How To Spice Things Up When Cooking

Basil

Pairs well with any two of the following: Dill, Rosemary, Parsley, Thyme, Clove, Ginger, Nutmeg, Fennel seeds, Tarragong

basilThe most common purchased basil at the local market is the sweet basil, and at Asian markets you will find the Thai basil.

You can easily find lemon basil, and Holy Basil, which is normally used for its medicinal qualities in natural medicine.

This fragrant herb belongs to the mint family. It is sometimes referred to as Saint Joseph’s Wort in some English speaking countries. There is the Holy Basil (used for medicinal purposes),

Basil is a  popular Italian seasoning, as it is used to make pesto. It also goes well with white meat, or with fruits and vegetables. Tomato slices, feta or goat cheese, and basil are a classic.

Basil has a lot of flavor which is released quickly in cooking, therefore it is recommend to add it towards the end of your food preparation to avoid cooking off its flavor.

Basil browns easily when it comes in contact with heat. Also tear the leaves by hand, when the recipe calls for chopped fresh basil. A kitchen knife or kitchen shears seam to brown the edges, and that does not look good for presentation.

If you choose to cut basil with a knife, gently rub olive oil all over the sharp part of the knife before you cut it, this will prevent the leaves from darkening, particularly if you are using it in a salad. The olive oil temporarily prevents the cut leaves from rapid oxidation or turning brown.

To quickly chop a lot of basil, stack several leaves and roll them into a tight tube. Starting at one side of the tubed leaves, slice the leaves into narrow pieces to create long thin strips. If you’d like smaller pieces, chop the strips again.

Recipe:  Fresh Basil Raspberry and Goat Cheese Salad

Cayenne Pepper

Pairs well with any two of the following: Allspice, Nutmeg, Parsley, Basil, Rosemary, Oregano, Cilantro

Cayenne PepperThis culinary food item is a hot chili pepper used to flavor dishes. It is named after the city of Cayenne in French Guiana. It is related to bell peppers, jalapeños, and paprika chilies among others.

Cayenne, believe it or not, is a fruit. As they say, big things, in this case big flavor comes in small packages. This fruit is or can be spicy, so you will want to start out with a little and slowly add more to taste.

Cayenne pepper works well with all types of meat, and you can add it to vinegar-based sauces or combined with lemon in marinades.

It is also used as an herbal supplement. Cayenne pepper when eaten, dilates the blood vessels and speeds the metabolism due to the high amounts of capsaicin.

Recipe Using Crushed Red Pepper or Cayenne Pepper:  Spicy Raspberry Chicken Wings

Dill

DillPairs well with any two of the following: Mint, Oregano, Curry, Ginger, Caraway

This is an herb that goes very well with salmon. It also goes well in stews and even yogurt.

Use it in dipping sauces with fresh sliced celery, cucumber and carrot sticks. Dill is a very aromatic herb.

As soon as you chop the feathery like herb, the wonderful fragrance hits your senses.

Recipes Using Dill: 1. Warm Brussels sprouts and Dilled Potato Salad – 2. Greek Yogurt Dill Spread with Ham and Red Cabbage On Wasa Crisp Bread

One thought on “How To Spice Things Up When Cooking

  1. Pingback: Herbs and Spices… | Gourmet Herbs Spices

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