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					Using Herbs in Your Cooking

<p>A simple meat or fish dish can be transformed with addition of a few
carefully selected herbs. Herbs are the simplest way to add taste and
create flavor without spiciness. In particular, herbs can be used to
liven up vegetable dishes, and we all know we should really be eating
more of those to get our "5 portions a day"!</p><p>Here are some ideas
for incorporating new flavors into your cooking using
herbs:</p><p><b>Basil</b></p><p>Generally thought of as an Italian
flavoring, and indeed basil is ideal for sprinkling on pizzas or using to
garnish pasta dishes. Combines well with the flavor of tomatoes, but is
also good with aubergines. Works well in egg dishes, flans, macaroni
cheese, savory rice dishes and salads.</p><p><b>Bay Leaves</b></p><p>Bay
leaves give a mild, almost almond flavor to white and cheese sauces by
infusing the leaves in warm milk. Can also be added to casseroles and
stews, but remember to remove the bay leaves before
serving!</p><p><b>Chervil</b></p><p>This herb has a mild aniseed flavor.
Can be used in egg dishes, bread roll recipes or with potatoes. Also good
in cucumber soup and with salads.</p><p><b>Chives</b></p><p>Chives have a
very mild onion flavor. Most commonly, they are mixed with yoghurt ,
cream cheese or sour cream and used for a dip or a topping for baked
potatoes. Good on salads, and work well to bring out the flavor of egg
dishes.</p><p><b>Dill</b></p><p>Dill has a mild flavor similar to that of
caraway seeds. It is generally used with fish dishes, such as smoked
salmon or prawns. Also good with potato soup and potato salad, with
cabbage and in egg dishes.</p><p><b>Fines Herbs</b></p><p>A ready mixed
classic French herb combination, good in egg and vegetable
dishes.</p><p><b>Marjoram</b></p><p>This is a sweet herb with a mild
flavor. Good with cheese and egg dishes. Very popular in Italian cooking,
and used in a lot of Mediterranean cuisine.</p><p><b>Mint</b></p><p>Adds
flavor to new potatoes. Can be added to the water when cooking peas and
courgettes to impart a subtle minty flavor. Good in salad dressings. And
it is great with lamb.</p><p><b>Oregano</b></p><p>Another herb with an
Italian influence, generally used in pizza toppings. Also good with
tomato dishes and sauces, courgettes and
aubergines.</p><p><b>Parsley</b></p><p>Good all purpose herb that
combines well with most vegetable dishes. Also good in stews and meat
dishes, home made burgers... in fact just about anything! Has a mild
flavor, so can be used in more generous
quantities.</p><p><b>Rosemary</b></p><p>A herb with a slightly stronger
flavor. Works well with lamb dishes, with vegetables and can be combined
with sea salt for sprinkling on roast
potatoes.</p><p><b>Sage</b></p><p>Has many other uses, apart from the
well-known classic, sage and onion stuffing! Can also be used for cheese
dishes, and works well with dishes containing onion, but use sparingly as
it has a strong flavor.</p><p><b>Tarragon</b></p><p>Has a slightly
peppery flavor, making it good for egg dishes and with most
vegetables.</p><p><b>Thyme</b></p><p>Has a pungent aroma and a stronger
flavor. Works well with most vegetable dishes, but especially with
celery, leeks, beans, courgettes and tomatoes.</p><p>Try incorporating a
few herbs into your favorite dishes. If slow cooker or using a crock pot
it is best to add the herbs in the last half hour to prevent them from
loosing flavor.</p><p>More flavor to your cooking for very little extra
effort!</p><p>Lisa "The Crock Cook" is an avid home cook who loves to
share her favorite recipes with the rest of us. Find all her <a
target="_new" href="">crock pot recipes</a> at
<a target="_new" href="">http://www.A-Crock-</a></p><p>And be sure to try her slow cooker lamb shanks

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