I love cooking with fresh herbs, and try to do so as much as I can. I use dried herbs too, especially when making heavier, heartier soups or sauces. But when making salads, light dressings or marinades, breads, or even a lot of meats, I use fresh herbs whenever possible. They just have a fresher flavor and using them really makes your dishes come to life. If using fresh herbs when cooking, you want to put them in towards the end of the cooking process, so they don’t wilt and lose their flavors, whereas if you are using dried herbs, you want to put them in early into the cooking process so the flavors can reawaken and blend into the the flavors of the dish you are making. However, when baking, you want to mix the herbs in with your dry ingredients and then incorporate them in when mixing everything together. I love cooking with all kinds of herbs and I am always up for experimenting with something new. I figure if I don’t like something, I’ve tried and and I don’t have to do it again. But if I do like it, then I have been treated to a new culinary experience, that I will repeat again and again. As I always say, don’t be afraid to try new things. Think outside the box. And yes, I give you permission to “play with your food”.
Herbed Popovers with fresh rosemary, oregano, marjoram, thyme and chives. I love these popovers and make them quite often, as you can tell, if you could see this old, worn and well used cook book. They are best when served hot, straight out of the oven, with or without additional butter.
You only want to fill the pan about 1/2 way. These light, airy popovers are supposed to pop up and rise. If you fill the pan too full, they will spill over and will not turn out.
1 cup milk
2 TBSP melted buter
3/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
about 1 tsp each of your choice of herbs. I used chives, thyme, rosemary, oregano and marjoram, but you can use whatever herbs you like. Mixing things up a bit will give you new flavor varieties.
Preheat the oven to 425* F
I used a muffin pan, but you can also use ramekins if you prefer. Spray the inside with cooking spray.
Mix the eggs, milk and melted butter together and set aside. Mix all your dry ingredients and herbs together, then add the egg mixture and mix thoroughly. Fill the pan only half full and bake for 25-30 minutes or until light and golden brown. DO NOT open the door to the oven while baking or your popovers may fall. These are real light and airy, with a lot of air pockets inside. If you like cheese, you can also use your choice of cheese as well, either with or without the herbs.
When cutting fresh herbs like basil or spinach or greens, roll a bunch of the bigger leafed herbs and greens tight, like rolling a cigar, starting with your larger leaves outside and small leaves inside. With your French knife (your big, main knife), slowly rock or slide your knife along the edges of the rolled herbs or greens. This is called a chiffonade. The result will be thin strips of your herbs or greens.