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How to Use Herbs in Cooking

When you cook without herbs and spices meals turn out bland, at best. If you’re unsure how to use herbs in cooking, keep reading. The following ideas will teach you how to begin using herbs and making meals which are more palatable.

Before you begin your foray into cooking with herbs, it’s important to know where you would expect to use them. Some herbs are used more with savory recipes while others will be used in dessert recipes. You may also find a few herbs which can be used in both.

Determine to try a different herb each week. Look for a couple of recipes which use new herbs you’d like to try. Prepare about three new recipes using the herb and see how your family likes them.

Beef – Add fresh sweet marjoram to butter and spread it over a roast beef after it comes out of the oven. You may also want to do something similar with sweet marjoram, chervil, parsley, summer savory and celery.

Pork – Chervil, savory and marjoram would be added to pork chops. Sage is a common herb used in sausage.

Lamb – Thyme, parsley, garlic, onion or marjoram could be used in combination on lamb. You could also use dill on lamb chops.

Poultry – Basil, lovage, marjoram, sage, thyme and rosemary are common ingredients in poultry seasoning. These would be great added to chicken or turkey.

Fish – When preparing fish you may want to use dill, basil or tarragon. You could also use curry powder, mustard and marjoram.

Beverages – Various types of mint, lemon balm and lemon thyme could be added to hot or cold tea.

Desserts – Herbs for desserts include allspice, anise, caraway, cinnamon, ginger, mint and nutmeg.

You can find fresh or dried herbs in most grocery stores. However, it is important to remember that fresh herbs provide a bold flavor while powdered herbs are generally milder. Use dried herbs with fat such as when making a flavored butter or infusing oil. When using fresh herbs, be sure to crush the herb before using it to cook with.

When it comes to herbs remember that a little often goes a long way. You’ll want to experiment if you don’t know how to use herbs in cooking, but you don’t want to overwhelm the dish. As you become more comfortable using a few herbs, you can then begin branching out and trying more exotic ones.