Classic Spice Blends: Herbes de Provence

Classic Spice Blends: Herbes de Provence
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Classic Spice Blends: Herbes de ProvenceHerbes de Provence is a blend of herbs native to the Provence region in southern France where the fresh herbs are gathered from the mountain sides to use in traditional dishes. (Thyme pictured.)

Rosemary, thyme and bay leaf are the base for the blend-without these it is not herbes de Provence. From there basil, lavender and fennel are added.

In France, lavender is only added in very small amounts and sometimes excluded, which was a surprise to me.

Lavender is so much associated with this region in France that it is assumed that it is the main ingredient, but it's actually optional.

Here is a very basic blend that can be mixed, although each cooks adds her or his own touch to the blend which changes it slightly.

Dry herb Ingredients:

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 tablespoon marjoram

1 tablespoon summer savory

1 tablespoon thyme

1 crushed bay leaf

1 teaspoon lavender

1 teaspoon fennel

Mix together and keep in a covered container. The Herb Lady also has a wonderful blend that I use. The description is HERE

Herbes de Provence is a nice mixture to use for rubbing on meats, poultry, or fish before roasting. It's also used for seasoning salads, sauces and cheeses, as well as soups and stews. Try rubbing the blend on whole turkey or the breast before roasting. Rub beef, lamb or veal with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then press the herb blend into the meat. Sear the meat in a very hot skillet on both sides, then remove and finish roasting in a 300 degree oven until cooked to your preference. When grilling add a pinch or two of herbes de Provence to the coals when they are hot.

Herbes de Provence Chicken

Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless chicken, trimmed of any fat

1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp. paprika

3 tbsp. olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 cups wine

1 tbsp. Herbes de Provence

fresh rosemary, basil, parsley (optional)

black pepper and salt

Mix the flour and paprika. Roll the chicken breasts in the flour mixture. Heat olive oil in a large pot, browning it in small enough batches so that the meat browns nicely. Remove meat, and saute the garlic. Add the wine and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pot, stir, and cook on high until a sauce forms. Turn down heat to a low simmer, add the chicken back to the pot. Sprinkle with the herbes de Provence, salt, pepper and minced fresh herbs if desired. Bake at 300F. for 2 1/2 hours, or until the chicken is quite tender. Serve with a rice or potato dish.

Herbes de Provence Bread

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups warm water

2 tsp. dry yeast

2 tbsp. granulated sugar

1 tbsp. salt

2 tbsp. Herbes de Provence

7 cups all-purpose flour

1 egg white; lightly beaten

Stir the first five ingredients together to dissolve the yeast, sugar and salt. Stir in the flour. Knead 10 minutes. Let rise, covered, until doubled in bulk. Punch down; knead three or four times to remove air, then divide in four equal pieces. Shape each piece into a long loaf and place in a well greased French bread pan (or form into loaf on a baking sheet) slash the top. Brush the loaves with the egg white and let rise until doubled. Bake 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 400F, then reduce the heat to 350F and bake 20 min. longer, or until the loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove the loaves from the pans and cool on racks.

Potatoes Herbes de Provence

Ingredients:

3 large potatoes, scrubbed

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried Herbes de Provence

Salt, to your taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Cut potatoes into thin wedges and place on a cookie sheet. Coat potatoes in thinly with oil, then sprinkle with the herb blend generously. Toss potatoes to coat evenly. Roast the potatoes for 25 minutes, until crisp and golden at edges. Season while hot with salt if desired.

Herbes de Provence Dressing

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley

1 tbsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. dry Herbes de Provence

1/4 tsp. kosher or sea salt

1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl whisk all ingredients well to combine. Use as drizzle for sandwiches or salads, or to add to vegetables. Makes 1/3 cup.

 

Image: courtesy of Wikimedia.org

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Paprika Blends

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About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.

 
 

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