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TV chef highlights the versatility of bay leaves

Bay leaves can be used to make tasty stews

TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has insisted that the humble bay leaf is a kitchen essential that has numerous uses.

In an article for the Guardian newspaper, the River Cottage presenter said that hardly a day goes by when he does not use the culinary herbs in some form.

From stuffing them into a roast chicken to stirring them into stews and sauteing them with onions as a base for a soup, there are endless possibilities.

"I love their pungent, sweet and spicy aroma, which is at once vibrant and comforting," he remarked.

Bay leaves are an essential ingredient in picking spices and in a bouquet garni. A few leaves will also infuse a terrine, the writer and broadcaster pointed out.

"Add a leaf or two to the milk when you're making a bechamel sauce, or even toss them into the boiling water for spuds," he suggested.

Bay leaves also go well with fish and can even work with sweet recipes such as rice puddings.

Related products: Bay leaves, bouquet garni

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