Cooking with herbs and spices is what gives food flavor and makes it
taste great. Have you ever tasted something that really didn't taste
good? Chances are it lacked seasoning, it had a mix of spices that
didn't go well or it had too much seasoning. This online cooking
lesson will have you cooking a vegetable soup to experiment with
seasonings and try several different methods of adding flavor to
food including dry rubs, marinades and more.
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Cooking with Herbs and Spices
Spices, whether it is simply salt and pepper,
add flavor to your cooking that finishes off the dish. You can use
dry spices that are bottled or fresh herbs. Use 3 times more fresh
herbs if you are substituting fresh for dried.
How to successfully use spices in cooking is
acquired mostly by cooking, experimenting and often times
following the recipe.
I like to use this recipe for teaching about how important adding
spices to cooking is. It is a lot like the story of Stone Soup, you
add whatever vegetables or meat you have on hand.
Wash, peel and cut all vegetables in small cubes or pieces. Add to a
large soup pan. Cover with water. Imagine how the soup would
taste without seasonings if we left it just like this! Go ahead and
taste your soup. Now add the follow seasonings and spices to your
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon oregano
2 bay leaves
2 -3 cubes beef bouillon
Allow to cook 20-30 minutes. Taste the vegetable soup again and see
if you'd can tell if it needs any more flavor. You can add a little
more if you think it needs it. Cook until all vegetables are tender.
Tasting soup or other "safe dishes" while cooking is key. It helps
you know what your soup might need. As you continue to cook, you'll
learn quickly if it needs more salt, pepper, parsley or other
~Some dishes you can't taste, such as anything with raw meat. ~
Seasoning Ground Meat
When cooking meat, season while browning with chopped onions, salt
and pepper. This add lots of flavor while it is cooking.
If I'm adding ground meat to spaghetti sauce or an Italian type
dish, I add 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning while it is browning.
If adding to chili, I'll add chili powder or taco seasoning while I
brown ground hamburger or ground chicken.
There are several ways to season or add flavor to food.
Cooking with Herbs and Spices
When cooking remember to start with a little seasoning and add as
needed. You can always add more if needed but too much you can't
soups, marinades, sauces, pot
tomato dishes, tomato sauces,
pesto, salads, soups, pasta
variety of dishes
chili, anything you want
salad, egg dishes, potatoes,
chili, soups, Mexican and
Indian food, beans
Indian food-soups, meats
potato, soups, cream sauce
Asian cooking, stir fry,
baking, dairy, sauces, soups
Italian dishes, soups,
sauces, salads, dressings
egg dishes, chicken
salad dressings, salads,
soups, sauces, Italian dishes
Some good recipes to taste test spices. Taste the difference before
and after adding spices.
Taco soup-The flavor of
your soup will be pretty bland until you add your Taco seasoning
which is where all the flavor comes in.
Spaghetti Sauce- Italian
seasoning, Oregano, parsley, and Basil all add flavor to the sauce.
Without them your sauce will just taste like tomatoes with no
Homemade Chicken Soup-Adding
a Bay leaf when you boil your chicken not only flavors the chicken
meat it will give a wonderful aroma to your kitchen.
Chicken Wontons-Ginger and garlic
Shred chicken and add 1 Tablespoon soy sauce. Taste test. Now
sprinkle 1 teaspoon ginger and 1 clove of garlic. You can add a bit
more ginger or garlic if you would like. This is where the
experimenting comes in adding and tasting until it turns out how
your taste buds like it. Open the wonton wrappers and dip your
fingers in water. Brush sides of wrapper with wet fingers. Add a
teaspoon of chicken mixture in the middle and fold in half.
Deep fry or cook in hot chicken broth.
This method to cooking with herbs and spices is great for chicken
and beef. A marinade is a mix of liquid ingredients. It is best
poured into a Ziploc bag or glass container with a lid. Add meat and
marinade in the fridge at least 1 hour-4 hours.
Prepare chicken marinade and place in the fridge in the morning.
Then mix together your peanut sauce and store in fridge as well.
6-8 drumsticks-but you can use chicken breasts or chicken thighs
1/4 Cup orange juice
1/4 Cup soy sauce
3 Tablespoons honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon ginger
In large measuring cup, add orange juice, soy sauce, honey, garlic
and ginger. Blend together and pour into large Ziploc baggie. Add
drumsticks and marinade several hours in the fridge.
1/2 Cup chicken broth
1/2 Cup orange juice
1/4 Cup peanut butter
Mix three ingredients together and store in a bowl in the fridge
until ready to use.
At dinner-time take out chicken drumsticks and place in a casserole
safe dish. Cook for 15 minutes. Pour peanut sauce over the top and
continue to bake 15-20 minutes or until chicken is tender and no
Cooking with Condiments
You can even go beyond cooking with herbs and spices and use
condiments such as BBQ sauce, chili sauce, spaghetti sauce, Italian
dressing and many common other ingredients found in your fridge that
we often use as dips can also be used to cook your meals. Place meat
in baking dish and pour condiment over top. Bake.
Or try these recipes:
Eggs in Spaghetti Sauce
Simmer spaghetti sauce in bottom of a skillet several minutes. Crack
an egg for each person of the family into the sauce. Season with
salt and pepper and allow to cook several minutes until eggs are
cooked through. Serve with garlic toast.
Applesauce Pork Chops
This applesauce pork chops in the crock pot, makes moist pork chops
that will taste great as a main dish.
2 Cups applesauce
1/3 Cup sugar
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon ginger
6 pork loin chops
2 Tablespoons butter
Combine applesauce, sugar, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in a large
measuring cup or bowl. Mix well. Pour into greased baking dish.
Brown pork chops in butter and place in crock pot.
Pour applesauce mixture over top. Place in your crock pot
and cook on low for 6 hours or bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes
1 lb. chicken breasts, cut in strips
1/2 cup Italian dressing
1 1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon lime juice
Add ingredients together in a Ziploc baggie. Marinate for 1 hour.
Bake or grill. Add to lunch box in the morning.
Share your cooking with herbs and spices recipes and tips.