Herbal Tips for Your Kitchen

Now that Spring is here, we will be having fresh vegetables and herbs shortly. Knowing how to use the herbs properly will give a new taste sensation to your meals. You can use tried and true recipes or make-up your own. Either way when you cook with herbs, you will have a fantastic meal the whole family will enjoy.

Hints for Using Herbs

  • Serving Rule:  Two teaspoons of minced, fresh herbs will flavor four servings One teaspoon dried herbs or seeds serves four. Delicately flavored herbs, like marjoram can be use more liberally.

  • For soups and stews, add fresh herbs during the last twenty minutes.

  • To develop the flavor of freshly dried herbs, soak them for ten minutes in lemon juice, stock or oil before cooking.

  • Before cooking rub fresh herbs between clean hands to release their unique flavor in the volatile oils. This will accelerate flavoring  as your entrée cooks.

  • Firmly press herbs into the flesh of meats, fish, or poultry before cooking to enhance aroma and taste. No sauce or further preparation will be necessary.

  • Flavor salad dressing by soaking herbs in it for thirty minutes to an hour before serving. Use one teaspoon of herbs to one cup of dressing.

  • Microwave: Whenever possible, saute herbal blends in a small amount of liquid, stock, butter or oil before adding to a microwave dish to assure flavor.

  • Sugar can be flavored by layering twelve to fifteen rose geranium or lemon rose geranium leaves on top of one pound of sugar.  Any flavor of geranium leaves will do. Keep it covered until ready to use. Flavored sugar adds a delicate flavor to biscuits, cookies and muffins,

  • A substitute for lemon peel in baked goods is finely chopped lemon balm, lemon thyme or lemon vervain.