Recipes @ Cooking with Fresh Herbs

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cooking with Fresh Herbs

Right now, we are the height of the summer cooking season. There's just enough time before the children head off back to school to do some more experimenting in the kitchen. One great way to add flavor and interest to your meals is with the addition of fresh herbs. Herbs are easy to grow in a small garden, in a container or even right on your kitchen windowsill. While there are a variety of herbs you can grow, three of my favorite include flat-leaf parsley, basil and thyme. With these three herbs, you can certainly create interesting flavor combinations. Here are two recipes for using fresh herbs. One is for a roasted corn with flavorful oregano and thyme butter, and the other is for a basil glaze for a baked ham, submitted by David Thorne of Lansing, Michigan.

Roasted Corn with Oregano-Thyme Butter

Sprigs of fresh herbs tucked inside the husk add a fantastic flavor to the corn.

Serves 4

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves, plus 8 sprigs
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves, plus 8 sprigs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ears corn
  1. Heat a charcoal until the coals are medium-hot (if using a gas grill, heat the grill to a medium-low heat). Place the butter in a small mixing bowl and combine with the oregano leaves, thyme leaves, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Transfer the herb butter to a small dish and set aside.
  2. Trim the stems and discard the tough outer husks from the cobs of corn. Peel back the remaining husks, being careful not to completely detach them from the corn. Discard the corn silk.
  3. Use a pastry brush to evenly spread the herb butter over the kernels and season the corn kernels with the remaining salt and pepper. Place 2 sprigs of oregano and 2 sprigs of thyme on each ear of corn and pull the husks back up to enclose the corn and herbs. Wrap kitchen string around the tip of the ear and tie.
  4. Place the corn on the grill racks, and roast, turning once, until the corn is fragrant and tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the string. Pull back the husks and tie them in a knot, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
Basil Glaze for Baked Ham
Makes About 1 1/2 Cups

  • 1/2 cup bottled hot salsa
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup dried basil
  • 6 ounces ginger ale
In the jar of a blender, combine the salsa, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, dried basil and ginger ale. Blend until the mixture forms a smooth paste. If the mixture is too thin, add additional dried basil. To use, brush the basil glaze over a baked ham in two applications: once approximately 30 minutes before serving and the second time, 5 minutes before serving.

David Thorne
Lansing, Michigan

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