Use of Seasonings, Herbs and Spices
When buying spices and herbs, buy in small amounts and note date on label; keep away from heat and keep tightly closed, as heat and air promote drying and staling. Grinding spices at home insures full aroma and flavor. One-fourth teaspoon dried herbs will season dish for four; use three times that amount when fresh herbs are used. Herbs with the most robust flavor, rosemary, thyme, sage and oregano, should be added with restraint. Herbs in cold, uncooked dishes should be marinated with other ingredients at least overnight.
Unsalted foods can gain flavor from the sweet, sour and bitter taste sensations of herbs and spices. How you use them to enhance natural food flavors is limited only by your creativity.
In general, use no more than 1/4 teaspoon of dried spice, or 3/4 teaspoon of fresh spice per pound of meat to avoid over flavoring. Ground spices should be added about 15 minutes before the end of the cooking period because they impart flavor immediately. Whole spices should be added at the beginning of the cooking period to extract the full flavor. When using fresh herbs, you need about three times as much as dried herbs.
Lemon juice and vinegar should be added after cooking the vegetables so as not to lengthen the cooking time or change the vegetable's color. Seasonings can be combined with butter, margarine, or oil for use after the cooking process is finished.
STUFFED CELERY: Mix caraway seed with cream cheese; fill celery. Dash with paprika.
TOMATO COCKTAIL: Add 1/4 teaspoon dried basil per cup.
CHICKEN SOUP: Add a dash of rosemary, tarragon, or nutmeg. Sprinkle paprika atop for color.
CLAM CHOWDER: Add a dash of caraway seed, sage, or thyme.
CONSOMME: Dash in basil, marjoram, savory, or tarragon.
MUSHROOM SOUP: Season with curry, oregano, or marjoram.
ONION SOUP: Add marjoram.
OYSTER STEW: Lightly add cayenne, mace, or marjoram.
POTATO SOUP: Dash with mustard or basil. Top with snipped chives or parsley.
SPLIT-PEA SOUP: Add dash basil, chili powder, or rosemary.
TOMATO SOUP: Dash in basil, dill, oregano, sage, or tarragon.
VEGETABLE SOUP: Try allspice, oregano, sage, or thyme.
BISCUITS: Add caraway seed, thyme, or savory to flour. Serve with meat.
BREAD: Make each loaf a surprise by adding caraway seed, cardamom, or poppy seed.
COFFEE CAKE: Mix crushed anise in batter. For variety, sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture atop or add poppy seed filling.
CORNBREAD: Add poultry seasoning or caraway seed to dry ingredients. Be adventuresome; add 1/2 teaspoon rosemary to batter.
CROUTONS: Toss toast cubes in melted butter seasoned with basil, marjoram, or onion salt.
DOUGHNUTS: Add mace or nutmeg to dry ingredients. After frying, roll in cinnamon-sugar.
DUMPLINGS: Add thyme or parsley (fresh or flakes) to batter.
MUFFINS: Blueberry - add dash of nutmeg to dry ingredients. Season plain muffins with caraway or cinnamon.
NOODLES: Butter, then sprinkle with poppy seed.
ROLLS: Add caraway seed. Or, sprinkle with sesame seed.
SPAGHETTI: Toss with butter, Parmesan, and snipped chives.
BAKED EGGS: Sprinkle dash of thyme or paprika over the top.
CREAMED EGGS: Add mace.
DEVILED EGGS: Add celery seed, cumin, mustard, savory, chili powder, or curry powder.
OMELET: Try with dash of marjoram or rosemary (go easy!).
SCRAMBLED EGGS: Sprinkle lightly with basil, thyme, rosemary, or marjoram. Add seasoning near the end of cooking.
SOUFFLE: Add 1/4 teaspoon marjoram to 4-egg souffle. To cheese souffle, add basil or savory.
CHEESE CASSEROLES: Spark with dash sage or marjoram.
CHEESE FONDUE: Try adding a dash of basil or nutmeg.
CHEESE RAREBIT: Try with mace or mustard.
CHEESE SAUCE: Add mustard or a dash of marjoram or thyme.
CHEESE SPREAD: Blend sage, caraway seed, thyme, or celery seed into melted processed cheese.
COTTAGE CHEESE: Blend in chives or a dash of sage, caraway seed, dill, anise or cumin. Prepare several hours ahead of time. .