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Cooking With Herbs

Nothing beats the convenience of snipping fresh chives
for an omelet or cutting fresh parsley for soups and stews. I have grown my own
herbs for many years using small clay pots on my backyard deck. It’s easy and,
oh, what a difference fresh herbs can make in recipes.

The herb recipes below are from Herbs- Cultivating
& Cuisine
, a new book by Carol Asher from McClanahan Publishing (see page
33 for more information on the book and herb gardening).

Looking for a great main course? The Orange Chicken
Veronique is a Sunday special, and the Limas in Sour Cream make a good side dish
with the addition of green onions and thyme.

Use 3 to 5 times more fresh herbs than dried herbs
when converting recipes.


6 tomatoes, cut into wedges

1 sweet red bell pepper, cut into strips

1 green bell pepper, cut into strips

1 medium purple onion, sliced and separated

into rings

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/2 cup scallions, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh basil, minced

1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Lettuce leaves

Place first four ingredients in a 13x9x2-inch dish
and set aside. Combine next nine ingredients in a jar; cover tightly and shake
vigorously. Drizzle over vegetables; toss gently. Cover and chill at least 3
hours. Line a platter with lettuce leaves and drain vegetables, reserving liquid.
Arrange on lettuce leaves. Drizzle with excess liquid and serve immediately.
Serves 8.


2 cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 cup shortening

3 Tablespoons butter

1/2 cup chopped basil

1/4 cup chopped thyme

3/4 cup buttermilk

Melted butter

In a large mixing bowl, stir flour, sugar, and baking
soda together. Cut in shortening and butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Stir in basil and thyme. Add buttermilk and mix well.

Turn dough out onto floured board and knead until
smooth. Roll dough flat until it is approximately 1/2 inch thick. Cut with 2-inch
cookie cutter. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet so they just touch each
other. Brush tops with melted butter. Bake in a 425° oven for 15-18 minutes.
Makes about 15 biscuits.


3 boneless chicken breasts, skin removed

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup orange juice

1 cup dry white wine

2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 teaspoons fresh chopped marjoram, or 1/2 teaspoon dried

3 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried

2 Tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 Tablespoons water

1 cup halved seedless green grapes 


Place chicken breasts in between pieces of wax paper
and flatten with a mallet. Cut into small portions. Pour oil in nonstick 12-inch
skillet. Heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, or
until browned on both sides. Drain excess oil from skillet.

With chicken remaining in skillet, add juice, wine,
sugar, salt, marjoram, and thyme. Cover and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for
15 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear. Remove chicken
from skillet and place in serving dish. Cover to keep warm and set aside.

Using whisk, stir cornstarch and water mixture into
skillet. Add grapes. Cook for two minutes, or until sauce is thickened and translucent,
stirring constantly. Spoon over chicken. Serve with rice. Serves 6.


2 (16-oz.) bags frozen lima beans

2 Tablespoons green onion, chopped

2 Tablespoons diced pimento, drained

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons thyme, minced

Cook beans according to package directions; drain
and set aside. Sauté onion and pimento in butter until onion is tender. Remove
from heat and add sour cream and thyme, stirring well. Add sour cream mixture
to lima beans; stir until blended. Cook over low heat until thoroughly heated.
Serve immediately. Serves 6.


1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup fresh green onion, finely minced

1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, minced

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl,
blending well. Serve with hot bread or baked potatoes. Makes 3/4 cup.

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