Herbs should add a subtle seasoning, not overwhelm a dish. It is better to have too little than too much.
Do not combine too many herbs in a dish or too many herbed dishes in a meal.
Crush dried herbs between the fingertips before adding to a particular dish to release the- flavor. If powdered herbs are used, restrain yourself to a pinch until you determine the strength of the flavor your family enjoys.
One teaspoon of dried herb is the equivalent of one tablespoon of the fresh herb.
Add herbs to cooked dishes during the last half-hour of cooking since overcooking can destroy their delicate aroma and flavor. Add herbs to uncooked dishes as long as possible before serving to allow their flavors to blend.
To preserve herbs, wash and drain; wrap in foil or plastic bag. Put in carton or glass jar and store in freezer.
Frozen herbs can be used in recipes the same as fresh herbs. Simply crumble the stiffly frozen leaves in small pieces directly into casseroles or soups.
Plant herbs in a flower garden for a variety of colors, shapes, and textures.
Spices should not overpower the inherent flavor of food, but they should "bring out or enhance the flavor.
A combination of several spices may result in a more pleasing or well-¨rounded flavor than one spice used alone. There is no one correct amount of spice to use--it depends on your family's taste.
Spices do not improve with age. The oils, which give them their excellent flavor, will escape when exposed to air, heat, or moisture and will deteriorate over a long storage period.
To preserve or prolong the flavor of spices keep tightly covered when not in use. Avoid hanging spice rack over the range or near a window. As soon as spices lose their strength, they should be replaced with new ones.
Spices, while often thought of as "hot" or "sharp," may also be sweet. Cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg are familiar ingredients in baked goods, but donít overlook the flavor they add to vegetable and meat dishes.
Ground spices lose their quality faster than whole spices. Consider purchasing whole spices and grinding or crushing them just before using. A mortar and pestle is a handy tool for crushing buds and seeds. Root spices must be grated or chopped finely.
Experiment with the ancient art of seasoning and create your own favorite blend of flavors.