Top Chef U – All About Herbs

Herbs

THenAll About Herbs

My Story

Herbs! The stuff that adds true flavor to any dish. Now this is what this diy home goddess has been waiting for! I want to know all about herbs. I want to know what herbs go with what types of food. How do you store herbs. I want to have fun! And this was the lesson to do it. Well, this and the next one, the one on spices. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The Lesson

I felt like Carla did a good job of going through the basics on this lesson. I learned a lot, and this diy home goddess is raring to go! She had the basic herbs all laid out on a cutting board. They looked so pretty! She says that you can use fresh or dried herbs, with fresh herbs adding more pop and depth of flavor, but dried herbs can last longer. Then she talked about tender herbs and robust herbs, breaking them down so you know the main, most common varieties of each. She gives you a quick description, and tells you what dishes are best for each common herb, and when to use them. So let’s go over them quickly here.

Tender Herbs

These you are supposed to put in as a finish touch at the end of the cooking cycle.

To store these, you place them in a damp paper towel, wrap in plastic, and place in the refrigerator.

She talked about:

  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Cevril (It’s a french herb, but she didn’t go into details!)
  • Tarragon
  • Dill (one of the most popular for fish, but didn’t mention anything about this rogue weed!)
  • Parsley

Robust Herbs

You are supposed to add these during the cooking process to release the flavor, so it can seep into the foods as they are cooking.

Store these in a jar filled with water (changing the water daily) and they will last about a week to maybe two in the fridge)

Here she was discussing:

  • Bay Leaves
  • Marjarom
  • Oregano
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme (Remind you of a song by Simon and Garfunkle, huh?)

The Big Finish

She tells you how to remove the part you are supposed to be seasoning with. The ones on the stem you run your fingers down the stem to remove.

Don’t forget to cut them up! Some of this was taught in an earlier lesson, the chiffonade cutting works on some of the bigger herbs, such as basil.

And the piece de resistance… Making your own Bouquet garni. Make a few of these, and people will think you are a gourmet. Throw bay leaves, thyme, parsley and black peppercorns into a piece of cheesecloth and close it up with a piece of twine. Toss it into your soup or sauce. The flavor of the herbs will penetrate the cheesecloth and get into the liquid. You just need to fish out the whole package when you are ready to serve. No mess required!

The Verdict

I really liked this lesson. I just wish she would have talked a little slower, so I wouldn’t have had to keep stopping the DVD to take notes.

Links

If you want to know more about herbs than just this review,

  • go to Pinterest for any number of charts
  • The Kitchen has an in-depth article here.
  • Here’s an article on the 10 best herbs for a diy home goddess to grow herself.
  • And of course here is one of my favorite resources.
  • And finally, yours truly has an article on herbs and possibly growing them here.

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