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Friday, August 29, 2008

Herb Hungry? Have some Ideas

This article was written by my (Marisa) Aunt Carolyn, she has the most amazing herb garden. Michael and I love to walk around her backyard and touch and smell all the different herbs.

Flavors for Vinegars:

White wine vinegar & rosemary, raisins, orange peel, garlic

Red wine vinegar & sage, parsley, shallots or chives

Cider vinegar & chilies, garlic, oregano

Rice vinegar & Coriander Leaf (cilantro) and garlic

White wine vinegar & fennel, garlic, parsley

Herb Butters

Mind and Dill

Lemon balm or verbena and grated orange peel

Basil, oregano, thyme and pureed shr8imp

Marjoram and garlic

Garlic, sesame seeds (or oil) and chives

Flavored Oils:

Olive Oil & garlic, oregano, thyme

Sunflower Oil & dill & garlic

Olive oil & basil, chili, garlic

Walnut oil & lemon verbena or balm, lemon type

Combinations of Herbs for Freezing or Drying Together

Coriander leaf and chilies

Chives and dill weed

Dill, mint, parsley

Oregano, thyme and parsley

Save, thyme, chives

Lemon verbena (or balm) and tarragon

Mint, lemon balm and dill

Oregano, basil and Thyme

Maximizing the Flavor of Herbs

To develop the flavor for dried herbs, soak them for several minutes in a liquid that can be used in the recipe – stock, oil, lemon juice, or vinegar

When using herbs in salad dressings, allow the flavor of the combination to develop by soaking for 15 minutes to an hour

Work the flavors of herbs into meat, poultry and fish by rubbing them in with your hands before cooking

For steamed or boiled vegetables, add the herbs to melted butter (or olive oil) and allow to stand for 10 minutes before seasoning the vegetables with it.

To intensify the flavors of whole spices, toast them briefly in a dry, heavy skillet before using.

Dried and fresh herbs may be used interchangeably in most recipes. Use three to five times more fresh herbs than dried, depending on the strength of the herb.

Featuring: Coriander (Cilantro)

Did you know that coriander and cilantro are the same plant. Usually, when the seeds are used, or the leaves are dried, it goes by the name of Coriander. When used fresh, we know it as Cilantro.

In the Arabian fantasy, The Thousand and One Nights, Coriander is referred to as an aphrodisiac.

Chewing the seeds of Coriander can calm an upset stomach.

In all probability, the herb came into use by the ancient Hebrews, who made it one of the bitter bergs involved in the ritual of Passover.

Seeds of the coriander have been found among the funeral offerings in ancient Egyptian tombs.

Coriander leaves have a bold taste that combines a strong sage flavor with sharp citrus notes.

Recipe that includes Coriander (Cilantro):

Cowboy Caviar

1 can black-eyed peas drained

1 can shoe peg or regular corn drained

3 roma tomatoes (seeded and chopped finely)

3-4 green onions chopped finely

½ - 1 cucumber chopped finely

3-5 T. chopped Cilantro

4-5 oz. Kraft (light or fat free) Zesty Italian Dressing

Optional: Chopped Avocado

Serve with: Tortilla Scoops or Chips

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