Adding flavor without the fat - herbs

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Herbs are quite easy and inexpensive to grown, so you might consider adding some to your garden. All they need, generally, is good sunlight and water. Herbs also grow well in boxes or pots, on porches or window sills. Having fresh clippings of herbs at your fingertips can be addicting and inspiring to the home cook.

Fresh herbs are preferable in cooking to dried herbs. They have a more pleasing texture and aroma; moreover mush of an herb's distinctive flavor is concentrated in the oils in the leaves, which are often lost in drying. When a recipe calls for a fresh herb that you don't have, you are often better off using another fresh herb, even parsley, rather than using dried herbs, but dried herbs can be used in a pinch.

When using fresh herbs, add them at the end of a recipe so their flavor will be freshest and most aromatic. Using a fresh herb early in cooking can add depth of flavor, but stir in a little of the freshly chopped herb at the end to accentuate the flavor.

Chopping: ~ Small-Leafed Herbs (like thyme) seldom need chopping; simply strip leaves from the stems and use. ~ Flat-Leafed Herbs (basil, mint, sorrel) should be stacked and cut across into thin strips; to finely chop, cut across the strips into tiny bits. - Other Herbs (like rosemary or curly parsley): to chop these, put the sprigs in a small pile on the chopping board and chop across the pile. Then rotate the pile of herbs with your hand and chop across again; continue until the herbs are chopped as desired.

* Always remove herb sprigs from the stem before chopping. * Use a large, sharp chef's knife for chopping, not a small paring knife.

Simply Seafood Spring 1995

Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 06-18-95

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