The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165215 Message #4010089
Posted By: Steve Shaw
23-Sep-19 - 04:35 PM
Thread Name: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
Dried thyme is harsh and aggressive. Fresh sprigs are the easiest things in the world to strip the leaves from twixt finger and thumb, and there's no harm if tiny bits of softer stalk stay in there. 30 seconds'-worth of snipping with scissors in a cup is all you need. Easy and fragrant, no trace of the flavour of a Mediterranean dusty hot old drought. Most of the time I just thrown in the sprigs anyway, leaving the job of pulling out the stalks at the end (count 'em in, count 'em out!). And it's so easy to grow.
I never want herbs to be the point of the thing. They should be adding subtle je ne sais quoi, not a massive herby hit. If you put something like dried basil in a dish, no matter how little, it will taste of dried basil. For the same reason I never use a garlic crusher. All that harshness going in all at once and bad breath tomorrow. I'll use three times as much and either smash it a bit with my fist or crack the cloves with the flat of a knife blade, then in it goes in big bits to release its fragrance gently. For a pasta sauce I just slice the cloves into thin slices with a sharp knife then sauté gently in extra virgin olive oil. It mustn't go brown. It does need a bit more busting up for a pesto, I'll admit, but still not minced. In m'humble (good expression, that, eh, Charmion!)