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La Belle Cuisine -
Essential Herb & Spice

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Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create well...
is an act of integrity, and faith."



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"What does cookery mean? It means the knowledge of Medea and of
Circe, and of Calypso, and Sheba. It means knowledge of all herbs,
and fruits, and balms and spices..."

~ John Ruskin

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Fines Herbes I
Fines Herbes I
Giancarlo Riboli
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Cloves and Cinnamon Sticks Cloves and Cinnamon Sticks
Photographic Print

Paul, Michael
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  Various Spices Various Spices
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Curry Paste in a Mortar and Assorted Spices Curry Paste in a Mortar and Assorted Spices
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Medilek, Peter
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Starbucks Tazo Tea 








Bunches of Lavender Drying Shed at Lavender Festival, Sequim, Washington, USA
Bunches of Lavender...
John & Lisa...
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Herbs Drying Upside Down
Herbs Drying Upside Down
Clay Perry
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La Belle Cuisine


Recipe Source:
Food & Wine 1995

Recipes contributed by Becky Sue Epstein
and Hilary Dole Klein

Food & Wine Books, Editorial Director:  Judith Hill,
1995, American Express Publishing Corp.



Bouquet Garni

3 sprigs fresh parsley
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 dried or fresh bay leaf
Optional Additions:
1 sprig celery leaf, fennel
frond, or marjoram

Bouquet garni is the traditional French seasoning for stews and other
slowly cooked meat dishes. Fresh herbs are tied together in a bouquet
with plain white kitchen string, or enclosed in cheesecloth to make a
sachet. Remove the bundle after cooking, before the food is served.
Instead of using only with meat dishes, experiment: add the garni to
a savory white bean casserole.


Fines Herbes

1 sprig fresh parsley, minced
1 sprig fresh tarragon, minced
1 sprig fresh chervil, minced
1 fresh chives, minced

Fines herbes is a time-honored French seasoning composed of four delicate chopped, fresh green herbs. It is often used in omelets, on grilled meats, and in marinades. The blend is used raw or added toward the end of cooking.
Try mixing fines herbes into mayonnaise, sour cream, cottage cheese,
cream cheese, or butter as a spread for sandwiches or hors d’oeuvres.



1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black
or white pepper
(1/2 teaspoon whole black
or white peppercorns)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
(1/2 of a whole nutmeg)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
(18 whole cloves) or cinnamon
(a 2-inch piece of cinnamon stick)

Quatre-épices is a mixture of four ground spices (quatre-épices is French
for four spices) traditionally used in charcuterie. Allspice, also known as “Jamaican pepper”. is a common substitute. This four-spice blend, used in almost every country of the world, has taken on a life of its own, with
chefs incorporating many other spices to get the flavor just right on their palates. Use quatre-épices to add a more aromatic nuance to all meats, particularly game, or to add a lovely Caribbean piquance to grilled or
stewed meat or vegetable dishes.


Garam Masala

1 tablespoon ground cardamom
(2 teaspoons cardamom seeds)
2 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
(2 teaspoons coriander seeds)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
(1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
(1 teaspoon peppercorns)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
(a heaping 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
(a 2-inch piece of cinnamon stick)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
(1/2 whole nutmeg, cut into chunks)

Traditionally used in northern Indian cuisine, garam masala means literally “warm spice blend” because its spices are supposed to heat the body. It is stirred into curries, pilafs, and biryanis toward the end of cooking. Try substituting garam masala for cinnamon and nutmeg in oatmeal cookies.
Dry-roast the whole spices in a hot pan over low heat before grinding them.


Curry Powder

2 teaspoons ground coriander
(1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
(1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds)
2 teaspoons pure red chile powder
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons ground ginger

Optional Additions:
allspice, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon,
cloves, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, mace,
black (also called brown) or red mustard
seeds, poppy seeds, saffron, or sesame seeds

An Indian curry usually consists of eggs, fish, chicken, lamb or vegetables cooked in a highly seasoned sauce, the spices for which have varied infinitely for thousands of years. The word itself comes from the south Indian word kari, which means sauce. For something different, try adding a little curry powder to a fresh carrot soup or to a mayonnaise sauce for fish. To
maximize flavor, dry-roast the whole spices in a hot pan over low heat
before grinding them.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten's All-Purpose Curry Powder


Five-Spice Powder

1 teaspoon ground star-anise
(3 whole star anise)
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
(3/4 teaspoon whole fennel seeds)
1 teaspoon ground Szechwan
or white pepper
(1 teaspoon whole Szechwan or
white peppercorns)
1/2 teaspoon ground cassia or cinnamon
(a 2-inch piece of cinnamon stick)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
(a heaping 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves)

Sometimes called five-fragrance powder, five perfumes, or five heavenly spices, this traditional Chinese blend has a powerful anise flavor. It is used throughout southern China and Vietnam in stir-fries and in marinades involving pork, beef, chicken, or duck. Five-spice powder makes a
wonderful addition to barbecued ribs or leeks braised in butter.


Herbes de Provence

1 teaspoon minced fresh or
dried thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh or
dried summer savory
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh or
dried lavender
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh or
dried rosemary

Optional Additions:
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh fennel fronds,
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh basil,
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh or dried oregano,
or 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh or dried sage

Herbes de Provence, literally “herbs from Provence”, consists of the
herbs commonly found growing in that southern region of France. The mixture varies according to the availability of the herbs. Although it is
most often used with roasted or grilled meat or poultry dishes, it also
makes a wonderful flavoring for a pizza.

La Belle Cuisine

Spice Mixes and Marinades
Index - Essentials
The Basics
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