Using Thyme in French Cooking Recipes

Most recipes call for herbs or seasonings to complement the flavor of the food and French cooking recipes are no exception. Thyme is an example of a very popular herb. It adds a tangy, earthy flavor to your dishes and if you have used it before you will know what a difference, it makes. Knowing a bit more about thyme can help you to decide which French recipes would benefit from this tasty herb.

While some people simply buy thyme dried from the store, you can also purchase and grow it fresh. Remember that when cooking with fresh thyme that on a fresh sprig is about equal in potency to one-half a teaspoon of dried thyme.

You need to crush the thyme leaves before adding dried thyme to your food, to ensure the thyme taste will be evenly distributed. Dried thyme should be kept in a dark, cool place in an airtight container. If you keep it in this way, it should last up to 6 months. When it is past its best, the thyme will begin to smell musty.

It is easy to grow your own thyme and you can use a window box for this. If you want to dry the thyme for use in a French recipe, just hang it upside down for a couple of days and wait until the leaves go crispy. If you want to use it fresh in your French cooking recipes, do not use the stems because they are woody. Use the leaves only. You can either drag the plant through the tines of a fork to remove the leaves, or just pull them off.

You can integrate the unique flavor of thyme in your French cooking recipes in many ways. Thyme is also very good with mushroom stroganoff because the earthy flavor of the thyme matches the earthy mushroom flavor. Adding thyme to a mushroom stroganoff gives amazing results. If you are making a special dish like this, what better than to look through some French dessert recipes and pick something light, like choux a la creme or creme caramel?

Thyme complements any dish, which requires mustard. Honey mustard chicken, for example, can be too sweet, but adding some thyme makes the flavor more rounded and satisfying.

As well as being used in French recipes, thyme goes very well with homemade salad dressings and vinaigrette’s. It adds texture and spice. Thyme also goes well with soft, pale cheeses, if you are planning appetizers. The sharp taste of the thyme is excellent with the sweetness of the cheese.

As you can see, there is practically no limit to the ways that you can use thyme in your cooking. Spend some time with this essential herb and soon you will never know how you did without it!

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