Spices and Herbs
There are so many wonderful spices and herbs out there. However, sometimes it is a mystery as how to use them. Sometimes, ordinary salt and pepper gets a bit boring. If one knows where that herb or spice belongs, ordinary food becomes extraordinary food!
How to Use Herbs and Spices
Beau Monde- Sprinkle on omelets and egg dishes. Great in sauces, gravies and dips.
Chervil- Interesting on green rice, potatoes, sour cream or in cheese sauces. Delicious with macaroni, spaghetti, and all buttered or creamed veggies.
Fennel- Use in place of Anise, or whenever you want a licorice flavor. Add a tough to your favorite French dressing or baked goods.
Fine Herbs- Enhance omelets and many green veggies. Sprinkle into a tossed green salad. You can make your own combination of parsley, chives, and chervil. You can also combine chives, basil and parsley.
Garlic- Pretty powerful stuff, so be careful. For a light flavor, pierce a clove with a toothpick, drop it into the food and remove at serving time. Garlic cloves are better if they are sauteed and not browned.
Ginger- Enhances fruit salad dressings and mayonnaise. Ginger butter is good with carrots, cauliflower and broccoli. Excellent in most Asian cooking.
Mace- The flavor is similar to nutmeg, but there is a difference since it comes from the outer fibers of the nutmeg. One teaspoon of mace to a pint of whipped cream makes a tasty difference. Mace improves the flavor of macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, spinach, cauliflower and carrots.
Marjoram and Thyme- These two herbs are frequently combined in seasoning green veggies. Try them in bread stuffings, tomato dishes, eggplant, and cottage cheese.
Mint- Spearmint or peppermint enhance cheese spreads for appetizers and give a sparkle to chilled beverages. Great with applesauce, and all chocolate puddings, pies and cakes. Adds a delicate flavor when combined with melted butter and served with peas, carrots and potatoes. If you have fresh mint, use it as a centerpiece. The fragrance is most appealing and dominates other food odors.
Onions- For a mild onion flavor, saute onions in butter only until tender. For a stronger flavor, saute until lightly browned. For a robust flavor, saute until rich brown in color. Try sliced mini onions in your homemade French dressing and with green peas or beans. Scallions, because of a more delicate flavor, are often good substitutes for chives.
Oregano- Mexican and Italian food call for this herb. It goes with omelets, salads, and most tomato combinations.
Paprika (Sweet)- Dust over eggs and cream sauces. The flavor also blends well with salad dressing.
Rosemary- Gives a delicate flavor to fruit salads and compotes. A fine addition to scrambled eggs, omelets, French fried potatoes, spinach and peas.
Saffron- Distinctive and interesting taste when added sparingly to rice, eggs, and cream cheese mixtures.
Sage- Flavorful addition to cottage cheese, Cheddar cheese, and cream cheese. Distinctive taste when added to stuffing, roasts, stewed tomatoes, string beans, onions, limas, and eggplant.
Sweet Basil- A sweet spicy herb that is perfect for tomato dishes.
Tarragon- Enhances tomato and vegetable juices, tossed green and aspic salads. Nice addition to deviled eggs, omelets, and other egg dishes. Adds a distinctive flavor to tartare, bearnaise, egg, and mushroom cream sauces. Tasty with beets, peas, and potatoes.