Cooking with herbs and spices is as Martha says, “It’s A Good Thing!” You can easily change the flavor of plain meat and potatoes into a completely new dish by simply changing the herbs, spices and seasonings used in the recipe. Here are a few tips on how to best use herbs and spices when cooking and preparing meals.
Substituting Dried Herbs for Fresh Herbs
Dried herbs have a stronger more concentrated flavor than fresh leaf herbs, you will need to adjust your measurements when adding dried herbs to a recipe that calls for fresh herbs. Simply substitute 1/3 of the amount to adjust the strength in taste so your final results don’t have an overpowering flavor.
For Better Flavor Release
When you are cooking with dried herbs, try crushing them in the palm of your hand or crumbling them between your fingers as this will release more of the flavor in a quicker manner. This works especially well with strong-flavored herbs, such as rosemary and sage.
To get the most flavor out of your dried herbs, purchase the best quality herbs and spices. Whole leaf herbs leaves rather than ground or powdered selections because they are able to hold their flavor longer when stored. Before using, crush, crumble or pulverize the dried herb leaves will effectively release their flavor.
Perfectly Seasoned Menus
When you are planning the menu and preparing a meal, it is highly suggested not to season more than one dish using the same herb. As you arrange your menu, a good rule of thumb to follow is to refrain from using herbs in all of your dishes. Two or three is good enough, but not necessary.
Limit Strong-Flavored Herbs
When preparing your dishes, it is recommended to use only one strong-flavored herb at a time per meal. Examples of these kinds of herbs include rosemary, tarragon, sage, marjoram, thyme, basil, mint, and dill. Despite this limitation, it is still OK to combine a strong-flavored herb with an assortment of mild-flavored selections, such as parsley or chives. Combining a strong-flavored seasoning with a couple of mild-flavored ones is a good way to balance out the flavor in a recipe you feel is too strong in taste.
Storing Herbs and Spices
Preserving the quality, freshness and flavor of your herbs, spices and seasonings will result in better tasting dishes and save you money. Learn more about storing your spices and herbs and their shelf life.
Naturally, for the best flavor I recomend you purchase high quality herbs and spices such as Watkins! You’ll find pure, natural and organic herbs, spices and seasonings in the US catalog or the Canadian catalog.