Best Kitchen Herbs For Cooking
What Will Kitchen Herbs Do For My Cooking?
Using kitchen herbs for cooking gives your foods a fuller, more enhanced flavor. Both fresh herbs and dried herbs will add to your culinary skills. You will find that your food will taste better when you add kitchen herbs to your recipes.
Fresh herbs are more fragrant. If you crush the leaves between your fingers you will be able to take in the scent. If you use dried herbs you will find that the flavor is more concentrated.
Cooking With Kitchen Herbs
When you are using fresh herbs for your cooking you should add the herbs at the end of the cooking time so the the freshness of the herb stays intact. If you use a dried herb in your cooking you will find that the flavor it adds is intense. As a rule of thumb, you should use about 3 times more fresh herbs than dried herbs. That would be about a tablespoon of fresh herbs to every teaspoon of dried herbs. Whichever type of herb you use in your cooking, you need to know which herb is better suited for certains foods.
Which Kitchen Herbs?
Certain herbs are better paired with specific foods. The individual herb will enhance the taste better and bring out hidden flavors.
- Basil - Basil is good when used with tomatoes. It also goes well with pasta sauces.
- Chives - Chives are very flavorful. They go great in potatoes and can also be added to salads and spreadable items like cheese or butters.
- Cilantro - Cilantro is also known as Chinese parsley. Cilantro is used for Asian or Mexican cooking.
- Dill - Dill has a light flavor. It is a flavorful addition to seafood such as scallops and trout. It also great added to dips, salads, dressings and vegetables. Dill is best used without cooking and simply added as an ingredient after the dish is finished.
- Marjoram - Marjoram is part of the oregano family of herbs. It is often used in italian cooking and works well when cooking bean soup or lentils.
- Mint - This is a very fragrant herb that is commonly used in Greek cooking. It is tasty in drinks and rice dishes. It adds a savory flavor to lamb.
- Oregano - Oregano is a common kitchen herb and it goes well in tomato based sauces.
- Rosemary - Rosemary is an extremely fragrant kitchen herb. You will find when you are cooking with it that not only does it flavor the food but it fragrances the ktichen. It is a very good herb to use with poultry.
- Sage - The traditional use for sage is with stuffing but it can also be used for pork and sausages.
- Tarragon - Tarragon has a slight hint of sweetness to it. It goes well with meat and vegetables.
- Thyme - Thyme is a very savory herb. It goes well in soups and sauces.
How To Clean Kitchen Herbs
Grow Your Own Kitchen Herbs
Storing Kitchen Herbs
The best way to dry herbs is to allow fresh herbs to dry in the air so they retain their oils along with their flavors. Make sure you use the leaves from the herbs before they flower. Rinse the herbs and remove any dead looking leaves. Pat dry so they do not rot. Dried kitchen herbs should be stored in an air tight container preferably glass for the longest shelf life.
You can buy fresh herbs in a grocery store but the best way is to grow them yourself. Fresh herbs can be used directly from the herb garden. If you buy kitchen herbs from a farmer's market or grocery, make sure they are dry and store them refrigerated in a ziploc bag. You can also freeze them if you want them to last longer.
Kitchen Herbs Books
Cooking With Kitchen Herbs
Other Uses For Kitchen Herbs
Kitchen herbs can be crushed up and added to products to create distinctive flavor combinations. Flavorful herbs can be used to add to vinegar and then the vinegard is aged and is able to be kept for months. The flavored vinegars can be used for salads and also given as gifts. You can pour the vinegar in a pretty bottle and tye a ribbon around it.
Herbs can also be added to butter and oils. Kitchen herbs add a lot of flavor to butter for spreading on bread or cooking with flavored oils.
Another use for herbs is to add them to sugars for baking and drinks. Rosemary, mint and thyme are great for infusing with sugars.
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