Herbs, spices and seasonings are generally used to enhance the natural flavor of food. Each one of them can complement another but do be selective and do not use too many at one time.
Did you know that herbs are the leaves and greener parts of the plant whereas the seeds, bark and roots are considered the spice? Some plants can be both. Most herbs can be found in both dried and fresh form.
Some herbs like oregano, thyme and rosemary are better used in dried form as they tend to retain their flavor. Basil and chives tend to lose much of their flavor once dried so best to use them fresh.
Herbs and spices are a wonderful way to bypass salt, butter or oil on foods but which go best with what foods? Classic pairings include rosemary or thyme with lamb, dill with salmon and basil with tomatoes products. Chicken breasts go great with rosemary, paprika or sage. However, be creative and combine them to create your own taste.
Food always taste better when properly seasoned. One of the best ways to enjoy spices is as rubs for meats - as a dry marinade. Brush steak or chicken breast with olive oil, then apply mixture of salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, paprika and cayenne powder. Rub with your fingers, rest for 10 minutes then sauté or grill the meat.
For freshest herbs, grow your own herb garden. Parsley, cilantro, thyme, basil and rosemary can be planted in pots.
What’s the best way to keep your herbs, spices and seasonings so that they’ll last longer? Store them in your kitchen away from heat and sunlight. Once you’ve mastered the basics of herbs, spices and seasonings, you’ll enjoy cooking a lot more. Food taste better, smell better and you’re on your way to impress your friends and family :)