Herbes de Provence
One of the most widely used ingredients in France is Herbes de Provence. Most French restaurants in Ottawa use this unique ingredient to come up with a nice flavor and texture for any French cuisine. It is commonly added to grilled meat, fish and vegetables to add an extra boost of flavor. The only challenge is that Herbes de Provence is not that easy to find in Ottawa.
What is marked as Herbes de Provence in most gourmet stores tastes nothing like the original herb. Some of the options available contain the wrong mix of herbs or are just too bland.
What Are the Contents of Herbes de Provence?
Herbes de Provence can be prepared using different types of fresh herbs in varying quantities. Below is a breakdown of the kind of ingredients that are mixed to make the best Herbes de Provence:
- Rosemary – 26%
- Basil – 3%
- Savory – 26%
- Thyme -19%
There are some companies that use wild marjoram together with the above ingredients in their Herbes de Provence.
When buying the product, one of the things you should be looking out for is to ensure that the percentage totals to 100. You also need to find out where the herbs are grown. This is usually indicated in the product label. You can also check the quality standards displayed on the jar. This will tell you whether you are buying an authentic Herbes de Provence made using traditional French ingredients.
The most important ingredients..
Thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and savory are known to be the most important ingredients used to make any Herbes de Provence. This is what any French Restaurant Ottawa should be using to prepare its own mix if it is not locally available at the gourmet stores. Should you decide to prepare your own mix, make sure you use the right proportions. Keep the resulting mix in a dry and dark environment.
Tips for cooking with Herbes de Provence
Herbes de Provence has a very versatile flavor perhaps due to the different types of herbs used to prepare the mix. You can use it to prepare a wide range of meals including zucchini, eggplant and roasted potatoes. Herbes de Provence especially works well with chicken. Most commonly used herbs to prepare this mix are those that thrive in the Mediterranean climate of Provence which is a region in southern France. Make sure you add certain products such as lavender flowers in very small amounts. Add too much and you will end up with an unpleasant taste.
To bring out a unique flavor and aroma, add Herbes de Provence before or during cooking. You can use it when marinating your chicken or add it at the beginning stages of cooking. Most restaurants Ottawa use it to season chicken or pork by adding some sea salt and rubbing it with olive oil. Leave the meat to marinate in Herbes de Provence for about an hour then cook it over coal or wood. If you prepare the mix on your own, put it in a spice container and store it in a cool and dry place.