Let me preface this topic with the fact that there really is no substitute for fresh herbs in cooking. A thin sliced parsley in angel hair with garlic and red chili, fresh thyme tossed into your pan roasted mushrooms these things cannot be duplicated. However, dry herbs can be mixed and matched to create incredible shelf stable options for days when the herbs have passed away.
Drying herbs is easy, use the sun. This is not an article about drying herbs its about using what you have clipped and dried. I will say, my mother in law started using paint straining bags for drying and they look to be working great. The herbs don’t fly away in the wind and most animals and bug cannot get at them.
Poultry seasoning: Thyme, Sage, Rosemary, Parsley
is one of those things we all have in our cabinets and its been in there probably 10 years too long. Throw it out, not the container, and we can make some of our own. Use the container as your measuring cup. I like to use all four of these herbs in equal parts. Measure them in the container then pour them into a dry bowl to mix thoroughly and back into the.
Herbs De Provence: Savoy, Fennel Seed, Basil, Thyme, Lavender
One of the most versatile and refreshing herb mixes available are the herbs de Provence. I f I were put on trial and had to make a case for dried herbs. This would be exhibit A. Especially if you have recently dried herbs with great lavender. I would use there for everything from Roasting with potatoes to perfuming fish filets. I like to go heavier on the Basil, Thyme and Savoy. If you don’t have Savoy it’s no big deal.
Garlic Salt: Rosemary, Parsley
Once you get about halfway through your garlic salt you can then add dried herbs to create an incredible new seasoning. Using the same container dump out the remainder of your garlic salt and the same amount of rosemary and parsley, mix it up and back into the container. Awesome for basically anything on the grill burgers, chicken, fish even garden vegetables.
Flavored Salts and Sugars
One of the best ways to utilize dried herbs is by understanding that you can mix them with other dry things in a way that simply wouldn’t work with fresh because of the moisture. Flavored Salts and sugars can add great depth to the things you are cooking at home.
With your standard Kosher salt add things like thyme and chopped rosemary. Or even if you are making seafood that night a great seasoning is some sea salt with dried tarragon. Really the boundaries are non-existent and if you like the herb, mix it in some salt and use it to flavor most anything.
Another favorite is some delicious salmon seasoned with dill, garlic salt and roasted in the oven.
Why stop at savory combinations? You can make two incredible combos using sugar also. Lavender sugar is outstanding to dip fruit in or even just to add to things like cupcakes in place of regular sugar. Another great one is mint sugar. Over fresh berries or in your coffee both of these sugars are great extensions of you dried herbs
I worked at one of the busiest restaurants in Center City Philadelphia, Alma De Cuba. Each night after we had family meal one of waiters would stroll down the hot line with a pan a lighter and some rosemary. He would burn the rosemary and as it smoke his job was to walk it around the whole restaurant. This was said to ward off any evil spirits and bad vibes. Did it work? Who the hell knows but if you are into that kinda thing, its cool. It also smelled great.
Don’t underestimate your herbs!