Cooking with Herbs Can Add Zest to Our Family Mealsby Larry Cox on Apr. 09, 2013, under Uncategorized
Cooking with Herbs: 50 Simple Recipes for Fresh Flavor by Lynn Alley (Andrews McMeel, $16.99)
This delightful little collection of recipes is certain to inspire many readers to start an herb garden. Few ingredients can add as much zest to a recipe than the inclusion of fresh herbs. Lynn Alley, who has taught cooking in both the United States and France, is the author of five previous cookbooks.
This cookbook is divided into five main sections: The Herb Garden; Soups and Salads; Main Dishes; Breads and Spreads; and Small Indulgences. As Alley points out, the term herb is used to identify the green parts (leaves) of aromatic plants. Spice on the other hand comes from the woody parts and seeds.
Because the oils are so volatile that give herbs its flavor and aroma, they don’t store well so fresh is best and that is why an herb garden is such a good idea for the home cook. Since many of us have limited space, container herb gardening will meet most of our needs.
I tested two recipes from “Cooking with Herbs,” a tasty Irish Potatoes with Cheddaqr, Chives, Parsley, and Sour Cream. It was fairly easy to prepare and a new take on a traditional dish. My second pick was a Greek-Style Rice Salad with Dill Dressing, also successful. As my personal herb garden continues to grow and flourish, I will try other recipes in this highly recommended book.
IRISH POTATOES WITH CHEDDAR, CHIVES, PARSLEY, AND SOUR CREAM
Yields two generous servings
2 Tbs oil
2 large organic russet potatoes, grated
1 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ c finely chopped fresh chives
½ c finely chopped yellow onion
¼ c sour cream
¼ c Irish Cheddar cheese, grated
2 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
Place the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and allow the skillet to heat thoroughly, 3 to 4 minutes. It is important not to get the skillet too hot, as the potatoes on the bottom will cook before the insides are done.
Squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the grated potatoes, then place them in a large bowl and toss them with salt and pepper. Add the chives and onion and toss to mix.
Place the potatoes in the skillet and press them with a spatula into an even layer. Cook for about 10 minutes, rotating the skillet a couple of times to avoid hot spots, until the bottom of the rosti is golden brown.
Loosen the rosti on the sides and bottom of the pan with a spatula, slide the rosti out onto a plate, then slide the rosti back into the pan, browned side up. Cook for another 10 minutes, until the underside is also browned.
Gently run a spatula around the sides of and underneath the rosti and slide it onto your serving plate. Top with sour cream, Cheddar, and parsley. Serve immediately.