Tuesday, February 27, 2018

How to Use Herbs in Cooking Delicious Food?



Basic Science of Using Herbs in Cooking

The technique in which fresh herbs are handled directly correlates to the intensity and rate of the flavor release. 

Herbs’ flavor molecules are located in oil glands in or on the surface of the leaf. When damaged or crushed, the oil glands blow up, releasing the aromatic essential oils, which hold the herb’s flavor or aroma. 

How do you prepare fresh herbs? There is no standard or specific rule when it comes to preparing fresh herbs, but it is best to classify them as being “delicate herbs” or “hardy herbs.”

Hardy Herbs, such as bay and rosemary, usually come from dry climate. Their tough leaves are excellent at retaining onto moisture and oils, and therefore flavor. 

Delicate Herbs, such as cilantro and basil, have fragile leaves and a milder, more floral scent, and their flavor evaporates quickly. 

Many delicate herbs, in particular mint and basil are susceptible to browning because they have high levels of a browning enzyme, polyphenol oxidase (PPO), which is activated when cells are damaged or crushed. 

The list below looks at different ways to prepare hardy herbs and delicate herbs to help best preserve their flavors during cooking.

How to Prepare Hardy Herbs?

Acclimatized to deal with dry environments, these more robust herbs release their flavor slowly, which gives them greater versatility in cooking.




1) For a more intense, quick release of flavor, finely chop the leaves to break more of the oil glands.

2) For a mild flavor, hardy herbs such as thyme or rosemary can be added whole to a stew or slow-cooking dish, and then removed before serving.

How to Prepare Delicate Herbs?

These herbs release their flavor quickly, so avoid crushing or damaging them excessively before adding to food, because they will lose their full flavor before the rest of your food is cooked.




1) Chopped leaves can be soaked in oil (e.g. virgin olive oil) to prevent air reaching the damaged cells, which helps stop the browning reaction. 

Plunging chopped leaves into lemon juice also reduces the efficiency of the browning enzyme. Some varieties of herbs are less prone to browning such as napoletano basil.

2) To stop browning, before cutting you can first quickly steam or blanch herbs for 5–15 seconds at 194ºF (90ºC), which destroys the browning enzyme. If left on the heat for too long, however, the leaves will shrink or shrivel.

3) Dry leaves before chopping, and slice cleanly with a very sharp knife to burst the glands with the least collateral damage.

Related Post: List of Common Herbs and Spices and Their Uses

How to Use Fresh Herbs in Cooking?

1) You don’t need pricey or extraordinary tools in order to cook with fresh herbs. The only tools you’ll need are a pair of sharp kitchen scissors, a sharp knife, a chopping board and a fine sieve. Add to that a mortar and pestle or food processor, and you’re well supplied to get good cooking.

2) Chopping fresh herbs very fine such as in a julienne or chiffonade exposes as much surface area as possible, which in turn allows the most flavors to be released.


3) When you are using fresh herbs, set aside the leaves, flowers or seeds, and either discard the tougher stems or set them aside to add flavor to soup stocks. Shear the leaves right over the pot or dish. 

For larger amounts, mince a pile of leaves with a sharp knife. For recipes like pesto, when you need a hefty quantity of fresh herbs, a high quality food processor is an essential tool.

4) When garnishing with sprigs of herbs, bear in mind that they contain a lot of water and will wilt or shrink if they get hot and dry. And like any green vegetable, herbs discolor if overcooked.

5) Fresh Herb Conversion. When adding fresh herbs into recipes, remember that you need more fresh herbs than dried herbs. A general conversion rule is 3 parts fresh herb to 1 part dry

6) You can add some fresh herbs into recipes at the very end of cooking to maximize flavor and appearance. (Please refer to tips below the page on When to Add Herbs During Cooking)

7) Leftover herbs are easily stored for later use. Freezes chopped herbs in plastic bags, or mix them with water and freeze them in an ice cube tray

8) You can easily dry fresh herbs yourself in the microwave between paper towels, or preserve their flavor in oils, vinegars, and compound butters.

Another Related Post: FOOD FLAVOR CHEMISTRY: Flavor of Foods You Love

When to Add Herbs During Cooking?

How to cook with fresh herbs? Adding herbs at the right moment during cooking helps to bring out the most flavors in cooking delicious food.

As with the correct preparation of herbs, whether an herb is delicate herb or hardy herb determines how best to cook with it. 

Hardy herbs tend to have strong “meaty” and hearty flavors, compared to the fruitier, more delicate flavor of fresh herbs. The durable structure of their leaves and the potent substances that make up their oils mean they are best added early on in cooking to give time for their flavor molecules to diffuse throughout the food

The flavors of delicate herbs evaporate swiftly, so they are best added in the last couple of minutes of cooking, or sprinkled on as a garnish. If they are added too soon, the nuances of their flavor will be destroyed by the heat of the pan before they get anywhere near the plate.

Add at the START of Cooking (Hardy Herbs):

Add at the END of Cooking (Delicate Herbs):

Those Who Read This Post Also Clicked and Read One of the Posts Below:

1) Cilantro Taste: Why Coriander (Cilantro) Tastes Like Metal or Soap to Some People?

2) Poudre Forte Recipe- Game of Thrones Food Recipes

3) List of Cooking Spices with Pictures

4) Basic All-American Barbecue Sauce (with Variations)


Dr. Stuart Farrimond. 2017. The Science of Cooking: Every Question Answered to Perfect Your Cooking. DK. ISBN-13: 978-1465463692

Leslie Bilderback, Certified Master Chef. 2007. The Complete Idiots Guide to Spices and Herbs. Alpha Books. ISBN-10: 1592576745

Nicolette Goff. 2013. Growing Culinary Herbs: Discover How to Grow Your Own Fresh Herbs and Use them to Create Delicious Dishes. Vibrant Vision Press. ASIN: B00CZE546O

Padma Lakshmi. 2016. The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs: An Essential Guide to the Flavors of the World. Ecco. ISBN-13: 978-0062375230

Tony Hill. 2005. The Spice Lover's Guide to Herbs and Spices. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN-10: 0764597396

Sunday, February 4, 2018

How to Cook Beef Liver with Flour? : Liver with Coriander Recipe


This is the world’s oldest beef liver recipe ever recorded. The beef liver was a favorite in ancient Roman Empire enjoyed by the social elite. Butcher's meat was an uncommon luxury. Meat was scarce except at sacrifices and the dinner parties of the rich people.


Ficatum Porcinum (Fried Liver)

‘Cut it up carefully, place on a metal gridiron with broad rods and baste either with olive oil or with fat. It is grilled like this over fine charcoal so that it is cooked, and people eat it while still hot, but underdone, with olive oil, salt and chopped coriander sprinkled on top.’ -Anthimus, On the Observance of Foods

Ficatum refers to a liver fattened on figs. Athletes in the ancient world ate figs as a way of gaining muscle, so it is not surprising that this fruit was fed to animals to help them put on weight. Calf’s and lamb’s liver are less coarse than pig’s, and are also more generally available, you can use them for my version of ficatum porcinum

As a further variation on the original recipe by Anthimus, you fry rather than grill the liver as the meat tends to stay more succulent – the use of white flour is the classic French method of sealing in the juices – but you may prefer to keep to Anthimus’ instructions (Anthimus to c. 534 AD).

Quick Facts about Coriander

Originally grown in Greece, coriander (also called cilantro or Chinese parsley) has been used as an herb since at least 5000 BC.

It is mentioned in Sanskrit texts and the Bible; Latin used the word coliandrum, “coriander.” Coriander is one of the herbs thought to have aphrodisiac qualities; the Chinese used it in love potions. 

In The Thousand and One Nights a man who had been childless for forty years is cured with a coriander mixture. On the other hand, there are people who despise cilantro, describing the aroma and flavor as “soapy or metallic,” and some scientists believe that there is a specific gene that causes such a reaction.

Related Food Facts: Cilantro Taste: Why Coriander (Cilantro) Tastes Like Metal or Soap to Some People?

Liver with Coriander- Healthy Beef Liver Recipes


6 slices of lamb’s or calf’s liver (about 250 g/ 1/2 lb)
60 g /2 oz gluten- free white flour (If you are allergic to gluten you can substitute this for Gluten Free Brown Rice Flour)

A handful of fresh coriander (If don’t like coriander you can substitute it using tarragon or dill, check other herbs click here, Cilantro Taste)

Olive oil


1) Purée the coriander leaves in a blender with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt until you have a smooth paste.


2) Pour another couple of tablespoons of olive oil into a frying pan. 

3) How long to cook beef liver? Pat the slices of liver in the flour and sauté over a high heat for 2 minutes on each side

4) Serve each slice of liver with a spoonful of the coriander purée.


5) If you do decide to follow Anthimus, brush the slices of liver all over with olive oil, place under a grill for 3 minutes on each side and serve with the coriander paste as above.



1) Liver is the liver of an animal used as meat. Calf’s liver is milder and more tender than the liver of any other animal like swine. When buying for liver, you want it to be firm, not mushy. Don’t buy beef liver with any dark spots.

2) Beef liver is often sold frozen, whereas calf’s liver is too delicate to freeze.

3) Beef liver has a more intense flavor than chicken or calf’s liver. 

 4) How do you tenderize beef liver? Liver can be tenderized by soaking it in milk or tomato juice for a few hours in the refrigerator. Soaking liver in milk also helps to mellow its flavor.

5) Cilantro loses flavor during long exposure to heat. Since the stems are tender, they can be used along with the leaves.

6) Cilantro leaves spoil quickly when removed from the plant, and lose their aroma when dried or frozen.

7) Other tips on… Tips to Cooking Meat

Related Post: How to Buy Fresh Meat?: What to Look for When Buying Beef with Pictures

Beef Liver Nutrition

What are the beef liver benefits? Below is more about some of the main benefits of eating liver:

Beef/calf liver — compared to chicken liver, beef liver contains a bit more calories, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin A, zinc and phosphorus. Numerous people discover that beef liver doesn’t quite taste as appealing as chicken liver

You can find beef or calf liver at some farmer’s markets or just ask your butcher he or she can get it for you. 

If it is possible it’s best to purchase calf liver over liver from adult cows, since this decreases the chance that you’ll consume hormones and antibiotics given to cattle.

Related Recipe: How Do You Cook Chicken Livers? Easy Chicken Liver Pate with Cream Recipe

Liver Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)

21 g

561 kJ (134 kcal)

2.5 g

3.7 g


Vitamin A equiv.
6500 μg
Riboflavin (B2)
3 mg
Niacin (B3)
15 mg
Vitamin B6
0.7 mg
Folate (B9)
212 μg
Vitamin B12
26 μg
Vitamin C
23 mg


23 mg

87 mg
• Units
• μg = micrograms
• mg = milligrams
• IU = International units
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.

Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Is Beef Liver Fattening to People on a Diet?

Are you interested about whether liver is fattening, and if so, is the fat content something to be anxious about? 

Liver is overall not very high in fat when compared to other animal produce, such as dark meat poultry, beef carcass, butter or full-fat dairy. One ounce of liver only has about two grams of fat.

This is not to recommend that fat from quality animal produce is bad for you. Eating some saturated fat from animal foods can actually be very good for you. Healthy fats aid with neurological function, hormone production and reproductive health.  

For instance, in certain animal research studies, adding chicken liver to rats’ diets has been shown to help alleviate oxidative stress and improve serum lipid profile, despite the rats being fed a high-fat diet.

Who is Anthimus, the Creator of this Beef Liver Recipe?

Anthimus was a Byzantine physician at the court of the Ostrogoth king Theodoric the Great.

Anthimus is known in the food history world as the author of "De observatione ciborum" ("On the Observance of Foods"), written either shortly after 511 AD, or sometime around 526 AD. The book is a valuable source for Late Latin linguistics as well as Byzantine dietetics.

De observatione ciborum is the last cookbook to come out of the Western Roman Empire. It is more like a long letter than a book, it's written in Latin, not French, and it was written at a time when there was still a Roman senate. Some claim it is a French cookbook but it is not.

In the ancient cookbook, Anthimus mentioned that pigs' udders (the mammary gland of female) are a good meal. This shows that pigs' udders, a pricey and desirable food in the Roman kitchen, were still regarded as such.

He recorded that some people eat melon with posca and Pennyroyal, which compares to a Roman recipe for melon with a liquid such as vinegar or passum


Barbara Ann Kipfer. 2016. Words of Mouth: A Kitchen Desk Reference. Amazon Digital Services LLC. ASIN: B01BWNEBJY

Gordon M. Messing, "Remarks on Anthimus De observatione ciborum", Classical Philology 37:2:150–158 (April 1942) at JSTOR https://www.jstor.org

Mark Grant (Translator). 2007. Anthimus: On the Observance of Foods. Prospect Books. ISBN-10: 1903018528

Mark Grant. 2008. Roman Cookery:  Ancient Recipes for Modern Kitchens. Interlink Publishing. ISBN-10: 1897959605

Pat LaFrieda and Carolynn Carreño. 2014. Meat: Everything You Need to Know Atria Books. ISBN-13: 978-1476725994

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Cilantro Taste: Why Coriander (Cilantro) Tastes Like Metal or Soap to Some People?



Coriander (Coriandrum sativum), also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley. All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the parts most traditionally used in cooking.

Describe the Taste of Cilantro/Coriander: What is Cilantro Supposed to Taste Like?

Cilantro has a refreshingly complex but delicate flavor with a hint of pepper, mint (lime like flavor) and lemon. It is used to brighten up dishes. While potent fresh, the flavors of cilantro mellow considerably with heat.

Like most tender herbs, cilantro is best used fresh, added at the end of cooking to preserve its flavor.

Why does Cilantro Tastes Like Metal or Soapy to Some People?

Different people may perceive the taste of coriander leaves differently. A percentage group of people, of about 4%-14% of people tested, think cilantro has a rather unpleasant soapy or even metallic taste. 

Research studies also show variations in preference among different ethnic groups: 21% of East Asians, 17% of Caucasians, and 14% of people of African descent expressed a dislike for coriander, but among the groups where coriander is popular in their cuisine, only 7% of South Asians, 4% of Hispanics, and 3% of Middle Eastern subjects expressed a dislike.

The reason of this soapy flavor has its roots in the chemical composition of cilantro leaves, but there can also be other factors at play that determine whether or not you’re a fan of cilantro. For a mixed crowd, basic parsley might be preferable to coriander.


The chemical composition of the essential oil of cilantro leaves is composed of around 40 different organic compounds, with 82 percent of these being aldehydes, and 17 percent alcohols. The aldehydes are mainly those with 9–10 carbon atoms, which are largely responsible for the aroma of cilantro leaves— as well as its perceived metallic or soapy taste for some people. 

The aldehydes present in cilantro, as well as those similar to them, are also commonly found in both soaps and lotions. Interestingly, some are also among the compounds excreted by stink bugs (also known as shield bugs) when they are disturbed. Given that, perhaps it’s not completely surprising that, for some people, the smell and taste of cilantro is a little on the revolting side.

However, it’s certainly not just down to the chemical composition of cilantro that makes some find it has a soapy taste. It’s been recommended that there’s also a genetic basis to this, which explains why not everyone has the same aversion. 

Scientists have highlighted a specific gene that codes for a receptor (a genetic variant near olfactory receptor genes influences cilantro preference) that is highly sensitive to the flavor of aldehydes. 

The codes for smell receptors though were not sure how and to that effect the taste of bitterness so it looks like genetics definitely at least plays a part in whether you like cilantro or not. 

Several other genes have also been linked, however, so it seems likely that more than one could be responsible. As well as this, it’s also possible for people to grow to like the taste of cilantro, with it being suggested that repeated exposure to the taste leads to the brain forging new, positive associations

The strength of the aldehydes’ effect on the taste of cilantro can also be mitigated by crushing the leaves before consumption, with studies having shown that this speeds up the rate at which the aldehydes in the leaves are broken down by enzymes.

Is health important to you and your family? Do you like healthy cooking method? Then you should know more about this, just click now… Steam Cooking Times: How Long to Steam Vegetables, Fish, Chicken, Lobster and Other Savory Foods

Ground Coriander vs Cumin

Fresh coriander leaf flavor is vastly different from that of coriander seeds. Ground coriander seed has a sweet, aromatic taste with a touch of citrus. Ground coriander (Coriandrum sativum) seed is different from CUMIN (Cuminum cyminum).

Coriander is not related to parsley—it is a member of the carrot family. It is an ancient spice, with a history dating back more than three thousand years; it is mentioned in the Bible and in Sanskrit texts (and in The Arabian Nights). It was one of the first spice plants grown in North America.

coriander seeds

cumin seeds

Related Post: List of Cooking Spices with Pictures

Substitute for Fresh Coriander/ Cilantro Leaves

Although each herb has its own unique flavor, there's no cooking rule that says you can't substitute one herb in place of another. If you don’t like coriander taste, you can select a substitute herb below:

1) Tarragon

Try Tarragon as a Cilantro Substitute. Real tarragon has a licorice-like fragrance (it contains the same volatile oil as anise) and a spicy, peppery, green taste. 


For its sweet, lemony scent and refreshing aroma, tarragon qualifies an excellent replacement for cilantro. You can use it as a garnish in your dips. They are also ideal to be included in rubs and give your grilled meat an appealing aromatic scent. 

The pots of tarragon sold at the garden market are often Russian tarragon, since French tarragon is more difficult to cultivate and therefore more costly; be sure to check the provenance. Good-quality dried tarragon has the same peppery anise-like flavor, with a slightly sweeter note.

2) Dill

Try Dill as Coriander Substitute. Its fronds look something like those of fennel, but the fragrance is reminiscent of parsley, and the flavor also echoes parsley, with undertones of anise. 


They are commonly used on roasted salads and poultry dishes. They have a much stronger smell than tarragon. They are not as sweet as tarragon, but they will do very well to substitute coriander in your recipe.

Dried dill has a grassy aroma and a similar though distinctive taste; in fact, some prefer the dried herb to the fresh. Look for dark green dried dill, and avoid any with signs of yellowing.

To preserve its delicate flavor, it is best stirred into a dish at the end of cooking or used as a finishing spice. 

3) Mixture of Parsley, Tarragon, and Dill

These 3 herb blend substitutes work best when you're using the cilantro as a garnish.

If cilantro is called for in the recipe you can substitute with an equal amount of fresh parsley, tarragon, dill or a combination of the three. For maximum flavor, add your herbs to the dish just before serving. These substitutes work best when the cilantro is being used as a garnish. Cooking diminishes the flavor of the spices significantly.

4) Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

Parsley can be a good substitute. Chopped parsley is a great replacement for your fresh coriander.


There are two main types of parsley, curly and flat-leaf, and many subspecies. The leaves of curly parsley are tightly furled; those of flat-leaf are darker green and look somewhat like celery leaves.

It has a clean green flavor and complements a wide variety of other herbs, both pungent and mild. It can be the best substitute for cilantro in dips. They have a comparable refreshing lemony taste but do not have the zing. If you choose for a milder flavor, this can be a good alternative.

5) Oregano

Check oregano as a coriander substitute. Mediterranean oregano is a pungent herb native to the Mediterranean region.

The aroma remains pungent, and the flavor is equally sharp, clean, and warm, with just a slight bitterness. It can give you a mild minty, earthy flavor, which is a slight comparable to cilantro.


You can also utilize fresh or dried oregano to give your dish a to some extent coriander-like taste. It is frequently used on Italian gastronomy to add flavor to pasta dishes. You can use to substitute cilantro in some pasta dishes that requires it. 

Oregano is one of the few herbs that most home cooks and chefs alike prefer in its dried state, particularly for tomato and other long-simmered sauces (common marjoram, on the other hand, is more often used as a fresh herb). 

6) Lime Basil (Ocimum americanum, known as American basil or "hoary basil"). You can have the goodness of the refreshing aroma and the lemony notes packed in their leaves.


Related Post: List of Common Herbs and Spices and Their Uses


Andy Brunning. 2016. Why Does Asparagus Make Your Pee Smell?: Fascinating Food Trivia Explained with Science. Ulysses Press. ISBN-13: 978-1612435510

Barbara Ann Kipfer. 2016. Words of Mouth: A Kitchen Desk Reference. Amazon Digital Services LLC. ASIN: B01BWNEBJY

Padma Lakshmi. 2016. The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs: An Essential Guide to the Flavors of the World. Ecco. ISBN-13: 978-0062375230

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