Nice to be back in the Copper Skillet!
Before we delve into the world of herbs, I would like to say a few words about the“care and cultivation" of your produce purveyor. Seems we expect them to perform miracles when actually they are earthlings just as we are. We must recognize that Salt Lake is not located in California and most produce comes here by truck. This takes time and ordering must be synchronized with the loading of these trucks. Oh sure, air delivery is always available, but the expense is sometimes prohibitive. Surely you as chefs have some notice of special events for which you require some unusual fruit or vegetable. Please be considerate and work with your purveyor, ask what days they must place their order, agree to take a case of what you want a few of if that is how the item comes. Specialty items are very expensive to throw away. With just a little cooperation, you as chefs and your produce purveyors can have a beautiful relationship. Remember my herbs always come by air, but it still take sfrom early morning to late at night.
And now a word or two about herbs. To quote Chef David Evertt from the May "Culinary Review" Herbs represent a healthy alternative to many unhealthy additives and preservatives. Although the nutritional content is low, herbs add a great deal of flavor to any dish, and fresh herbs are a fine replacement for dry. He also speaks of preserving fresh herbs in a high grade olive oil which will compliment the type of cooking you do.
Although olive oil will lend its own taste to herb oils, you can substitute peanut or vegetable oil for a milder taste.
Any oil can be ?avored with herbs—either a single herb such as basil, or a mixture of two, three, or more herbs. Remember to completely cover all herbs with oil. Garlic is nice to add, but should be removed in a week or two or it will over power the herb taste. After two or three weeks you should strain th eoil to remove the herbs, be sure to label the bottle of what was in it. Rule of thumb, one cup of herbs makes 1 quart of herb oil.
When serving your plate cooked with the oil of your choice remember to add a sprig or two of the fresh herbs as garnish. This will allow your customer to know what the ?avor is.
1 quart oil, your choice
6 black peppercorns
2 small stems of basil
3 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves
3 stems each of Thyme.
Oregano, Marjoram and