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HERBS and SPICES
The Art of Seasoning

Herbs and Spices The art of using herbs and spices is learning how much to add and how to combine flavors. Recipes generally give suggested amounts of herbs and spices to use in developing recipes: ie: use strong, pungent spices (such as red pepper) in small amounts; more delicate seasonings can be used in greater amounts without ruining the final product. Herbs or spices should be used to enhance and not overpower the flavor. However, cultural and taste preferences influence your decision.

Start with a tested recipe. After it has been prepared, decide if more or less seasoning is needed for the next time. Herb and spice companies recommend about 1/4 teaspoon (a pinch) of spice per pound of meat or pint of liquid when creating recipes. Only use 1/8 teaspoon of stronger seasonings such as red pepper and garlic. Remember, you can always add more but it's very difficult to compensate for an over-addition!

More than one herb or spice can be used in a recipe. Start by using only one or two choices, and as you experience in cooking with herbs and spices grows, so will your ability to tell if others might also be added to the recipe.

Herb Bread

Feature yeast breads and quick breads use a variety of herbs and spices. Add something a little different to your favorite bread recipe by using one of the following suggested herbs and spices combinations. Suggestions are for additions per pound (3 to 4 cups flour) of yeast dough.

Suggestion #1:
1 tsp. sage
2 tsp. caraway seed
1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Suggestion #2:
1 1/2 Tbsp. dill seed or 1 1/2 Tbsp. caraway seed
1/8 cup instant minced onion

Suggestion #3:
1/2 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. marjoram

Herb Vinegar Dressings

Use the following suggested herbs and spices combinations with vegetable salads or cooked vegetables.

Suggestion #1:
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. paprika
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. finely chopped chives
3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. pickle relish
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Yield: 3/4 to 1 cup

Suggestion #2:
3/4 cup tomato juice
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. instant minced onion
1 Tbsp. basil leaves crushed
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. ground cumin seed
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
Yield: 3/4 to 1 cup.

Salts (onion salt, garlic salt...) should always be used sparingly. Purchase the ground powders instead of the high sodium "salts". Purchase price may be more, but they last longer and are infinitely healthier. Add "salts" only when you think it is necessary.

· The Art of Seasoning
· Basil and Walnut Dip
· Artichoke and Tarragon Dip

· More Spices and Herbs
· Preserving Herbs and Spices

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