"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Menu Planning > Today's Menu
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-20-2015, 07:57 PM   #1
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Posts: 160
Expensive ingredients vs. cooking skill

Personally, I pride myself on being able to turn an inexpensive cut of meat into something delicious and to substitute the dry spices I always have on hand for all the "fresh this" and "fresh that" items in most recipes today. Herbs can be very expensive. Are they always (or even usually) worth it? I think not.

__________________

__________________
Stock Pot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2015, 08:25 PM   #2
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,362
Some more than others. Some have a different favors-dry vs. fresh.

I suggest you cook using both versions of the same herb to determine if the fresh is important to you. You may find that, for example, fresh basil is worth the price but that fresh oregano is not.
__________________

__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2015, 08:45 PM   #3
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Posts: 160
somethings

I would say fresh basil, definitely. Rosemary not so much. Oregano, I can't tell the difference. Parsley, it hardly matters. Sage, possibly but is it worth the price? Tarragon- I go with dried. Garlic, it depends. In things like a long cooked stew then, no. It's just that every recipe these days calls for all fresh ingredients like money is no object and we will all always have year round access to fresh ingredients and the finest of meats, etc.
__________________
Stock Pot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2015, 08:54 PM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Dawgluver's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 24,098
Expensive ingredients vs. cooking skill

Dried herbs seem to work fine for me. I do prefer fresh cilantro, basil and parsley, the dried versions don't have much flavor IMHO.
__________________
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
Dawgluver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2015, 09:05 PM   #5
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 16,856
I feel like discovering fresh herbs years ago transformed my cooking as much as getting good-quality cookware did. It's tremendously important to me.

That said, soft herbs like basil, cilantro and parsley are best fresh; dried parsley isn't worth using at all, imo. Woody herbs like rosemary, thyme, bay, oregano and sage are good dry. Mint can be good either way, depending on how it's being used. The rule of thumb for substitution is 1/3 dry to 1 fresh.

I don't know if this is possible for you, but I grow most of the herbs I use. In the fall, I dry the woody herbs and refill my dried herb jars. Cilantro doesn't do great in my climate, but all the rest listed above do. (I don't like tarragon, but I've grown it; it does well here, too.)
__________________
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2015, 09:12 PM   #6
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 16,856
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stock Pot View Post
It's just that every recipe these days calls for all fresh ingredients like money is no object and we will all always have year round access to fresh ingredients and the finest of meats, etc.
They do that because their recipes will turn out best that way, not because they think their audiences can afford it I pick and choose which parts of a recipe I'll follow closely and which I'll play with, depending on many factors, including cost, our taste, etc. No problem.
__________________
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2015, 09:15 PM   #7
Wine Guy
 
Steve Kroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 5,408
Basil, cilantro, mint, and chives I prefer fresh. I grow them during the summer months, so cost isn't really an issue. Fresh garlic tastes far better than any powdered stuff. Then again, I prefer the powdered stuff when making chili.

And I agree with Andy about dried oregano being superior to fresh, which has kind of a bitter, resinous flavor, in my opinion.
__________________
Steve Kroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2015, 09:26 PM   #8
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Dawgluver's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 24,098
Forgot about chives, also best fresh. I grow most of my own herbs too. We have cheap fresh cilantro available year round in the grocery stores, though the other fresh herbs are ridiculously expensive there.
__________________
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
Dawgluver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2015, 09:42 PM   #9
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 16,856
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
Forgot about chives, also best fresh. I grow most of my own herbs too. We have cheap fresh cilantro available year round in the grocery stores, though the other fresh herbs are ridiculously expensive there.
Yes, chives! Dried chives are like paper.
__________________
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2015, 10:03 PM   #10
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Dawgluver's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 24,098
Expensive ingredients vs. cooking skill

Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Yes, chives! Dried chives are like paper.
I actually dug up and potted some to bring inside, along with some thyme. They look kind of scraggly, but I've made good use of them, and it's nice to have fresh!
__________________

__________________
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
Dawgluver is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cook, cooking

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:02 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.