Flashcards in CONCEPT 34: NOT ALL HERBS ARE FOR COOKING Deck (61):
What are herbs?
Plants or parts of plants used in cooking to add flavor rather than substance.
Two herb categories.
Hearty and delicate.
When should hearty herbs be added?
Leaves are sturdy and stems can be tough.
Stems are tender, even edible.
Which herbs are subject to wilting and discoloration?
Requires a significant amount of these herbs to have an impact on a dish.
Are hearty and delicate herbs ok to use dry?
Hearty herbs are fine because of their potency; delicate herbs lose much of their oomph.
The principle flavor compounds in herbs and spices can be divided into a few of these categories.
Hydrocarbons, aldehydes, ketones, and phenols.
True or False: The flavor of most herbs and spices is due to a combination of these classes of molecules: hydrocarbons, aldehydes, ketones, and phenols.
True, although a few of them owe their flavor to just one or two dominant compounds.
Is the heartiness of an herb or spice dependent on the volatility or stability of its flavor compounds?
Why don't dry herbs have the same potency as fresh?
The delicate herbs lose flavor compounds during cooking or drying.
Why is the flavor of dill lost when cooked or dried?
A number of its aroma compounds, such as the hydrocarbon phellandrene, are not stable under conditions of cooking or drying.
Why is oregano still strongly flavored after cooking or drying?
Its dominant flavor compounds are relatively nonvolatile, chemically stable phenols, such as carvacrol and thymol.
Does rosemary contain stable ketones?
Yes, cineole and camphor.
Do hearty herbs contain "hardy" flavor compounds?
Yes and delicate contain volatile ones.
Ways to release flavors of fresh herbs.
Chopping, bruising, muddling and heating.
Common criticism of dried herbs.
They taste stale and dusty while fresh tasted clean and bright.
When are dry herbs passable?
Recipes that involve fairly long cooking time (20 minutes plus) and a good amount of moisture.
Depending on the variety, fresh herbs leaves are what % of water?
80 to 90%
Is there a misconception that dried herbs are less potent than fresh?
With drying, what happens to volatile essential oils?
They are left closer to the surface. Because of this, ounce for ounce, dried herbs are more potent than fresh.
1 part dry herbs to ____ parts fresh gives flavors closest to equal strength.
What ratio should be used if the herb is ground like sage?
1 part dry: 4 parts fresh
Good way to release flavorful oils in dried herbs?
Place in a strainer and press down with fingertips.
Rosemary, Thyme - whole leaves per 1/2 ounce.
Rosemary, thyme - finely minced leaves per 1/2 ounce.
2 - 2 1/2 tbsp
Basil, cilantro, mint, dill, parsley, tarragon - whole leaves per 1/2 ounce.
Basil, cilantro, mint, dill, parsley, tarragon - finely minced leaves per 1/2 ounce.
Chives - whole leaves per 1/2 ounce.
No whole leaves.
Chives - finely minced per 1/2 ounce.
Marjoram, oregano, sage - whole leaves per 1/2 ounce.
Marjoram, oregano, sage - finely minced leaves per 1/2 ounce.
One way to brighten up pesto.
Add equal amounts of basil and pesto.
How do you toast fresh garlic?
Cook in sauté pan and leave it in the peel until spotty brown.
How can you extract more flavor from herbs when making pesto. Is a food processor enough?
Bruising the herbs is an important step for this pesto because it releases the basil's full range of herbal and anise flavor notes is a way the chopping action of the food processor can't accomplish.
How to bruise herbs.
Place in a ziplock bag and use meat pounder or rolling pin.
Why should you use EVOO in raw sauces like pesto and salsa verde?
You can really taste the oil used; this isn't the place to skimp.
Best way to store basil.
Wrapped in a damp paper towel, in an unsealed zipper-lock bag, in the refrigerator (preferred method for most leafy greens). This keeps it vibrant green for a week.
Why do you leave the zipper-lock bag open for basil?
To prevent build up of moisture - this turns basil black.
Should you rinse basil before storing?
No, don't rinse until using it; shelf life will be reduced by half.
Why does blanching basil make pesto bright and vibrant?
Cutting, bruising or processing releases enzymes within the basil leaf that promote rapid oxidation, darkening its color. Blanching for 20 to 30 seconds deactivates these enzymes.
Was pesto still bright green after being frozen for three weeks?
What do capers add?
Do anchovies add complexity?
Does garlic add bite?
Raw garlic does.
Is there a difference between flat leaf and curly parsley?
Yes, besides being the old-fashioned corsage propped up next to your steak, curly parsley is practically flavorless. Flat leaf, with its big green flavor, deserves the same fresh status as any fresh herb.
Why do restaurants often favor curly parsley?
They prefer it for chopping because of its upright carriage and drier nature make the going easier. It's also not as "tough."
What else is flat-leaf parsley called?
Does curly-leaf parsley always taste bland?
It really depends on the particular plant, its growing conditions, and age.
What type of bread can you add to the base of a salsa verde? Explain.
Toasted bread (moist will produce gummy sauces) buffers some of the strong flavor and and gives (when blended initially with lemon juice and oil) the sauce a smoother texture while keeping oils from separating into pools.
Quick way to toast bread for salsa verde is you don't have croutons.
Is lemon juice less potent than most vinegars?
Drawback of using crushed canned tomatoes for marinara sauce.
Crushed tomatoes are usually canned with tomato puree; same problem as plain puree.
Drawback of using tomato puree for marinara sauce.
Pureed tomatoes go into cans already cooked, which imparts a stale, flat flavor to the final sauce.
Drawback of using canned diced tomatoes for marinara sauce.
Manufacturers treat diced tomatoes with calcium chloride to keep them from turning to mush. That's fine many many dishes unless they call for smooth consistency; the tomatoes are too difficult to break down - texture is the issue, may taste oddly granular.
Why are canned whole tomatoes best for marinara sauce?
While they are still treat with calcium chloride, the chemical has direct contact with a much smaller % of the tomato.
How to clean whole tomatoes.
Dump them in a strainer, hand crush, remove the hard core and stray bit of skin.
Can you use tomato liquid to deglaze a pan?
What should you know about storing garlic in olive oil?
It shouldn't kept for more than a few days, even if it's with roasted garlic; it can harbor the fatally toxic botulism bacteria - roasting garlic does not kill all the spores.