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Old 01-25-2007, 12:20 AM   #11
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tsim, there are traditionally many spice/food combinations.

Sage with salmon is not one of them.

One can successfully pair spices and foods that one generally do not seem to go together, as Allen mentioned age with salmon. But one must tread very carefully when one does so.

In those recipes the devil is in the details, how the spice is used, and what else it is paired with.

The simplest way to know how herbs taste is to try them.

When thinking of a recipe, will sometimes just put a bit of a dried herb on my finger and try it. And try to imagine how it would work in the dish. Will taste marjoram fairly often, I have very great difficulty with that herb.

People have been cooking for a long time and there are reasons why they put sage in poultry dishes and pair rosemary with lamb.

To vary from the accepted can at times be done quite successfully, but requires experience, thought, and a willingness to toss a bad dish.

Try your dried herbs just as they are. It is a wonderful education.

And try to think how each would taste with a food you like.

Would at the start stick with the generally accepted, or at least not season a large amount of food with a spice you re not familiar with.

Just my approach. Take care.
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Old 01-25-2007, 04:47 AM   #12
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Yea they are right about the extracts. Vanilla is a perfect example because it tastes nothing like vanilla.

Also I have heard of people putting cocoa powder into chili. I've even heard of chocolate put in. The flavors work well though because they are flavorful but have a dull texture that doesn't compromise the chilis
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Old 01-25-2007, 05:56 AM   #13
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I've got some sage, oregano, savory, dill weed and ginger. I've also got some garlic powder and italian seasoning.
Try the sage with a pork chop, or some roast pork. Make a cream sauce, add sage and a little garlic, and use it for chicken. A little goes a long way, so don't go mad!

Oregano is great in tomato sauce for pasta, along with the garlic. Try it sprinkled on fried aubergines (eggplants) with lashings of olive oil.

Savory - I can't help there, as I've never used it - it's not available over here.

Dill is excellent with fish - poached in white wine, perhaps, with a sprinkling of dill in the sauce.Make a potato salad with mayonnaise and add some dill to it. Or make a cucumber & yoghurt salad and add dill.

Ginger is good in sweets, but also very popular in Asia - with fish, chicken, meat, veg - make a stir-fry and add a tsp of ginger to it. A Carrot and potato curry with ginger...mmmm.

Garlic powder is not one of my favourites as I use fresh garlic all the time. However, garlic can be used with almost anything, so feel free to go ahead and experiment. Same with the Italian Seasoning - it's probably got oregano, basil and bay leaf in it -sprinkle some on your favourite meal!
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Old 01-25-2007, 09:39 AM   #14
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I'm of the opinion that everyone's tastes differ, & you should never ever not try a combination simply because there's some written or unwritten rule that they don't "go together".

One of my favorite ways to fix whole butterflied trout is to stuff each with a large handful of fresh sage before pan-frying in extra-virgin olive oil (based on a Martha Stewart recipe). Simply delicious. I don't think using it with salmon would be all that different, so long as one remembers that sage, as well as rosemary & tarragon, & whether dried or fresh, is considered one of the "strong" herbs, & should be used with discretion until one decides how much of it one likes.
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Old 01-25-2007, 11:41 AM   #15
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I love the combination of lemon and dill on fish especially trout, but I prefer a cajun spice rub on salmon, saute quickly, then in the oven in a cast iron pan for about 8 minutes on 400. Succulent and very, very good. I agree with Allen about the cocoa powder in beef chili. I've been doing that for years and everyone raves about my chili but no one knows what makes it just a bit better than most. I never tell anyone because they would freak. Who would think that chocolate and beef chili would be a great combination? The Mexicans, that's who.
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Old 01-25-2007, 11:56 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Robo410
Thyme goes with red meats, veggies...French. Marjoram is great with salads /dressings, soups, pot roast. etc

Read up on the various herbs in a book like Joy of Cooking or on line at McCormack or some other source. Read the lables. experiment.
An example of differing ideas on this topic: I learned to use thyme and marjoram with poultry rather than beef. My favorite way to roast a chicken or game hen is with a basting mixture of butter, thyme, marjoram and rosemary. Last night I pan fried skinless chicken breasts that I had rubbed with crushed dried rosemary and thyme leaves, and paprika for color. Just fried them in about a teaspoon of EVOO in a nonstick skillet. My wife and I are both dieting, and I have been doing everything imaginable to try and make 6 ounces of chicken breast different enough to eat several times a week while staying within the parameters of the plan.

Salmon is good when baked with just a dusting of dried dill weed. We have also been eating a lot of tilapia, which is excellent with a good lemon pepper (we use Mrs. Dash because it's salt free), and it also works well with most any garlic mixture.
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Old 01-25-2007, 12:26 PM   #17
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WHOA! Ok, so I've got a lot of experimenting to do! Haha! I'll definitely be coming back to this thread a lot in the future just to try some of these ideas! definitely looking forward to it! So many good ideas, lots of great help!

Everyone's been mentioning experiments, and it reminded me that during the fall I did do a small experiment with spaghetti. I'm sure a lot of you have already heard of this, but I threw a little brown-sugar/cinnamon mix in with the meat as it was browning after I had drained it a bit. I cheated on the sauce and just used a Ragu romano and garlic or something, but it came out tasting really good.
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:07 AM   #18
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Experimenting is the very best thing you can do in the kitchen, tsim. Creative cooking!
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Old 01-28-2007, 04:32 AM   #19
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I love them

I am a herb man myself. I usually go with Oregano and Parsley. Those are the main ones I go with. I find those go well with everything. Oregano is very strong so I would make sure you don't put too much on whatever you are preparing.
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:42 AM   #20
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Alright. I got two new herbs tonight (or this morning, however you want to look at it!). Thyme and mint flakes. Any suggestions on what herbs or spices I should go for next?
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