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What to do Fresh Oregano, Mint and Thyme?

mikeb Aug 16, 2006 08:47 PM

I have a lot of fresh herbs in my garden. I have lots of ways to use up the basil, rosemary, chives, chiles, sage and italian parsley, but I how do I get rid of the fresh thyme, mint and oregano?

I do use a stick or two of thyme with chicken, marinades and the like, but end up with a lot more to use. As far as the the oregano and mint goes, I just have way more than I know what to do with. I've found a lot of recipes from google and epicurious. Can you recommend tested recipes that will put a hit on my surplus? I'd also like to find a good tzaziki recipe as I do have a lot of cucumbers too!

Thanks!

  1. g
    goatcheesey Aug 16, 2006 09:34 PM

    I made a really good tzatziki with fennel, mint, a little dill, and garlic last summer. It would be a good way to use up some of your mint. I didn't so much have a recipe, but I basically used an entire fennel bulb, some greek yogurt, lots of mint, and other the other ingredients to taste.

    For your mint, you could throw a Great Gatsby inspired party and serve mint juleps?

    1. Candy Aug 16, 2006 09:37 PM

      Cachumber, kaschimber among a myriad of spellings is a really good Indian relish with a lot of mint in it.

      Many Vietnamese dishes incorporate mint too. Spring rolls summer rolls, table salad etc.

      1. g
        gorboduc Aug 16, 2006 09:38 PM

        Another good thing to do with mint--cold eggplant marinated in a simple combo of fresh lemon juice, garlic, good olive oil, salt, pepper, and a chiffonade of fresh mint.

        Also good with zucchini, if you're not an eggplant eater.

        More details here:

        http://gorboduc.livejournal.com/12784...

        1. Becca Porter Aug 16, 2006 10:06 PM

          Bread Salad!! I find a basic recipe and play with it. I like artisnal bread torn and toasted. Tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, olive oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar. Mint and oregano are fantstic with this. I throw in thyme if I have it. So good!
          -Becca

          1. tapas Aug 16, 2006 10:25 PM

            I love this tzatziki recipe from epicurious:
            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

            It's a variation on tzatziki, not the real deal, as one reviewer heatedly points out. I don't really care -- I think it's delicious.

            1. s
              s1729543 Aug 17, 2006 12:01 AM

              Puree them w/ some water and freeze in ice cube trays. tightly sealed, they'll keep for months. OR,
              Blanch them, shake off the water, and puree them with canola oil. let sit over night, then strain them with a paper coffee filtre. herb oils are great garnish and keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

              1. TexasToast Aug 17, 2006 12:06 AM

                Pizza, Mojitos, and . . . and chicken soup? What's a classic thyme dish? I had a thyme martini the other day. Wasn't so bad!

                YY

                1. s
                  susu Aug 17, 2006 09:56 PM

                  Mint makes great iced tea, either by itself or combined with black or green tea.

                  I make a simple syrup and steep mint in it and then strain it into a jar and keep it in the fridge. It is good in iced tea or just in a glass of seltzer, very refreshing and it also settles the stomach.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: susu
                    r
                    RYP Aug 17, 2006 09:59 PM

                    I second this. I make a lot of ice tea with my mint. Steep tea (I like green tea) for a few hours, add mint, lemon, ice cubes and sugar to taste.

                    I also use a lot of thyme, it's one of my favourite herbs. It's great on any grilled or roasted vegetables, in soups, on meats. Go ahead and experiment.

                  2. g
                    grubn Aug 17, 2006 10:32 PM

                    Both Tzatziki and Raita use cucumbers and mint! So so good! So so simple to make!

                    Here's what we do (sorry, we don't measure when we make this, so I'm guessing a little on proportions):

                    Yogurt, cucumber and mint are the same for both raita and tzatziki -

                    Strain about 2 cups of plain whole milk yogurt (place a few layers of cheesecloth in a strainer or colander over a bowl for a couple of hours or even overnight) OR start with greek yogurt which is already strained and very thick.
                    Peel and remove the seeds from 1 cucumber. Grate and squeeze out the juice.
                    Add a handful of mint, chopped finely. (a handful is such a bad measurement system -- I have small hands, my SO has big hands . . . I'd say you'd have maybe 2 teaspoons of chopped mint)

                    For raita, add some ground toasted cumin seeds - maybe about 1/4 - 1/2 tsp, a little salt and freshly ground pepper.

                    For tzatziki, add 1-3 cloves garlic run through a press, and salt and pepper. If I have it, I'll add some dill and sometimes I see my SO add a dash of white wine vinegar, which is also good.

                    You can also make mint chutney, kind of like a pesto, to use up a lot of mint at once - with mint, some sweet onion (maybe 1/2 as much as the mint), a little lemon juice, a little sugar, and some salt.

                    I also like to put mint in green salad, it's naturally great with fruit salad, and fresh mint ice cream is so delicious. Of course, there are always mojitos, caipirnhas, mint juleps . . . and you could make your own mint liqueur!

                    You can also make a Korean cucumber salad that is really easy and good, although it is best if the cucumbers are small, like pickling cucumbers. Let me know if you are interested and I can post that as well (beware: again, approximate proportions).

                    You are so lucky to have such a great herb garden!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: grubn
                      mikeb Aug 24, 2006 03:29 PM

                      Thanks to you all. Bought some Liberty Medeteranian yogurt and we are now starting to catch up with the mint. Bread Salad is a good idea now the tomatoes are starting to come in.

                      I would be interested in the Korean cucumber salad recipe and any more ideas on what to do with the frest oregano. Thanks!

                    2. a
                      amoncada Aug 24, 2006 08:10 PM

                      Here are two amazing recipes using dry herbs; “herb’s de provence” combination of herbs. You can combine the fresh with the dry see below. Be sure to rub the herbs thoroughly between your hands before applying them. This herb combo is amazing on Beer Can Chicken and my mother’s roast chicken. The oven roasted chicken is absolutely one of the very best chicken recipe’s you will ever try. Your friends and family will be blown away! My mom tweaked this recipe for the last 30 years and came up with the perfect one so, stick to it and you’ll love it....well sometimes I substitute a different blend of herbs but keep everything else the same. High quality dry herb’s makes a huge difference...cheap herbs are usually old and flavorless.

                      HERBS DE PROVENCE BEER CAN CHICKEN: Get your grill preheated to 375 degree's. Beer can chicken stands are available but not necessary.

                      Ingredients:

                      Approximately 3.5lb whole chicken

                      3-5 tablespoon’s of herb’s de provence

                      kosher salt to taste

                      3- tablespoons (or more...careful not to use too much, It could catch on fire. Use just enough olive oil so it’s not dripping all over) of extra virgin olive oil-works best because of it’s low burning point. Makes skin really crispy.

                      Fresh ground pepper to taste

                      Directions:

                      Wash and dry chicken thoroughly inside and out.
                      Rub olive oil all over bird inside and out
                      Rub kosher salt inside and out to taste and finally pepper
                      Rub herb’s de provence all over inside and out

                      1⁄2 of a beer in the can (you can’t waste the other half so you must drink it). Add a few sprigs of fresh herbs to can leaving enough room beer and herbs to breath.

                      Turn off one of the burners and place the bird over the can on the grill over this burner and prop up the legs in front of the bird.

                      Close grill lid and cook for 45 minutes before checking. Adjust temperature if needed when bird appears to be burning (not likely). Cook another 15-25 minutes or until juice from bird is clear.

                      When bird is done, remove from grill and cover with foil and let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving

                      LOLA MONCADA OF NEW ORLEANS ROASTED CHICKEN: This recipe is unbelievable! My mom tweaked this for the last 30 years so stick to the recipe, you’ll love it.

                      Marinating for 4-6 hours is best (overnight marinating is too long...the acid from the lemon starts to cook the bird and break everything down ). Roast or bake in a conventional oven at 375 degree’s.

                      Ingredients:

                      3-3.5 lb whole chicken
                      1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
                      1⁄2 teaspoon ground pepper
                      Fresh Lemon juice from 1 lemon (you can use juice from only 1⁄2 lemon if you don’t like it lemony)
                      6 large garlic cloves squeezed through the garlic press
                      Optional fresh herbs: Cut back on some of the dry herbs below and add your favorite fresh herbs under skin and in the cavity of the bird.
                      TWO OPTIONS FOR DRY HERBS:
                      3-5 tablespoon’s of herb’s de provence
                      OR
                      1 tablespoon of Italian or Greek oregano, 2-3 tablespoons of rosemary, 1 teaspoon of whole fennel seed
                      2 tablespoons of Japanese Tamari (do not substitute with soy sauce)
                      2 tablespoons of Italian red balsamic vinegar from Modena (do not substitute with other vinegars)
                      1⁄2 to 3⁄4 teaspoon of coarse salt - OPTIONAL (careful not to over salt...there’s salt in the chicken stock as well as the Tamari)
                      1 regular sized can of lower sodium chicken broth (around 14 fluid ounces), preferably organic. If you only have the regular sodium chicken broth then, do not add the optional coarse salt.
                      1⁄2 cup of dry champagne (optional-try the recipe once without champagne-use more chicken broth in the roasting pan if you don’t use champagne)
                      2-3 large potato’s peeled and cut in long thick sections / place in cold water until ready to use.

                      Directions: If you follow the recipe, you’ll be blown away at how amazing it is.
                      Drain potato’s and place in roasting pan.
                      Wash and dry bird thoroughly then place in roasting pan over potato’s.
                      In a jar or Tupperware bowl with lid combine all of the ingredients (except for the chicken broth and potato’s) and close tightly.
                      Shake marinate for 30-60 seconds and let stand for 5 minutes.
                      Pour marinate over bird and potato’s inside and out and let stand covered in refrigerator for 4-6 hours. Try and cover the potato’s with bird as much as possible.

                      Remove bird from refrigerator and let stand for 20 minutes prior to cooking.
                      Preheat oven to 375 degree’s. Total cooking time is typically 70 minutes depending on size of bird.
                      Mix 1⁄2 can of chicken broth with 1⁄2 to 1 cup of dry champagne (add more chicken broth when champagne is excluded)
                      Pour chicken broth and champagne mixure in bottom of roasting pan.
                      Place roasting pan with chicken and potato’s on middle rack uncovered.

                      Cook bird with breast side down for 30 minutes.

                      Turn bird breast side up and then baste (baste once only-basting throughout the cooking time will make for soggy skin) top of bird with the liquid in bottom of pan. Add more heated chicken broth and champagne to pan if needed.

                      Cook for another 40 minutes or until skin is relatively dark and crispy.
                      Remove from oven and cover tightly with foil. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving.
                      This recipe is amazing with mashed potato’s as well. Use the juice from the bottom of the pan.

                      Please report back with your results.

                      Enjoy.

                      Alex Moncada

                      1. l
                        lowergardendistrict Aug 24, 2006 08:30 PM

                        I dry some of my oregano and thyme. It's easy--just leave fresh stems on the counter until dry, remove stems and store dried leaves in plastic bags. Home-dried herbs are much tastier that store-bought.

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