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Food & Wine Ground >> Spices in Tomato Sauce--Before or After?


3/15/11 12:27 PM
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pierrot lunaire
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I always put my thyme and basil in my red sauce first and let them cook with the tomatos for a few hours. I was reading Alton brown's book and he said that this was only good for dry spices. If you did that with fresh ones, the flavor would be killed. Instead he says you should add them near the end of the cooking process.

Doesn't sound at all right to me. What do you think?
3/16/11 1:28 PM
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crescentwrench
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 He's right.  Dry early, fresh late.  You're putting in fresh herbs for the fresh hit of aromatics that they give off, and that's all gone if they've been stewing for hours.  Basil especially.  You could throw in sprigs of fresh thyme at the start if you want, that's pretty common.  But the basil will get destroyed by long and slow cooking.  
3/19/11 1:22 AM
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Mullet @ Heart
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Wow. Good info.
3/20/11 10:53 PM
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Mit
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Very interesting.
4/5/11 6:02 PM
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Turd Furguson
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crescentwrench -  He's right.  Dry early, fresh late.  You're putting in fresh herbs for the fresh hit of aromatics that they give off, and that's all gone if they've been stewing for hours.  Basil especially.  You could throw in sprigs of fresh thyme at the start if you want, that's pretty common.  But the basil will get destroyed by long and slow cooking.  



this. "hard" herbs, like thyme and rosemary can go in early, and you can refresh with a bit at the end, soft ones like basil, chives, etc, mentioned above just die after a few minutes in the sauce
4/6/11 11:45 AM
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shibbytastic
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My general rule is to toast spices lightly in oil at the start of cooking and add herbs right at the end.
4/11/11 10:15 AM
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BrockbackMountain
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crescentwrench -  He's right.  Dry early, fresh late.  You're putting in fresh herbs for the fresh hit of aromatics that they give off, and that's all gone if they've been stewing for hours.  Basil especially.  You could throw in sprigs of fresh thyme at the start if you want, that's pretty common.  But the basil will get destroyed by long and slow cooking.  



This. Basil should be added at the end.
5/21/11 8:42 PM
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GingerWhinger
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 I always go basil at the very end.
I do onion, olive oil, S&P, garlic first, then add tomatoes, wine, thyme, crushed red pepper, dried oregano and let that go.

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