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  • Writer's pictureElise

Virtual Cook Book Club: October's Spice Is Rosemary!

Updated: Apr 15, 2023

We've made our cook book club virtual! We may not be able to meet in person and cook for one another, but that doesn't mean we can't create together. Each month we will highlight a different spice or seasoning. Kits will include this spice, a recipe that highlights it, a little history on the spice or recipe, and some best practices. I'll post the recipes and information here as well, so let's get cooking!

 

Some Background on Rosemary

Adapted and abridged from The Herb Society and The Spruce Eats

Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis, is a bush with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers. Native to the Mediterranean region, rosemary grows in dry rocky areas especially along the coast, it is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, which includes over 7,000 species.


The name "rosemary" derives from the Latin words "ros", meaning "dew" and "marinus," meaning "sea" - "dew of the sea". Rosemary has been in culinary use since at least 500 B.C. It is even said to have been draped around Aphrodite when she rose from the sea and that the Virgin Mary spread her blue cloak over a white-blossomed rosemary bush while she was resting and the flowers turned blue. The shrub then became known as the “Rose of Mary.” In the ninth century, Charlemagne insisted that the herb be grown in his royal gardens. It was used as a cologne by Napoleon Bonaparte and was mentioned in five of Shakespeare’s plays, just to name a few.


Cooking Uses

Adapted and abridged from The Herb Society, The Spruce Eats and Masterclass.com


Rosemary is used in a variety of ways, from medicine to cooking, wreath-making to soaps.


In cooking, it is often paired with any number of meats, as its pungent, woody flavor and woodsy, aromatic scent enhances the darker elements of the cuts. While rosemary can easily be paired with beef, lamb, and fish, it is best known for seasoning poultry. However a number of brighter flavors such as tomatoes and cheeses, as well as carbs such as potatoes and squashes, are also well-paired with the herb.


Unlike more fragile herbs, rosemary holds up extremely well to heat and prolonged cooking times and even grows stronger in flavor the longer it is cooked in liquid. To use, simply strip the rosemary leaves from the stem by pulling the needles in the opposite direction from which they grow and they should easily slide off the stalk. These needles are then gathered in a bunch and minced by rocking your knife back and forth over the pile until it’s fine.


The Main Event:

As adapted and shortened for the Brown Deer Cook Book Club from Nutrition in the Kitch


Ingredients

  • 4 medium russet potatoes, washed and sliced into 1/2" fry strips

  • 1 Tbs olive oil

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Seasoning Mix

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme

  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary

You Will Also Need

  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley

  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh chives

  • Parchment paper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Wash and cut the potatoes.

  3. Add the sliced potatoes to a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil an dadd in the fresh minced garlic, tossing to lightly coat.

  4. In a small bowl combine the spices for the seasoning mix and add 1/2 of the seasoning mix to the bowl with the potatoes. Toss again to coat the potatoes. Set the remaining seasoning mix to the side.

  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add the potato slices to the pan, cut side down, so they are all evenly dispersed, none overlapping.

  6. Bak for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes is up, remove the pan from the oven and flip all of the fries so the crispy side is up.

  7. Place back in the oven for 12 more minutes.

  8. Remove from the oven and toss the fries on the pan so none are sticking.

  9. Turn the heat up to broil (500°F) and place the fries back in the oven for 2-3 minutes until perfectly browned and crispy.

  10. Remove once again and toss the hot fries in a large bowl with the remaining seasoning mix to coat completely.

  11. Enjoy alone or with any healthier dip of your choice (I made a quick aioli using 1/4 cup real mayonnaise mixed with 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley.

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