  • coriander leaf, garlic
  • rose petals, violet petals

With Olive Oil

  • oregano, thyme, garlic
  • saffron, garlic
  • basil, chili, garlic
  • lovage, garlic, celery leaf

With Peanut Oil

  • chervil, tarragon, shallots

With Safflower Oil

  • fresh ginger, cardamom seed, coriander leaf

With Sunflower Oil

  • dill, garlic

With Walnut Oil

  • lemon verbena, lemon thyme

Combinations for Flavored Butters

Making Butters
Mix herbs into softened butter, wrap, and refridgerate for one month or freeze for three months.

For Breakfast Butters

  • mint, dill
  • beebalm, lovage
  • lemon verbena, dash of grated orange peel
  • costmary, tansy

For Savory Butters

  • basil, minced and roasted sweet pepper, oregano, thyme, pureed shrimp
  • marjoram, garlic
  • garlic, sesame seeds, chives

What Herbs Go Best With ...

AsparagusBeans, dried
Chives, Lemon balm, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, ThymeCumin, Garlic, Mint, Onions, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, Savory, Thyme
Beans, greenBeef
Basil, Caraway, Clove, Dill, Marjoram, Mint, Sage, Savory, ThymeBasil, Bay leaf, Caraway, Cumin, Fenugreek, Garlic, Ginger, Marjoram, Onion, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme
Basil, Dill, Garlic, Lemon balm, Marjoram, Oregano, Tarragon, ThymeBasil, Caraway, Cayenne pepper, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Marjoram, Sage, Savory
Anise, Basil, Chervil, Chives, Cinnamon, Clove, Cumin, Dill, Ginger, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, ThymeBasil, Caraway, Chives, Cumin, Dill, Garlic, Marjoram, Parsley, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon
Anise, Basil, Bay leaf, Borage, Chives, Cinnamon, Cumin, Dill, Fenugreek, Garlic, Ginger, Lovage, Marjoram, Onion, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, ThymeChervil, Chives, Lemon balm, Saffron, Sage, Thyme
Basil, Cinnamon, Dill, Garlic, Marjoram, Mint, Onion, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, Savory, ThymeAnise, Basil, Caraway, Cayenne pepper, Chervil, Chives, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme
Anise, Basil, Borage, Caraway, Chervil, Chives, Dill, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, ThymeAnise, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Lemon balm, Mint, Rosemary
Basil, Bay leaf, Cinnamon, Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Garlic, Ginger, Lemon balm, Marjoram, Mint, Onion, Parsley, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Tarragon, ThymeCoriander, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Tarragon, Thyme
Basil, Dill, Marjoram, Parsley, Savory, ThymeCaraway, Chervil, Chives, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme
Anise, Caraway, Cardamom, Dill, Garlic, Ginger, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, ThymeBasil, Caraway, Chives, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Lovage, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Thyme
Basil, Fennel, Lovage, Saffron, Tarragon, ThymeAnise, Basil, Caraway, Chervil, Chives, Cinnamon, Dill, Rosemary, Thyme
Basil, Caraway, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove, Dill, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, SavoryGarlic, Marjoram, Onion, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme
Basil, Bay leaf, Chives, Coriander, Dill, Garlic, Lovage, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, ThymeBasil, Garlic, Marjoram, Onion, Oregano, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme
Basil, Bay leaf, Chervil, Chives, Ginger, Marjoram, Mint, Onion, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Thyme

Salt-Free Herbal Blends

For Beef:

  • lemon juice, minced fresh rosemary, freshly ground black pepper
  • minced fresh thyme, ground cloves, grated orange peel, freshly ground black pepper
  • garlic, herbed vinegar, freshly ground black pepper
  • mashed green peppercorns, minced onions, minced fresh marjoram

For Poultry:

  • minced fresh ginger, freshly grated orange peel, minced fresh sage
  • minced fresh marjoram, minced fresh thyme, apple cider vinegar
  • minced fresh tarragon, minced shallots, lemon juice
  • minced fresh basil, white wine vinegar, garlic

For Fish:

  • minced fresh dill, lemon juice, mustard seed
  • minced fresh lovage, celery seed, lemon juice, freshly ground black pepper
  • fennel seed, mustard seed, bay, grated lemon peel

For Green Vegetables:

  • minced fresh savory, minced fresh chives, minced onions
  • minced fresh dill, bay, rice vinegar
  • minced fresh basil, freshly grated nutmeg, minced fresh marjoram

For Yellow and Orange Vegetables:

  • cinnamon, nutmeg, orange juice, minced fresh thyme
  • minced fresh ginger, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, minced fresh lovage or celery leaf
  • minced fresh beebalm, minced fresh thyme

For Cheese and Eggs:

  • minced fresh dill, minced fresh chives, minced fresh parsley, paprika
  • freshly grated nutmeg, dry mustard, freshly ground black pepper
  • minced fresh oregano, garlic, minced fresh thyme

For Beans, Rice, and Other Grains:

  • chilies, cumin seed, minced fresh oregano, garlic
  • saffron, garlic, miced fresh parsley
  • minced fresh mint, minced fresh parsley, grated lemon peel, caraway seed

Sweetness Enhancers

These sweeten without adding calories; use alone or in combination with traditional sweeteners.
  • angelica stem in salads
  • beebalm in beverages
  • costmary and mint in sparkling waters
  • lemon balm and lemon verbena in frozen desserts
  • violet and rose in condiments
  • vanilla (just a drop) in savory sauces
  • rosemary in fruit salads, fruit compotes, and fruit tarts

Edible (a.k.a. Nontoxic) Flowers

These can add color and outdoorsy flavor to food. Often used as floating garnishes for beverages and soups. Can be added to cheese spreads, herb butters, and pancake, crepe, or waffle batter. Used whole in salads, can be stuffed or fried in a light cornmeal or flour batter.
  • beeblam
  • borage
  • calendula
  • chive blossoms
  • daylily
  • English daisy
  • forget-me-not, Myosotis scorpioides or M. sylvatica
  • fuchsia
  • geranium
  • hollyhock
  • impatiens
  • lavender
  • lilac
  • mint flower
  • nasturtium
  • pansy
  • portulaca
  • redbud
  • rose
  • snapdragon
  • squash blossoms (especially nice for stuffing or frying)
  • violet
  • zucchini blossoms (especially nice for stuffing or frying)
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