Uses For Herbs and Spices

Uses for herbs and spices

Below I’d like to share with you the basic list of uses for herbs and spices that I started with. Their proper use leads to better-flavored and distinctively different dishes.

Developing a natural sense of when to use which herbs and spices, and in what quantities, is one of the things that separates gourmet chefs from everyday, household cooks. It is amazing what some of these ingredients can do to improve a dish.

This list provides a few basic uses for herbs and spices:

Allspice

Form: Whole or ground
Suggested Uses: Fruits, braised meats, relishes

Anise

Form: Whole or ground
Suggested Uses: Asian cuisines, breads, pastries, cheeses

Basil

Form: Fresh or dried
Suggested Uses: Tomatoes, eggs, chicken, fish, salads, cheeses, lamb

Caraway

Form: Whole or ground
Suggested Uses: Cabbage, pork, beans, veal, rye bread, beef

Chervil

Form: Fresh or dried
Suggested Uses: Eggs, salads, soups, chicken, vegetables

Chives

Form: Fresh or dried
Suggested Uses: Soups, potatoes, eggs, fish, cheeses, chicken

Cilantro

Form: Fresh leaves
Suggested Uses: Mexican cuisine, chicken, fish, shellfish, salads, salsa

Cloves

Form: Whole or ground
Suggested Uses: Braised meats, fruits, pickles, stocks, marinades, baked goods, beverages

Cumin

Form: Whole or ground
Suggested Uses: Stews, eggs, chili, sausages

Dill

Form: Fresh or dried leaves; whole seeds
Suggested uses: Leaves or seeds in soups, salads, fish, shellfish, breads, vegetables; seeds in vegetables, potatoes, pickles

Fennel

Form: Whole seeds
Suggested Uses: Sauces, eggs, lamb, pickling, stews, sausages

Ginger

Form: Fresh root or powder
Suggested uses: Meats, curries, stews, pastries, Asian, Caribbean and Indian cuisines

Marjoram

Form: Fresh or dried
Suggested uses: tomatoes, green vegetables, game, stews, meats, poultry, sausages

Nutmeg

Form: Ground
Suggested Uses: Rice, eggs, beverages, relishes, curries

Rosemary

Form: Fresh or dried
Suggested Uses: Stews, marinades, beef, poultry, game, lamb, veal

Saffron

Form: Threads or ground
Suggested Uses: Stews, soups, fish, shellfish, chicken, breads, rice, potatoes

Sage

Form: Fresh or dried
Suggested Uses: Pork, tomatoes, beans, pasta, stuffings, charcuterie, poultry

Tarragon

Form: Fresh or dried
Suggested Uses: Eggs, salad dressings, chicken, fish, tomatoes, sauces

Thyme

Form: Fresh or dried
Suggested Uses: Stews, soups, tomatoes, charcuterie, chicken, fish

Turmeric

Form: Ground
Suggested Uses: Relishes, eggs, breads, rice, curries

I suggest you refer back often to this listing of some of the major uses for herbs and spices. Getting a good feel for their use, which one(s) and how much, will definitely help your progress as a gourmet cook.

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