Tips for seasoning food
Fresh herbs or dried?
Fresh herbs taste better than dried, but if they are not available substitute dried herbs. Use only one-third of the amount, as dried herbs are more concentrated.
If you want to use dried herbs in a dish which will not be cooked, such as a salad, pour a little boiling water over them and leave to soak for a minute before draining and adding. They will have a better flavour and more colour.
Prepare curries and other spiced dishes by frying the spices in fat or oil first, rather than adding them straight to the dish. Frying takes away the ‘raw’ flavour and makes spices more digestible. Always fry spices quickly over medium heat, and watch them constantly, as they quickly burn.
Buy nutmegs whole rather than ready ground. The flavour keeps better, and you can grate just what you need onto sweet or savoury dishes such as spinach, mashed potatoes, egg custards and rice puddings.
Paprika for browning
Sprinkle sweet paprika over food-especially cheese-topped dishes – to help with browning.