Daregal Herbs recently sent me some of their frozen herbs and I was delighted to sample their stuff. A package of eight products arrived: Cilantro, Dill, Basil, Parsley, Original Blend, Italian Blend, Grilling Blend and Oregano. The herbs are washed, cut up, spritzed with oil and then frozen within three hours of harvest to ensure they maintain maximum freshness and essential oils.
They popped right into the door of my freezer and I've been playing around with them in all sorts of dishes: sprinkled onto omelets, pasta, grilled fish, salads, etc. They are almost as convenient as having a dooryard herb garden (in season, of course) and the flavors and aromas are excellent, although I do notice that the Cilantro is not as pungent smelling or tasting as fresh Cilantro. I also found the uniformity of the herb pieces not as aesthetically pleasing as lacy bits of fresh herbs, but if one doesn't have a handy windowsill pot of herbs or herb patch at the ready, this product would be preferable to using dried herbs or having to run out to the market in the middle of culinary creation. The Original Herb Blend is particularly nice, as it has diced onion bits added, so that it is a great all-purpose seasoning when you want to fancy up a quick dinner.
Right now, Daregal frozen herbs are marketed in a few supermarket chains which seem to be in the metropolitan New York City area, so other shoppers will have to turn to the Daregal website to order them directly.
The Daregal company is also sponsoring a recipe contest to showcase their fresh frozen herbs, and entrants could be eligible to win a $500 grand prize! For more details about the recipe contest, check out this link.
The Crispy Cook was energized by this contest and came up with a great-tasting and relatively quick meal one weekday night when I was trying to corral a meal onto the table in between soccer, softball and social activities for my two perpetually-hungry teenagers and their chauffeurs, er, parental units.
Lemony Shrimp Over Herbed Mashed Potatoes
3/4 lb. frozen cooked shrimp, tails left on
6 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 Tbsp. butter
5 Tbsp. milk
Salt and Pepper
3 Tbsp. Daregal Original Herb Blend
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. butter
1 tsp. olive oil
Place frozen shrimp in cold water to thaw.
Meanwhile, place potatoes in a large pot with lightly salted water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash. Add 2 Tbsp. butter, milk and Daregal Original Herb Blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm.
Pat shrimp dry. Heat 1 tsp. butter and olive oil in frying pan. When butter is melted, add shrimp and lemon juice and cook, stirring often, until heated through, about 5 minutes.
Place some mashed potatoes in each serving dish, top with a portion of shrimp, and maybe give everything another little shake of Daregal Original Herb Blend for a little extra flavor boost and color.
Serves 4 in under 30 minutes!
I hope others will join me in checking out this great product and whipping up a cool recipe for the Daregal contest.