Herbs and spices are essential to cooking. They can add flavor, depth, and aroma to any dish. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cook, using herbs and spices can be a fun and easy way to elevate your dishes.
In this guide, we'll look at how to use herbs and spices in your cooking, including tips for storing and preserving them, combining different herbs and spices, and which pair best with different types of food.
Tips for storing and preserving herbs and spices
Herbs and spices should be stored in airtight containers. They should be away from direct light and heat to ensure that they stay fresh. Glass jars with tight-fitting lids are a great option, as they're easy to clean and allow you to see the contents.
Spices should also be stored in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry or a cupboard. To extend their shelf life, keep them away from moisture, heat, and light.
How to combine different herbs and spices
Combining different herbs and spices can be a great way to create unique flavors and add depth to your dishes. When using multiple herbs and spices in a meal, it's essential to consider the balance of flavors and to use a combination that complements the main ingredients in the dish.
For example, a dish made with chicken and vegetables might be paired with rosemary, thyme, and garlic, while a dish made with fish might be paired with lemon zest, dill, and parsley.
Which herbs and spices pair best with different types of food
They can be used in various dishes. They pair well with different kinds of food.
Here are some common herbs and spices and the types of food they pair well with:
- Thyme is a versatile herb that pairs well with chicken, beef, vegetables, and potatoes.
- Rosemary has a strong, woody flavor that pairs well with lamb, beef, and vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes.
- Oregano has a slightly bitter, earthy flavor that pairs well with tomato-based sauces, vegetables, and Mediterranean dishes.
- Sage has a robust and savory flavor that pairs well with poultry, stuffing, and butter sauces.
- Bay leaves have a slightly bitter flavor that pairs well with soups, stews, and braises.
- Cinnamon has a warm, sweet flavor that pairs well with baked goods, oatmeal, and fruit-based dishes.
- Cumin has a slightly bitter, earthy flavor that pairs well with Mexican, Indian, and Middle Eastern dishes, such as chili, tacos, and curries.
- Ginger has a slightly sweet, spicy flavor that pairs well with Asian dishes, such as stir-fries, soups, and marinades.
By following these tips you can take your cooking to the next level and add new flavors to your meals. So, get creative, experiment with different herbs and spices, and start using them in your cooking today!