"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-29-2021, 09:10 AM   #1
Cook
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Appleton
Posts: 71
Do use spices by smell?

I noticed that I like the smell of basil but am leary of using it if it isn't called for in a recipe. What do you do?

georgevan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2021, 09:14 AM   #2
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 48,301
Experiment.
__________________
"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 09-29-2021, 09:17 AM   #3
Cook
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Appleton
Posts: 71
that is risky since it can ruin a dish
georgevan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2021, 09:27 AM   #4
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 48,301
I suppose that's possible. However, adding a different herb or spice probably won't ruin a dish but will change the flavor. Isn't that what you want to try? We can't tell you how basil will effect recipes. The answer will be different for each recipe.
__________________
"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 09-29-2021, 10:38 AM   #5
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 26,554
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
I often decide on what herbs to add to something by smell. Have you tried basil in other things? Is it fresh or dried basil?
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2021, 11:37 AM   #6
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Caracas
Posts: 893
Well that´s an unusual question!
Obviously it depends on what you´re cooking. I wouldn´t want to put basil in baked beans, for example, but it´s a pretty versatile herb with many vegetables. Some herbs smell very strong, others are more subtle, so that should give you an idea of how much to use.
As for spices, again,some are more invasive than others. Overdo the cloves in a pickle, for example, and it will taste like a visit to the dentist. I always think of franchises which make cinnamon rolls - mostly horrible because the rolls only taste of cinnamon. And there are spices which smell pretty wierd - asafoetida (hing), for example, but when cooked, adds a huge layer of flavour.
My advice is to use the internet: every time you cook something, just look up some combinations. "Chicken and thyme", "Pork and sage", "Beef and rosemary", that kind of thing. Gradually you will build up a flavour profile in your mind.
karadekoolaid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2021, 11:57 AM   #7
Executive Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 4,334
Different cuisines will usually have their own flavor profiles ( including herbs , spices ...)
Doesn't mean every herb and spice is included in every dish of that cuisine.
For example. I've made tomato sauces that were as simple as Tomatoes and onions, to ons that included Tomatoes , onions, garlic, oregano, basil, parsley .... and everything in between. It's not only by my personal taste but recipes I've seen published.

After cooking for awhile and experimenting ( with successes and failures) combining the with personal taste, you'll decide what works and doesn't work.

Then there are fusion dishes which kinda intermingle different cuisines. I have found some of them to be good and others I wonder what the person who wrote the recipe was thinking.

I say go for it. Worst case scenario is you will have learned something the hard way and will be taking in that night. Its happened to the best of us.
larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2021, 12:29 PM   #8
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 26,012
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgevan View Post
I noticed that I like the smell of basil but am leary of using it if it isn't called for in a recipe. What do you do?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Experiment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgevan View Post
that is risky since it can ruin a dish
Depending on what you're making, you can add a little of an herb or spice and see what you think about it. For example, if you're making soup or stew, ladle some into a bowl, add some basil and taste it.

Otherwise, it takes time and experimenting to figure out what and how much of different ingredients to add. I also like to read and watch videos about different cuisines that use common ingredients differently from the way I'm used to and incorporate them into my cooking. For example, Greek tomato sauces often include cinnamon and Turkish kebabs (which include meatballs and other mixtures of meat, vegetables and seasonings) often include fresh herbs like dill, mint and parsley. Hope this helps.
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2021, 01:11 PM   #9
Executive Chef
 
pepperhead212's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Woodbury, NJ
Posts: 2,832
I agree with the suggestions to experiment. However, if I'm trying something totally different from things I've done before, I usually follow it up to the point where I'm tasting it, to adjust the seasonings at the end, if necessary - some need absolutely nothing, while others definitely need something.

As GG suggested, something you could do, to test the basil in the dish, since it is usually added at the end, is take a small serving of the dish, and put some basil in it, and taste, comparing it to the dish without, cleaning the flavors out in between bites with some wine! If the basil improved it, add it to the rest of the dish; if not, now you know.

I use a lot of unusual herbs and spices in dishes from cuisines that don't know the spices. And the only way to find out that they work, is experiment! A lot more of these "fusion" dishes are showing up these days, due to the availability of all these ingredients everywhere.
__________________
Dave
pepperhead212 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
spices

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




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.