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Chef/Writer Spencer

Dry Spices....

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Go ask Eric Ripert if he uses any dry herbs in his kitchen and more than likely he's going to bounce your tawdry head of the swinging door. Thomas K. will probably just change the subject to the growing patterns of fava beans being the non-confrontationalist he is. Even fat boy E eschews them on his pro-wrestling meets the Arsenio Hall show. Does this mean that we should forego them? I say these guys are mirror primping for the Paul Bocuse late night hour. I love me some dry thyme from the Colorado Spice Co, they also have kick ass thai, indian and asian blends--my favorite being the all-purpose Chang Mai and Ras el Hanout. Let's jump on the dry spice bandwagon...anybody got any favs.....


Edited by Chef/Writer Spencer (log)

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Excuse my ignorance, but how could you make a dry spice rub for something without dry spices? BBQ would never be the same again...


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Excuse my ignorance, but how could you make a dry spice rub for something without dry spices?  BBQ would never be the same again...

Good French chefs wouldn't be caught dead using spice rubs. They leave that up to B. Flay.

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Not to nit pick here, but don't you mean dried herbs? :smile:


Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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Oke doke, :-)

I agree, but I use dried parsley for my guacamole. It absorbs excess moisture that fresh parsley can't. Dried parsley in this dish also adds a texture that the fresh stuff can't.

I've never used fresh bay leaf, but would like to see what it's like.

Herbs De Province is very different when using fresh ingredients. I think my tastes prefer a dry version.

However, I love making a fresh Italian seasoning of fresh marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano and basil. It really brightens up a tomato sauce

Although this is a blend of herbs and spices, fresh poultry seasoning always surprises people because the ingredients are detected individually, not blended like the dry stuff so you don't get everything at once. Just blend: thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper, and nutmeg. Go with equal parts except go a little lighter on the nutmeg.

The one herb that has the biggest discrepancy between fresh and dried is tarragon. Fresh is okay, but when I intake the dried stuff, it produces a bile in my mouth. :shock:


Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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I've never used fresh bay leaf, but would like to see what it's like.

I love fresh bay leaves. LOVE 'em. They are softer (obviously) and much more flavorful. Of all the herbs I grow in my garden, I really think I'd have to say that my bay is my favorite. Although maybe it's a tie, come to think of it, between bay and basil. :rolleyes:


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I was thinking of herbes de provence too...

And Mexican oregano. I have a couple of plants (unlike Mediterranean oregano, Mex is perennial), and I dry the excess. Quite a few Mex recipes specify dried, and I understand why--it tastes better dried.

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I was thinking of herbes de provence too...

And Mexican oregano.  I have a couple of plants (unlike Mediterranean oregano, Mex is perennial), and I dry the excess.  Quite a few Mex recipes specify dried, and I understand why--it tastes better dried.

I tell you what...you just hit the nail on the head. My sous chef's wife made her pozole the other day (cinqo de mayo) for the members of this club and man was it pimp daddy good. We made sure to leave plenty of lemon wedges, raw cabbage, tortilla and mex. oregano out to garnish with. Pozole and Mexican oregano...the other shit doesn't compare.

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dried spices I use a lot, dried herbs very rarely.

The only dried herbs I have in the house are an Italian mix , oregano (both Turkish and Mexican), thyme and bay leaves. I just recently purchased a bay leaf tree, so those dried ones will never see the light of day again!

The other ones have their uses, mostly in long simmering sauces where the fresh ones just don't have the flavor to stand up to the long simmer.

I recently gave my friend a recipe for eggplant fritters that uses a 1/4 of fresh basil, she couldn't find it and decided to subsitute 2 tablespoons of dried instead, I can't even imagine what they tasted like!


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I just recently purchased a bay leaf tree, so those dried ones will never see the light of day again!

You will LOVE your laurel bay. I enjoy mine so much that a small bay is now my standard "hostess" gift when dining at the homes of friends.

And I often cut off a nice sprig with several leaves and use it to decorate wrapped packages when giving presents for other occasions.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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The increasing "use fresh herbs" mantra, especially with TV chefs, is silly because it pushes people in one direction without explaining subtleties. Certain herbs (as people have been noting above) are only potent or useful when dried. There has always been a place for the use of dried herbs. Try using fresh basil in a dish which needs the darker flavour of dried basil to permeate it over extended cooking... the fresh basil fades away in comparison (and tastes quite different anyway). That said, many many herbs are much better fresh (rosemary, laurel/bay), and some are almost useless dried (curry leaves, borage?).

--lamington


-- lamington a.k.a. Duncan Markham

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - collaborative book reviews about all things food and wine

Syrup & Tang - candid commentary and flavourful fancies

"It's healthy. It's cake. It's chocolate cake."

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I've been playing around with fresh sage lately and as a consequence had to dry a bunch of fresh whole leaves to avoid having to toss them. I've come to the conclusion that the whole dried leaves taste better than the fresh. My jar of dried, ground sage came in a distant third.

PJ


"Epater les bourgeois."

--Lester Bangs via Bruce Sterling

(Dori Bangs)

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I've been playing around with fresh sage lately...

Try pan frying them. Small skillet... about 2 tablespoons of oil... separate the leaves from the stem and drop the leaves in the skillet... swirl for about 10 seconds and turn leaves over... swirl another 10 seconds and remove leaves to a paper towel to drain... quickly sprinkle with the salt that floats your boat.

It tastes heavenly! :wub: It's crunchy and has an "almost" french fry note to it.

Goes great as a garnish on top of a protein if you're into composition dishes.


Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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I'd say that basil is the poster child for the difference between fresh and dried; both have their merits but they're entirely different; each has their own uses in a particular context. To say that dried is somehow invalid is absurd.

I'd add ginger to the list of vast differences between fresh and dried (though I haven't had dried ginger in ages.)

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Certain herbs seem to be 'better' in the dried form rather then fresh, although maybe that should be 'different' rather then 'better'. Oregano, thyme and mint (not all times in the case of mint) all seem to be prefered by some cultures in the dried form rather then fresh. Change in flavour maybe? Maybe they taste 'best' at a certain time of the year and the drying captures this?

N.B. Naturally dried only, I am tired of paying money for freeze dried herbs that taste of nothing but dried grass. :angry:

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Of all the herbs I grow in my garden, I really think I'd have to say that my bay is my favorite

I too love fresh bay leaves, the California variety which are so flavorful. They are not always easy to find on the East Coast. Where are you located? I would certainly plant a tree if I thought it would grow here.

We have to differentiate between herbs and spices, even if the botanical difference can be questionable. I never use dried leaves which I find either tasteless or unpleasant but it would be extraordinarily difficult to boycott dried berries


Ruth Friedman

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Of all the herbs I grow in my garden, I really think I'd have to say that my bay is my favorite

I too love fresh bay leaves, the California variety which are so flavorful. They are not always easy to find on the East Coast. Where are you located? I would certainly plant a tree if I thought it would grow here.

I am in Central Texas - but my bay is in a pot. I haul it in and out depending on the weather. It's done very well but I don't know how it'd do in the ground here. I live in a condo and only have a balcony to grow things on, so it'd be in a pot in any case. I just haven't investigated the ideal growing conditions.

I'd suggest you try that. Go to the nursery and talk to them about the ideal conditions, and if you don't have them - grow it as an inside/outside plant.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Let us not forget saffron and vanilla.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I am in Central Texas - but my bay is in a pot.

So I understand that bay is a tree. Is it more of a bush, or does it turn(untended) into a towering monster? We have more trees in our yard than I can count (no good at the countin'), and I doubt I've ever tasted fresh bay, so I think I'll give it a shot...in the pot. I won't need a four gallon pot, though, will I? :unsure:


Rice pie is nice.

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