Seasoning with herbs and spices makes any dish more flavorful and aromatic. But don’t be fooled by the sweet scent of the spices as they cook. Make sure your spices are fresh. And remember not to overdo it. There are many condiments that, when used correctly, make food smell and taste delicious. You want to enhance the flavor of any dish you cook. The rule is enhance, don’t compromise. And here’s six top tips to get your seasoning perfect.
Tips for Perfect Seasoning
Tip #1 Don’t use more than three herbs or spices in any one dish.
There are some caveats. For example, some Indian recipes are an exception to this rule. Because they often call for 10 or more different ingredients in one curry dish.
Tip#2 Don’t put too much seasoning on a dish.
You can have too much of a good thing. Foods with too much salt, garlic or crushed peppers can be impossible to eat. A dash of seasoning makes a dish perfect…but too much kills the taste.
Tip #3 It’s okay to experiment.
You can be creative in the kitchen using spices and or herbs.Sometimes you get the right taste when you are innovative. Try changing the seasoning you would usually add to a dish. If the experiment achieves the desired result, good for you. If it doesn’t add to the taste experience, don’t try it again.
Tip #4 Store your spices properly.
The famous chef Emeril Lagasse once said that condiments are often kept far too long. His joke was that his friend had a jar of garlic passed down for generations.
Storage and handling are important to keep spices fresh. They need to be stored in a dark, cool, dry place. They lose flavor quickly if exposed to excessive light. When stored in airtight containers they retain flavors for up to a year. Store them away from any source of humidity. The freezer is a perfect place, the refrigerator is not an option.
Tip#5 Grow your own spices.
You can grow fresh herbs in your garden, or in window planters. You can have your own spice garden. You can start with small plants or the seeds. Mint, Dill, Oregano, Parsley, Thyme, and Basil are just a few easy-to-grow herbs.
If you grow your own, you can harvest to-use. So, when you need them you can pick your herbs. And it’s best to pick them in the morning. Then dry them out on racks or hang them upside down by their stems. Once they are dried out, scrape off the leaves from the plant.
Crushing the herbs right before you add them will increase the aroma and the flavor. When you use fresh ingredients, always add towards the end of cooking. This assures the flavors are as fresh as the herbs. Now spice it up!
Tip#6 Avoid cooking your herbs and spices too long.
Overcooking most spices and herbs may result in the flavor becoming too strong. When you cook soups and stews, it’s best to add them thirty minutes to an hour prior to serving.