Chef Secrets: Utilizing Fresh Herbs!

In Marinades, Dry Rubs and How to Freeze Them Properly!

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Ok, we’ve all been there, your recipe only calls for a few tablespoons of fresh herbs, but you’re stuck with a whole bunch! What do you do? Personal Chef Bill Collins from showed us how to incorporate your fresh herbs into marinades and dry rubs, and told us the proper way to freeze your herbs to make them last all winter!

Basil Pesto

1-2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup basil leaves, washed and dried
1/3 cup pine nuts (or other nuts)
1 cup parmesan cheese
3/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

In a food processor, process the garlic until it’s minced
Add the basil, pine nuts, and parmesan, and pulse chop until is roughly chopped.
Slowly add the olive oil until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

If the pesto is bitter, add (any or all):
Sun dried tomatoes
Anchovies (or anchovy paste)
Roasted peppers

Marinated Flank Steak

¼ cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 shakes Tabasco Sauce
2 pounds flank steak

Combine all of the ingredients, except the steak. Then add the steak, and marinate from two-eight hours.
To cook: Grill, broil, or pan-fry (in a cast iron skillet, if possible) for 4-5 minutes per side.

NOTE: Flank steak is best served between rare and medium. If it’s well done, it’ll probably be very tough and chewy.

Blackened Fish

4 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons garlic powder
3 teaspoons ground pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons fresh thyme – crumbled
2 teaspoons fresh oregano – crumbled
Pam Spray
Canola oil
1 ½ pounds  swordfish, halibut filet, catfish, tilapia, hake, or other firm fish

Combine everything EXCEPT the fish.
Heat a cast iron skillet until it’s VERY hot.
Meanwhile, spray the fish with Pam, and cover the top and bottom of fish with the spices.
Add 1+ tablespoon oil to the pan. Sear the fish on one side for 3 minutes.  Sear on 2nd side for 3 minutes.  Cover the pan, add a few drops of water, and cook for 2-3 more minutes, until it’s cooked to your liking.


Rock Fruit Salsa

8-10 peaches and/or plums (peeled, if desired)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 medium red onion, minced
3 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 lime, zest only
Salt and pepper to taste
2 dashes of Tabasco sauce (optional)

Peel and remove the pits off the fruit. Cut into small ( ¼”- ½”) pieces and set aside.
Combine all of the remaining ingredients with the fruit, and refrigerate for one hour.
Adjust the flavor with salt, pepper, and Tabasco, if desired.

This salsa is terrific even if you don’t have the time to chill it.
To clean the cilantro, place it (still bound by it’s string or twist-tie) in a bowl of water, with the leaves facing down, for 10 minutes. Remove the cilantro from the water.  If there’s a lot of dirt in the bottom of the bowl, repeat this until there’s no dirt left.  Sometimes one time will do this.  Sometimes, a few more.  If you don’t do this, you’ll have grit and dirt in your salsa.

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