Tag Archives: herb

Substitute spices and herbs

cilantro

cilantro

Is it OK to substitute Parsley for Cilantro? Or put another way, do we need to follow a recipe exactly as written? A good chef or wine steward will taste and adjust as they finish their creation.

parsley

parsley

They know that spices and herbs vary in their intensity and flavor because of different growing conditions, storage method and age. And, while  cooking, flavors can overpower others so recipes invariably need to be adjusted to pass your taste test.

I know that’s an answer you did not want to hear. Busy cooks want to set it and forget so let me give you an example to clarify this idea. I watched Paul, one of our FMP instructors, create cranberry sauce last week for the community meal and he kept adding orange zest to the simmering cranberries . He would add more, taste, add more, taste…you get the idea? If asked “How much orange zest is needed?” his answer would be,”About that much.”

So the answer to the parsley/cilantro question depends on the taste you are trying to achieve. Keep that in mind, as you reach for the generally accepted substitutes listed below. Continue reading

Top 25 Spices and Herbs

 

picture of thyme

Thyme, a herb with a unique flavor, can be grown in pot on your porch.

Our Top 25 Herbs and Spices for Recipes.

Taken from our soon-to-be-published book      “$10 Meals for a Family of Six.”

Herbs are the fleshy part of the plant while spices usually come from the seeds, root, stem or bark. But do we really care? We just want to add flavor to our creations.

This list was put together by examining recipes from classic chefs, herb and spice books, plus internet searches. These are the ones most often mentioned. Of course I have included many of my favorites. Don R Continue reading