Herbs 411

Cooking with herbs is a great way to add sophistication to any dish as well as adding immense flavor.  It helps to know what herbs pair well with what ingredients so that you don't end up with an overpowered or off-balanced dish.  Here is a simple chart to help you with 4 herbs that I often use sage, thyme, oregano, and my favorite, rosemary.

Profile: This herb is aromatic and has big flavor.  It's silvery, almost furry leaves are distinct
Pairs well with: fats, chicken and beef.  Because of its strong flavor using it with heavy ingredients like meats and butter won't overpower your dish. 
Tip: Fry a some fresh leaves up in butter for a few minutes.  Once it is crispy, drain it on a paper towel.  Crumble and sprinkle over your dishes for added flavor. 
Fun fact: it is associated with memory enhancement.

Profile: Lemony and fragrant.
Pairs well with: chicken, fish, beans, savory dishes.
Recipe: Harold's (Top Chef Season 1 Winner) Pan Roasted Chicken with Potato Gnocchi I recreated this recipe and it certainly is a winner in my book.  Try it for yourself.  Or try my Chevre Prosciutto Flatbread

Profile: Warm and spicy taste. Mexican oregano is slightly mintier.
Pairs well with: tomato sauces, meat dishes, Mediterranean dishes.
Tip: Add dried leaves to your bread crumbs for a step up from the ordinary.

Profile: Woodsy flavor.  Think pine needles... trust me, it's good!
Pairs well with: chicken, pork, hearty dishes.
Recipe: Grilled Rosemary Pork Chops
Tip: Strip off all but the top 1/4 of the leaves.  Use it's strong stem for skewering meats and then grilling them.  It makes for a nice presentation and adds great flavor.

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