Tag Archives: Herbs

Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve: Product Review

Having a good variety of condiments and spices at your disposal is one of the greatest ingredients to tasty and easy cooking. While I usually prefer to rely on individual spices rather then blends, as it gives me more leeway, one of the exceptions I make is Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve. I use it in a variety of recipes, such as my delicious creamy pan-fried salmon. One of the most defining features of Les Herbes Salees, is that, as their name strongly implies (if you speak French) the blend tastes extremely salty.

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve

Making Herbes Salées is apparently pretty easy; a quick Google search will reveal plenty of recipes, but frankly these are so delicious and inexpensive that I see no point in buying and chopping and dealing with all those different herbs and salt. I buy it, it tastes great, is easy to use just about everywhere and it saves me a bunch of trouble.

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve (Ingredients)

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve (Ingredients)

Les Herbes Salées can be used just about everywhere, but the packaging recommends using it in soups, gravies, with fish and meat dishes such as pies, roast beef, ground meats, stews and meatloaf, as well as with pasta, rice, omelets and mashed potatoes. In fact, anywhere you’d add salt, consider using these. It’s much tastier and just as salty. Maybe more so.

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve (Nutritional Info)

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve (Nutritional Info)

As you can see in the picture above, each 15 gram portion contains 880 mg of sodium, which is not that much when you consider how salty this stuff actually is. Here are the ingredients that4 go in this particular brand of Herbes Salées:

  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Salt
  • Carrots
  • Parsnip
  • Parsley
  • Chervil
  • Savory
  • Leek
  • Chives
  • Spinach

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve were born from a need to save herbs over the winter months; there are as many recipes for them as they are people making them. A quick internet search will show that much. If you’re interested in making your own, you can follow this recipe, which is wonderful in its absence of details. Also, you’ll need to read French. If enough people show interest, I’ll post a translated version here.

Rodelle Classic Herbes de Provence: Product Review

I’ve been really impressed with the Rodelle products I had the opportunity to buy at Costco, especially the Gourmet Baking Cocoa, which I reviewed a few weeks ago. I was therefore really happy when I saw that my Costco also stocked the Rodelle Classic Herbes de Provence, which is a Gourmet Herb Blend. I really enjoy cooking French food and eating it, so I figured this would be a great addition to my pantry.

Rodelle Classic Herbes de Provence

Rodelle Classic Herbes de Provence

First off, let’s talk about price. This is Costco we’re talking about, so it’s all about the best deal, the best price and the best value. The Rodelle Classic Herbes de Provence comes in a 108 gram container, which is about 3.8 ounces, and costs $7.89 at my local Costco. This comes down to about 2 dollars per ounce, which is not expensive for a gourmet herb blend.

This Rodelle product is Made in the USA, and contains the following ingredients:

  • Thyme
  • Fennel
  • Basil
  • Savory
  • Lavender

I know that some Herbes de Provence blend don’t include Lavender, but I find that it brings a hint of freshness that is quite incomparable, so I like it just like that.

So what can those herbs be used for? Are they used only in traditional French cuisine? Absolutely not! While that’s where they find their roots, les Herbes de Provence have transcended their origins and can be used just about anywhere. Check out this Huffington Post article for some inspiration!

In short, they are great for grilling or roasting meat – particularly awesome with a roast leg of lamb, or shoulder – but are equally at home with seafood and fish, or simply on roasted potatoes. You can even make a really good dip using nothing but Herbes de Provence, sour cream and mayonnaise!

When you’re next at Coscto, make sure you pick up Rodelle’s Classic Herbes de Provence. It’s an easy and affordable way to add hint of la Cote d’Azur to your cooking!

Pan-Fried Salmon in a Creamy Herb Sauce Recipe

Who doesn’t love salmon? Well, I guess people with allergies, or those that don’t like fish in general. But salmon’s pretty awesome. What I have here is a recipe that was originally for cod, but brilliantly adapted by one of my colleagues, and yours truly, for salmon.

The gist of the recipe is pan-friend salmon chunks in a creamy sauce with salted herbs. Ok, I know what you’re thinking: “Creamy and salty! Oh my God, he’s discovered the secret to ultimate flavor!” And you would be mostly right. Except that this really is quite good, and not nearly as greasy nor salty as the name would imply.

Start with about 600 grams – a pound and a half, more or less – of nice, fresh salmon fillet, from which you’ll remove the skin. I’m really bad at this and tend to butcher the fillet, so no pictures of that. Cut the salmon in cubes about an inch a side.

Cutting the Salmon

I then prepared a mix of white flour, cayenne pepper and curcuma – for color. The mix was mostly flour, but took on a very slight red and gold tint from the other ingredients. I then rolled the pieces of salmon fillet in the flour mix, individually so as not to bruise them any more than needed.

Salmon in Flour

In an anti-adhesive pan, I melted a good-sized nugget of butter, maybe about one big heaping tablespoon, and added some olive oil. I then turned up the heat just short of “MAX”.

I carefully deposited the pieces of salmon, now nicely coated with the flour mix, in the burning hot oil and butter.Butter and Oil

I say carefully, both for the salmon, which I did not want to break apart, as well as for my fingers, who react predictably to contact with burning oil.

That being said, salmon is a lot sturdier than cod when fried, and should not fall apart too much. Once the fish was cooked on one side, I carefully (again) turned over the salmon so that the other side could comfortably bathe in hot butter and oil.

Salmon starting to FryOnce the salmon was outwardly cooked more or less evenly, I added one tablespoon of one of my favorite condiments, Les Herbes Salées du Bas du Fleuve, which translates as “Salted Herbs from the lower River”.

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve

Les Herbes Salées du Bas du Fleuve

The “lower river” pertains to a region on the St-Lawrence river, not actual water herbs. It’s a mix of parsley, carrots, and lots of other things, and it’s really, really salty. So don’t put too much. I ended up with this:

FRIED_SALMON_WITH_HERBS

Now, this is good enough to be eaten as is. But I got the recipe from one of my colleagues, who is French, and never, ever misses an occasion to drown food with cream. He actually recommended that I use 45% cream, but that’s too much, even for me. I added maybe a quarter-cup of cream, and kept the heat on high for a few minutes, until the cream started to boil.

SALMON_WITH_CREAM

I I served the pan-fried salmon over a bed of rice, with probably some sort of vegetable on the side, I don’t remember that part! This is a really delicious recipe, easy and quick to make. It’s not exactly ‘light’, so it shouldn’t be an every day thing. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this. Bear in mind that all quantities are approximate. Look at the pictures and use your cooking common sense.

Bon appétit!

PAN_FRIED_SALMON_WITH_HERBS_AND_CREAM

Ingredients:

  • 600 grams of salmon (1 ½ pounds)
  • Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Cream (15% or more)
  • Flour
  • Curcuma (a pinch)
  • Cayenne (a smaller pinch)
  • Herbes Salées du Bas du Fleuve (or equivalent)

Serve on rice.

Author’s Note: This is a reprint from the recipe I’d published a few years ago on a food website I owned. I haven’t changed a word. What has changed, however, is that I try not to eat greasy food like that too often. My doctor frowns upon it.