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Cooking With Herbs-Greek Cooking

Posted by the Greek

Cooking with herbs is not a mystifying art. If you cook, you already are using herbs in many of your recipes. Cooking with herbs is rewarding and enjoyable. Often herbs will add a different taste to a dish other times they will complete a dish. Cooking with herbs is such a wonderful bonus to having a gorgeous landscaping plant.

Cooking with herbs is the basis of Greek cooking. Most of the herbs that we use in cooking today originated in the Mediterranean region. Cooking with herbs is such a wonderful bonus to having a gorgeous landscaping plant. Cooking with herbs is fun, healthful, and greatly reduces the need for salt. Savour the aromas and flavours of your food. Fresh ones have better texture and appearance, but dried ones are generally more convenient and produce stronger flavour. A tablespoon of dried herbs produces roughly the same amount of flavour as a handful of fresh herbs. Fresh flowers are harder to come by than herbs, however, so we generally call for dried flowers in our recipes unless otherwise stated. For suppliers of dried flowers and herbs, visit a local health food store.

Add chopped basil to potato and rice dishes and to soups and casseroles just before serving. The big leaves of Salad Leaf basil are great to roll up around shrimps or slivers of ham or cheese for appetizers. Add 1 teaspoon salt; cook until all water has been absorbed and couscous is al dente, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool completely. Add a cup pine nuts and add four cups of tightly packed fresh basil leaves. Pour 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil and 1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Added to chutney in combination with olive oil, it can’t be beat. Add the more delicate herbs such as basil, chives, cilantro, dill leaves, parsley, marjoram and mint a minute or two before the end of cooking or sprinkle them on the food before it’s served. The less delicate herbs, such as dill seeds, oregano, rosemary, tarragon and thyme, can be added about the last 20 minutes of cooking.

Greek cooking is not only souvlaki and moussaka found in every taverna, but also regional specialities to be discovered by the more intrepid tourist. During your vacation in Greece, stay in a place where you can sample some excellent traditional Greek food. Greek cooking is an ancient cuisine with many culinary traditions. Different elements and dimensions are added to adapt, elevate and create something special in today’s busy kitchens. Greek cooking is not spicy, and I don’t think the Greeks have the palate for it. I like black pepper a lot but at some places the ground pepper was so old it had formed a giant clump inside the shaker.

Greek cooking is one of my favorites. Lots of fresh ingredients, olive oil and a hint of the East. Greek cooking is about more than just Greek food. In order to understand where the food comes from and how it is prepared, you need to understand the culture, the people, and the setting. Greek cooking is apparently based on fresh local ingredients. That’s why there’s so much seafood and olive oil. Greek cooking is basically modest in nature, and nowhere on the menu will you find it better exhibited than with superb roast chicken ($11). This hauntingly irresistible half chicken is seasoned with the house blend - lemon, oregano and olive oil - roasted until the crisp skin tingles with spices and the meat just beneath its crusty surface is moist and bursting with flavor. Greek cooking is also famous for its olives and feta (goat) cheese. Spiced meats, fish and poultry are simply prepared grilled or turned on a spit in a healthy, low fat and tasty way. Rice or lemon roasted potatoes are a frequent accompaniment. Spices were not only extensively used in the preparation of food but they were also passed around on a ’spice platter’ very common in Greek Cuisine.

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