Never let it be said that I am possessed of a lot of humility:
Years ago I perfected a personalized seasoning that I believe adds the “5” to the “5-Star” in cooking and will inevitably and always add that special “Chef Touch” that makes almost any dish it is added to sparkle with a flavorful brilliance that can hardly ever (If ever) be surpassed.
Need I interject at this point that all of this is my own personal opinion?
The special seasoning that I developed is based roughly on something the world of cookery refers to as “Bouquet Garni.”
But a true Bouquet Garni is a conglomeration of herbs wrapped up in a gauze bag and removed from the dish being cooked before the dish is plated and served.
My version of this ancient culinary treasure remains in the food as it is being served because my version is not an infusion but an inclusion as one of the ingredients of any soup, stew, steak, pork chop or roasted meat.
If I do say so myself, the result of using this special ingredient that I have developed raises any dish to which it is applied much higher on the scale of culinary satisfaction for those with well-honed palates — but again I must say that all of this is my own opinion and if the reader is challenged enough to try it then the reader is doing it on his or her own and must not fault me if the results are not pleasing.
Here is the mix as I prepare it for my own use:
Equal parts of:
Ground Sweet Basil
A single powdered bay leaf per 1/4 cup of the above mixture.
(Use a mortar and pestle to grind the bay leaf if you have one.)
How I use this specialty:
I like to add 1/8th to 1/4 measured level teaspoon of this seasoning per pound of meat or per 8-ounces (measured) of soups and stews.
I recommend beginning with the lesser amount if you have never used this mixture in this manner.
I always add mine at the beginning of the cooking cycle for the dish in which I am using it.
Do not mix salt into this seasoning. If you plan to salt your dish please do so separately from this seasoning.
The seasoning works well with pepper in the cooking process again but please do not add any pepper to the spice. If you are going to pepper your dish please do so separately the same as for salt.
I have even been known to add it to steaks I am grilling but when I do that I do it from either a pinch between the fingers dropped from a good distance over the top of the meat while it is on the grill or I sometimes use a sprinkle bottle the same as salt and pepper normally come in at the supermarket.
For ordinary cooking, I like to grind my own peppercorns but there are none in this recipe so pepper is inconsequential here for the moment. I just mentioned it in passing.