Herbs - Uses In The Kitchen
There are many herbs to choose from when cooking. Some herbs are ideally suited to some types of meat or vegetables more than others. Of course we all have our own favourites when it comes to herbs.
Growing herbs for your culinary use is simple and convenient. Having your herb garden near the kitchen is helpful and of course many varieties of herbs do well in pots and even on your window sills.
Basil has a lovely aroma and is often used in tomato based dishes as well as in tomato sandwiches. It goes well with eggplant, zucchini, squash and silver beet or spinach. Add basil to any pasta dish. Basil can also be used with seafood, liver kidneys veal and poultry.
Aside from using fennel in cooking it also aids digestion making it a good addition to any meal. The base of the fennel plant can be sliced and used like an onion or cooked as a vegetable and served with a white sauce. Fennel goes great with fish. Ground fennel seeds are good in starchy foods.
Due to their delicate flavour it is best to add chives towards the end of cooking. Chives can be finely chopped and added to salads, egg dishes, mornays and mayonnaise. Nice used as a garnish.
Rosemary is another herb that aids digestion of rich or starchy foods. Rosemary works well with beef, lamb, pork, veal and poultry. Add finely chopped rosemary to bread or scones.
Bay leaves are used to flavour soups and casseroles as well as fish, meat and poultry. Bay leaves are traditionally used in a bouquet garni. These can me made by tying together a spray of parsley, marjoram, thyme and two large bay leaves. Add the bouquet garni to soups, stews and casseroles to flavour while cooking, then remove before serving.
Sage makes up mixed herbs along with marjoram and thyme. Sage can be cooked with eggplant, onions, tomatoes and egg dishes. Sage is often added with other herbs when cooking pork, duck veal and oily fish.
Dill works well with most foods. It is great with omelettes, salads and salad dressings. Try dill in steamed cabbage, coleslaw, cucumber and chutneys. Dill adds a nice flavour to breads and pastries, and can also be used as a garnish.
Along with sage and thyme marjoram helps to make the classical mixed herbs.. On its own marjoram is a great addition to poultry, fish, egg and vegetable dishes and sauces. Can be finely chopped and added to salads, scones and dumplings.
Thyme comes in many different flavours. Thyme can be used in soups, stews, casseroles and with all types of meats. Great in stuffings and sauces. Adds a nice flavour to breads and scones and to green cooked vegetables. Is used in mixed herbs and in bouquet garni.
Oregano has a strong pungent aroma and is used in many Mediterranean dishes. Oregano goes well with tomatoes and with zucchini, eggplant and capsicums. It is excellent in pasta, rice, rissoles, sauces and dresssings.
Carraway seeds are used mainly, but the young leaves can be used in salads and green vegetables. Seeds can be sprinkled in bread dough, biscuits and cakes and over apples, pears and quinces when cooking.
Mint comes in a multitude of varieties. All of these varieties are easy to grow. It can be a good idea to grow mint in pots as they can take over somewhat in the garden. Use applemint and spearmint together to make a wonderful mint sauce. Peppermint makes a lovely relaxing tea.
Tarragon is used in vinegar and with cooked fish. It can also be used sparingly in salads and salad dressings, as well as a flavouring in light meat dishes.
Ground coriander is commonly used in poultry, meat and fish dishes. It is often used as a spice in cakes, gingerbread, biscuits, bread and pastries. Coriander can be sprinkled over apples and pears when cooking or baking. Coriander is used in curries and other Indian cuisine.
Garlic is used in many dishes to enhance the flavour and aroma. Garlic aids digestion. It works well with vegetables and salads as well as with any meat or fish. Garlic is often combined with tomatoes and Mediterranean dishes. Of course garlic bread is an all time favourite with many people.
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