Getting Herby with It
As we head into Fall, its time to stock the pantry with herbs and spices to bring flavor to dinnertime. Some Fall veggies have just plain boring flavor- squashes in particular. But, with the addition of select seasoning, they can be amongst our year-round favorites. Think – acorn quash and nutmeg, potatoes and mustard seed, mushrooms and thyme.
Take a trip through your spice zone. Although herbs and spices will not "go bad," they will lose their potency with age and therefore be tricky to measure. Toss anything over a year old. The supermarket is starting to put all their spices on sale so take advantage of it!
Free Herb Tip #1: There ain’t no free herb. JK!! I’m in NorCal – I can’t help myself. Dried herbs should be gently rolled or crushed between the palms of your hands to release their flavor before adding to recipes.
Free Herb Tip#2: Share your herb. Not kidding! Consider buying reusable jars and buying bulk with friends and family. I am frugal (read:cheap) and I hate to throw away anything. So, I either buy just what I need at a co-op or try to share with a group. Make an outing of it! - call a pal to “go buy herbs!”
Free Herb Tip#3: Many recipes call for fresh herbs. Sometimes they just aren't available or on hand. Use this equation: 1 teaspoon dried = 1 tablespoon fresh.
Here is a list to work on filling in as we change seasons.
Allspice, ground and whole
Cinnamon, ground and sticks
Cloves, ground and whole
Five Spice Powder
Mustard dried ground
Paprika Hungarian sweet
Pepper, cayenne, dried red flakes
Peppercorns, dried black
I know it’s a long list but its sort of like a wardrobe – you build it wisely as needs arise and you fill in the holes.
Enjoy this week’s recipes…see you next week.