The Herb Handbook by Shae Harper [download amazon kindle books]


  • Full Title : The Herb Handbook: A Practical Guide To Using And Growing Herbs
  • Autor: Shae Harper
  • Print Length: 146 pages
  • Publisher: 
  • Publication Date: 
    November 21, 2012
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: B00AB97K94
  • ISBN-13: 
  • Download File Format: mobi

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"AMAZON BESTSELLER"

Botanically, “herb” refers to any annual or perennial plant with a non-woody stem. However, the term herb has come to cover plants that have a specific benefit to mankind. Some even consider them to be the highest quality food known to the human race. We have been using herbs for thousands of years, both for flavoring food and for healing. They’re versatile, easy to grow – either in the garden or in pots on the window sill – and can be used fresh, dried or frozen.

Herbs have a variety of uses including culinary, medicinal, or in some cases even spiritual usage. For culinary purposes, the green, leafy part of the plant is typically used, but for herbal medicine the roots, flowers, seeds, root bark, inner bark (cambium), berries and sometimes the pericarp or other portions of the plant are also used.

When you think of herbs, common herbs such as Basil, Parsley and Rosemary come to mind. But there’s a wealth of herbs that are not so common: herbs that have a myriad of uses. In this book, we have attempted to introduce some common as well as some relatively unknown herbs and discuss their properties, uses, cultivation strategies and much more.

I hope you find a lot of useful information in this herb book and learn to cultivate some amazing herbs!

We also have some other Herb books you may be interested in, go and check them out:

Healing with Herbs and Spices: Heal Your Body, Mind and Spirit with the Amazing Healing Powers of Herbs:

http://www.amazon.com/Healing-With-Herbs-Spices-ebook/dp/B00AB7YG8E/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1356353858&sr=1-1&keywords=simone+mcgrath

AND

Cooking with Herbs: Create Tasty and Healthy Foods Using Nature’s Flavor Enhancers:

http://www.amazon.com/Cooking-With-Herbs-Enhancers-ebook/dp/B00AB789AA/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1356354332&sr=1-2&keywords=simone+mcgrath

 

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ngers?”

He liked to cook it very simply, just fry it gently in a batter of flour and egg. Salt cod is already cooked by the salt; you need only warm it to make it perfect, magical to the palate. But if you cook it harshly, by searing or boiling, it loses its natural gelatin and becomes dry and hard. Everyone in Barcelona understands this, too. The charm of cod consumption in Barcelona is that there is the bond of obsessiveness José Andrés

that links purveyor and consumer.

’s Story

So did cooking click for me, or did I just give in? I don’t think I can answer that. The patterns of life are perceived only in hindsight.

Chef

3

I was surrounded by food, fascinated by how it was prepared, and it was natural to try and constantly seek out more knowledge. When I was fifteen I worked in a three-person restaurant in a tiny town, and Ferrán Adrià used to come in to eat on his days off. I used to see him through the tiny window in the kitchen. He was the chef of the best restaurant in town, and though he wasn’t yet famous in the outside world, he was a star to us. At first we thought we had to impress him, but he loved eating simple things, traditional things like garlic shrimp, gambas al ajillo or fish cooked a la plancha. I would make that dish for him. A year later, by the time I was a student at the famous culinary school Escola de Restauració i Hostalatge de Barcelona and I was privileged to be sent for an internship under Ferrán at El Bulli.

One needs to be proud about the people you learn from. Often they are the unsung heroes. Ferrán is very well known now, but sometimes you learn from people that are not known. As cooks we should always have gratitude for those we learn from; we are the ones who can most honestly proclaim the importance of that individual. I have eternal gratitude to Ferrán. He gave me the vantage point from which to approach cooking. There is nothing a teacher can give that is more valuable.

I remember one particular moment when I realized this. We were making a gelatin of milk for a bavarois and there happened to be a pot of hot oil on the stove. He got a piece of what we were making, just as it had begun to set, and he threw it into the hot oil. Well, if you think about it, the gelatin is only going to give body to the milk if it’s José Andrés

’s Story

cold. Everybody is going to tell you that the heat will melt the gelatin and there will be a little explosion because of the water content. Fer-Chef

rán didn’t care. He wanted to see it. Well, there was a little explosion.

4

His action didn’t result in an unbelievable new dessert called deep-fried bavarois, but in something much more important: the proof of a hypothesis. There is a culinary logic, but if we never test it we are missing very important information. He did it because doing it was the only way to know. What Ferrán does at his brilliantly inventive restaurant, El Bulli, is remind us cooks that we need to keep testing things on our own.

I was in the navy for my military service. I wanted to go into this boat called Juan Sebastián del Cano, which is a four-mast sailing boat with a crew of three hundred. I’d first seen that boat when I was eight and it had visited Barcelona. Ten years later I had the opportunity to do so, but when I requested service on the boat, I was told no. I had already won a couple of little championships and I had worked in good restaurants. “You’re going to be the cook of the admiral,” they told me. So I started as the cook of the admiral of the fleet in his residence. But two weeks before the ship was to leave port, I couldn’t contain myself. I asked to see him and I said, “Admiral, sailing on this boat is the dream of my life.” He said, “Okay, you can go, but don’t tell my wife.” Two days before I left, he told his wife. I’m not sure how he put it, but it must have sounded like, “The cook is leaving, you’re not going to have more cooking classes and no more coffee and tea cakes for your friends.” She screamed. “What are you doing? The admiral in this house is me!”

It was through the navy that I started to experience the world and see how truly diverse and yet similar food could be. In Abidjan, in the José Andrés

Ivory Coast, I had the traditional kedjenou, a deep-flavored stew that I

’s Story

saw prepared from the moment the chicken was killed right in front of me. In Fortaleza, Brazil, I tasted papaya for the first time. It was served Chef

5

in a tiny restaurant, more

like a bar, and they split the

papaya and scooped out

the seeds and they served

it with half a lime and a

spoon. That tropical mag-

nificence was something

I had never experienced

before.

By the time we got to

Pensacola, I was looking forward to American food but I didn’t know what to expect. Hot dogs, milkshakes, and fries—I knew those. What would be the moment of surprise in this huge country? The fact that we were in Pensacola as part of a celebration commemorating all the countries that had conquered Pensacola was already something of a surprise. But soon after arriving, there would be a culinary one. I met a guy named Jerry who owned a restaurant, and when he found out I was a cook, he took me there. The first thing he gave me was a softshell crab. That was a discovery. I said, “Oh, it’s very difficult to peel this crab.” “José,” he said, “you eat it all.” I did, and it was delicious.

Things are only obvious to people who know it.

On that trip we would also sail to Norfolk, Virginia, and eventually we sailed into New York Harbor, a fascinating moment when you round a piece of land and the city suddenly opens up before you. All it took was shore leave and ten minutes on the sidewalks of New York José Andrés

to know I was coming back to America. Unfortunately, I eventually

’s Story

returned to work at a restaurant that failed. There were a few Span-Chef

ish restaurants that opened around 1992, the year of the Olympics 6

in Barcelona, and an outfit I worked for owned several of them. In Washington they had La Taverna del Lavadero, and in New York, El Dorado Petit and Paradis Barcelona—all of them were closed five years later. The reviews were good, but the main problem was they tried to reinvent Spanish cooking in America trying to think what Americans would like. As a Spanish cook, a dish like chicken and grapefruit can certainly make you scratch your head. If you can make duck with oranges why not chicken with grapefruit? Maybe it’s good; but it’s definitely not Spanish.

Spanish cooking has a great simplicity. That has always been the case. We always have had an aesthetic ideal. The still lifes you might see in the Prado museum in Madrid might contain only a crusty loaf of bread and a bottle of wine; a domestic scene might be an old lady frying an egg in a terracotta pot. After the civil war in the 1930s there was also a true moment of hunger that the entire country lived through and that marked an entire generation. There is also a fascinating sociological interpretation for our long tradition of pork products that maintains that eating pork in public was a means of establishing one was Christian in the centuries in Spain when it was very dangerous not to be. Something austere in the Spanish personality craves the simple product while at the same time elevating it to its most refined state. The salt cod of my childhood is but one example. The jamon Iberico that today we are finally being allowed to import into the U.S.

is another example. This ham comes from semi-wild black-footed pigs that are allowed to forage in chestnut forests for several months. Their José Andrés

hind legs are cured for up to three years, and the resulting ham is best

’s Story

cut very thinly because the temperature at which the fat melts and the temperature of our mouths are almost identical. It should practi-Chef

7

cally dissolve in the mouth. Caramba! This is a molecular tapa, and it doesn’t even come from El Bulli.

This is the kind of food that I wanted to make when I left New York for Washington. I was encouraged to do so by precisely one of those unsung heroes that we have in our profession. He was a Spaniard, and he had come to this country with nothing and was chef and co-owner of El Cid, a restaurant on Fifteenth Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues. His name was Clemente Bocos, and I am proud to write his name here. Before I moved to Washington he said, “José, do whatever you want. You are talented and you know the flavors. You are adapting very well to America but be truthful to the flavors of the country you come from. Don’t try to reinvent traditional Spanish cooking, just respect it.

In America they can like many things, but it needs to be good.”

Those words could be inscribed over the door at Jaleo. From when we opened the first one, in 1993, it has been a platform for what I feel is best about Spain. For me, as important as the food is the social aspect of sharing. That is a Spanish moment. That is exactly what I try to do. It’s a restaurant where the average check doesn’t matter. It’s fine if they eat one tapa and one sherry or one beer. I don’t need them to be there three hours; I just need this moment of attention to Spanish cooking.

What I feel it offers is more than just fantastic ingredients like pimentón or jamon Iberico, but a point of view on food that does not derive from abundance. Often in this country I’ve found that when something is good you get a lot of it, as if that will make it better. In José Andrés

’s Story

cooking that has a more austere perspective, the approach is different.

When something is good you get very little, but you make it last and Chef

make it count.

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On the other extreme we have a minibar in which we can only do six people (or twelve, with two seatings per night). This is my curious side, the one that is about a different tradition, the one of asking questions. We do twelve customers per night, and meals can stretch to thirty-five tiny courses. What I seek to do is take a look at the ingredients, nicks and all. That may be trying to figure out everything from if we can make sauterne cotton candy (the answer is yes) to the gastronomic uses for the pulp of pips at the center of a tomato. These are full of flavor, fascinating, and gelatinous, and yet the passed-down rules of haute cuisine demanded we get rid of them? Why? Because someone said they are unbecoming? Because centuries ago some chef saw that a farmhouse salad contained pits and we don’t want to be like them? There are entire social dimensions behind how we treat a tomato, what we keep and what we throw out.

I operate between those two poles. I am a man who can remember the smells of the stairwells of his childhood, a man for whom the first taste of a papaya opened up a dimension of flavor that had been unknown before. I understand the need for tradition and I am fascinated by the process of constantly reaching further beyond what we already know. Food allows us to do that, to literally broaden our world. Once I’d never heard of pancakes; now on weekend mornings I’m happily making them for my three daughters. Once I tried to peel the shell of softshell crabs, now I know you eat them whole.

José Andrés

’s Story

Chef

9

Dan

Barber

Dan Barber is the man behind Blue Hill in

New York City and Blue Hill at Stone Barns,

in Pocantico, New York, both acclaimed for

locally grown and seasonal produce. He has

been named by Bon Appétit part of the “next I graduated from school generation of great chefs” and by Food & wanting to write about Wine as one of the “best new chefs.” In 2006 food. It’s been a real he was awarded the James Beard Founda- process along the way tion Award for Best Chef, New York City.

in terms of simultane-

ously becoming a better chef and a leader, but also learning about this whole other world of agriculture and where our food really comes from.

And a lot of that has just been discovery. It’s like, holy mackerel! We’re eating meat from cows that don’t eat grass. That’s pretty incredible. Those are the things people don’t know anything about. So my education has both been learning about sustainable agriculture, but also, how do I communicate this to the average diner who couldn’t care less that cows don’t eat grass? They want their steak and they want their chardonnay, and they want to leave. And so I feel like I end up becoming quite preachy, and I don’t want to be. But the older I get, the less patience I have to be skirting around the issues.

11

I would get rid of the word organic altogether. We have a restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, on a farm thirty miles outside New York. The farm, called Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, has a herd of Dorset Cross sheep, eight hundred laying hens that produce a thousand dozen eggs a month and a hundred and fifty broilers, twenty acres of pasture, twenty-three thousand contiguous feet of organic land, and a herd of Berkshire pigs who like to sit in the shade trees out back. I like guests to take the time and walk around before dinner and see what is happening on the farm. But often their first question is, “Are you organic?” “Are your pigs organic?” I want them to ask me, “What do your pigs eat?” But when they look at the chickens and look at the eggs, the big question is, “Are your eggs organic?” I want to look at them and say, “Our chickens are organic but they also eat grass.”

The public wants easy answers and so do I, and organic/nonorganic makes for a very tidy evil/non-evil narrative. The organic question, however, is very complex. There are ways of growing organic that are good for the soil and ways that completely deplete it. A chicken may be in a ten-thousand-bird shed eating corn all its life, but it is organic. For chefs, it is particularly important because of the quantities of produce we need. It is pretty much impossible to grow organic strawberries in the Northeast, certainly in a volume to sustain a restaurant. It’s just plain silly to ship them from California—a single basket uses up a ton of fossil fuel calories in refrigeration and transportation just so you can put the word organic Dan Barber

’s Story

on your dessert menu. I would much rather have a relationship with a local farmer who I know will spray only when conditions make it Chef

absolutely necessary.

12

These are the issues that are important to me. So if people are going to say I sound haughty and arrogant and elitist, well, I’ve stopped counting the number of times I have heard those criticisms.

What is important is that organic is more than a word to slap on packaging or on a menu. It comes from organism; it means “the whole.”

There are three legs to it. It’s not just how it’s farmed, but who is farming it and, very important, where is it coming from? Who is growing your food? What community is growing it for you? That’s the name of the game.

I grew up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, but I spent a lot of time on my grandmother’s farm in the Berkshires, in Massachusetts. It is called Blue Hill Farm. It was a working farm, and my grandmother raised cattle. I learned about food and agriculture there. My grandmother’s cooking philosophy was that food tastes better when you’re hungry. So she always made me wait. She’d say dinner was ready, and then I’d wait forty-five minutes. But the food always tasted better.

And her cooking wasn’t that great, so she needed the help.

My grandmother and I both read Eliot Coleman. He has a farm called the Four Seasons Farm, in Maine, and he has a great ability to farm, and an equal ability to write about what he is doing. I was reading his books while I was in college because I was interested in how to grow vegetables at Blue Hill and how we could use the farm with some kind of cooking and community component. My grandmother was interested in his approach to farming for more basic reasons, like how do we keep this going financially? Although I’d read books like Diet for a Small Planet and Silent Spring, Eliot was the one who was writing about grow-Dan Barber

’s Story

ing vegetables in the Northeast year-round. He said that we could grow vegetables in the middle of winter even at Blue Hill Farm.

Chef

13

In a way I was thinking about Stone Barns long before I was introduced to the farm. The path to making Stone Barns a reality would be a long one. First I became a chef. My mentors in terms of cooking have been many. Alain Sailhac at the French Culinary Institute first taught me that being a chef is not just how you cook but how you behave. Michel Rostang took me in when I knew very little and gave me a sense of Provence. Joe Miller’s restaurant in Venice, California, was where I had my first hard-core-line position. I had cooked at a bunch of different restaurants but never with that intensity. He made me delight in the sheer athleticism of cooking and taught me how you constantly have to adapt. David Bouley was like a finishing school where the passion and sheer energy and force of will required rubbed off on me.

My brother, David, and his wife, Laureen, and I opened Blue Hill in 2000, seven years after I graduated from the FCI. We got some good reviews early, but I won’t say it was easy. It was really difficult, because we were in a location that’s off the beaten track there. Washington Place is one street that no one could find, although that ended up working to our advantage, because people showed up hungrier.

But we were also really lucky with the space. We appeared about the same time as big New York restaurants like Eleven Madison Park and Tabla—real experience restaurants.

We also arrived before the deluge of Lower East Side restaurants.

We created a restaurant that was cavernous and off the track, and I feel that added to our success, because people came in and walked Dan Barber

’s Story

down the steps from the street and they literally had to bow their heads at the low door. With such an approach they didn’t know what Chef

to expect. There was paper on the tables, the glassware wasn’t perfect, 14

but when they tasted the food, I think it met, even exceeded, their expectations. That is so rare for us in this world, whether it’s with movies or anything else in our life. Normally in New York restaurants your expectation level is the sky, and the food is usually wonderful, but if it falls short, it feels depressing. With us, it helped fund our success.

David Rockefeller, along with his aid, James Ford, ate at Blue Hill several times. I think they both loved the food. I believe that Mr.

Rockefeller liked the place, and he really liked the family aspect of it.

My brother’s involved in the business, my sister-in-law designed the restaurants, and our sister is our lawyer. Mr. Rockefeller was looking to do something with a few stone barns that his father built at the turn of the century. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., wanted his children and grandchildren to milk their own cows—that was the original purpose of the barns.

It’s pretty valuable land up in Westchester County, but Rockefeller didn’t want to see just houses built on the land. He and Ford basically said, “This is an open book. Let’s talk about doing a project.” I didn’t want to open just another restaurant, but one that had a true connection to this very special space. That ended up really resonating with him.

The center is magnificent. There’s eye candy all around. It’s real Rockefeller largesse in that sense, but not ostentatious at all. The gorgeous old stone barns are where the restaurant and the education center are located. We have over a hundred children a week using the education center, plus we have a lively summer camp. The fact that Dan Barber

’s Story

Blue Hill at Stone Barns sits in the middle of a

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