Herbs! - Printable Version
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Herbs! - Scythe Matters - 08-03-2011 01:11 AM
I cook a lot with herbs since I grow my own (hey - that's not what I meant and you know it!). So I thought we need a thread on herbs and how to use them.
First off, a wonderful herb I've discovered; lemon thyme. It grows easily and is pretty hardy. It will die back in the winter but will come back in the spring. It has a wonderful lemon scent and can be used to make a soothing tea. But it's shining moment comes when paired with chicken or white fish. It is a perfect accompaniment. You can just lay sprigs on top and bake as usual. Or strip the tiny leaves off the stem and sprinkle them over the dish. Or - and this is the best - make lemon thyme butter.
Take a stick of butter and let it soften while you grind the leaves very fine (I have a Bullet mixer and it works wonderfully). Then just add about 1 tablespoon of the thyme to the butter (to taste). Use this on fish, chicken, turkey, veal... and mild protein. It's also tasty melted over veggies.
You can even make a jelly out of it! Wonderful for the middle of winter, it will remind you of summer with every bite. Here's a simple recipe (can be used for any herb jelly):
Gather about 2 cups of fresh herb leaves. Wash and drain them, then coarsely chop and macerate them then place in a medium saucepan. Use the bottom of a glass to crush and macerate the leaves. Add 2 cups of water, bring slowly to a boil, and boil for just 10 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and let sit for 15 minutes to release the herb leaves essential flavor.
Strain 1 1/2 cups of this liquid from the pan and pour through the strainer (I add cheesecloth to it to make sure) again into another large, deep saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of plain (unseasoned) rice vinegar (if you can't find rice vinegar, use regular distilled vinegar), a pinch of salt and 3 1/2 cups of granulated sugar. Bring the mixture to a hard boil, stirring constantly. Once the boil reaches the rolling stage, add 3 ounces of liquid pectin. (I use Certo brand). Return this to a hard boil and cook for exactly one minute, then remove saucepan from the heat.
Skim off any foam and pour the hot jelly into 4 hot, sterilized 1/2 pint jelly jars. Leave 1/2 inch head space and seal at once with sterilized 2 piece canning lids or melted paraffin. The lemon thyme makes a lovely golden-green colored jelly.
Experiment with different herbs. Rosemary goes well with beef, mint with lamb of course, basil with veggies... try mixtures, too. Have fun!
RE: Herbs! - Gungawoman - 08-03-2011 11:24 AM
Ooh! I've made the compound butter with lemon basil from my greenhouse. So good. I MUST try the jelly! I didn't know thyme came in "lemon flavor".
RE: Herbs! - VincentUlyssis - 08-22-2011 08:49 PM
I love to pick them for their scent. A handful of mint, basil, thyme, rosemary and lavender, just picked, inhaled as one bunch.mmmmmm
RE: Herbs! - Scythe Matters - 08-23-2011 07:13 PM
(08-22-2011 08:49 PM)VincentUlyssis Wrote: I love to pick them for their scent. A handful of mint, basil, thyme, rosemary and lavender, just picked, inhaled as one bunch.mmmmmm
You'd love it in the sunroom - all of those releasing their perfume. Mmmmm...
RE: Herbs! - VincentUlyssis - 02-08-2012 09:11 PM
Today I found a bowl of lavender that I had brought to the office over the summer. It was dried of course. I crushed it up good and I got a great whiff of the stuff before placing it on my office piano. I hope when I open up tomorrow that it fills the room!
Question, just curious...
Has anyone ever smoked lavender and lived to tell about it?
RE: Herbs! - Scythe Matters - 02-09-2012 02:13 AM
Not that I know of. I don't think the oils in lavender would be good to breathe in.
It does keep it's aroma for a very long time as long as it's stored well.
RE: Herbs! - 2Beers - 02-09-2012 08:13 AM
You can cook and bake with Lavender, but to smoke/burn it??? It could work in a fireplace for a nice aroma.
RE: Herbs! - Gungawoman - 02-09-2012 02:21 PM
(02-08-2012 09:11 PM)VincentUlyssis Wrote: Today I found a bowl of lavender that I had brought to the office over the summer. It was dried of course. I crushed it up good and I got a great whiff of the stuff before placing it on my office piano. I hope when I open up tomorrow that it fills the room!
RE: Herbs! - VincentUlyssis - 02-09-2012 07:21 PM
LOL, yes it's a mini-console donated by a resident. It's practically a toy but serves for informal auditions and looks nice in the space it has found. Sometimes I get to sit down and play a bit but usually there's no time. It matches my acoustic guitar that I once played for my Italian and Spanish classes when I used to teach, and once a year I pick that up too. Most of my playing is at home (where I plant my HERBS in season) or at church.
RE: Herbs! - osage59 - 03-19-2012 07:27 AM
If you like lavender, you might like trying herbs de provence. It's pretty versatile!