Sunday, March 18, 2007

Alice Arndt’s Seasoning Savvy

For this week’s herb blogging, I want just to excerpt some flavorful bits from the wonderful Alice Arndt’s Seasoning Savvy: How to Cook with Herbs, Spices and Flavorings. This exhaustively-researched book is densely packed information historical, botanical, and culinary for the most curious herb-enthusiasts.

On coconut:
Try coconut chips! In the
Caribbean, this easy-to make, satisfying snack food is a favorite with drinks. With a vegetable peeler or a food-processor, slice a piece of coconut meat, with or without the brown skin, into very thin strips, making them as long as possible. Bake the strips in a single layer [Oh, that sounds perfect for peysekh!]

On dill:
Dill is one of those generous plants that that supply us with both seed and leaf as seasonings, but when a recipe calls for just plain “dill,” you can be quite sure it means the leaves. The feathery leaves are also called “dillweed”—a libelous label for a refined flavor.

On rose water:
Rose water is intended to put a dish over the top in elegance and refined sensuality. Many Indian and Middle Eastern desserts are finished with a half teaspoon of rose water, and sugar syrup is frequently scented with this culinary perfume. Rose water is a popular flavor for lokum, the candy also called Turkish delight. The classic Persian combination od rose water and saffron is so luscious that it’s almost embarrassing.

On marigold:
Don’t stint with marigold petals in rice dishes: a quarter cup of chopped petals for each cup of rice is generally not excessive [I had no idea].

You will also want to have a look at Arndt’s magnum opus, Culinary Biographies.

Alice was herself so luscious that she was almost embarrassing, but she would somehow always put you at your ease.

3 Comments:

Blogger Kalyn said...

Very interesting! I'm not quite sure about the marigolds though, and I haven't developed much of a taste for rosewater, but maybe I've picked bad places to try it. I do agree that to call dill leaves a weed is a form of libel.

11:56 PM  
Blogger Helene said...

You made my day, because I learnt a lot. Thanks! :)

8:19 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Alice was my cousin and I miss her every day. I was looking up Seasoning Savvy's publishing info for a friend and ran across your blog, I'm glad to see her so appreciated here.

2:55 PM  

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