Friday, July 16, 2010

Roasted Duck With Orange Saffron Sauce!

We just tried this recipe using our very own Florida Herb House Saffron Threads and it was delicious. Well maybe amazing was a better word or "mouth watering"! Our saffron is on sale this summer at over 30% off suggested retail prices! If you decide to purchase some of our saffron from or then the recipe that follows below is a must try!!!


• 2 medium ducks

• 1 quart orange juice

• Zest of 1 orange or lemon, ground fine

• 1/4 or more chili peppers, minced fine

• 1/4 cup honey

• 1 small handful flour

• 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads

• 1/4 cup boiling water

• 1 or 2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped fine (optional, but much better)

• Pinch of salt, if necessary (It depends on how salty the duck is.)


1. Preheat the oven to hot.

2. The duck will usually have the stumps of many feathers still attached. To remove them, singe them on an open gas burner and then pull them with your fingers, if necessary.

3. Cut the duck down the full length of the breast side, then flatten the duck.

4. Prick the skin side of the duck in many places with a fork.

5. Mix the juice, zest, salt, pepper, honey, and thyme, if used.

6. Cover the ducks in the juice mixture and marinate for a half hour. Reserve the marinade.

7. Place the ducks skin side up on a wire mesh above a cookie sheet or large baking pan, so that the fat can drip down and not be in contact with the ducks.

8. Place in the oven, lower the heat to moderate, and roast for an 1 hour or until the ducks are well browned.

9. Place 1/2 of the pan drippings from the duck, without any charred bits, into a sauce pan or frying pan.

10. Stir the flour into the drippings over a moderate flame. Don't allow the flour to brown.

11. Gradually stir the reserved marinade into the drippings and flour.

12. Soak the saffron in the water for 15 minutes, then mix the saffron and its water into the marinade mixture.

13. Heat to a boil, then immediately reduce the flame and simmer for 5 minutes.

14. Taste and salt if necessary.

15. The ducks can be carved either in the kitchen or at the table. Serve the sauce separately in a sauce boat.


Stephen Sharp
Florida Herb House

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Spearmint Leaf - A Wonderful Scented Herb!

Our Spearmint Leaf Smells Great!!

We love making spearmint leaf tea with our organic grown cut leaves. Our spearmint leaf is probably one of our top 10 selling herbs for 2010. Spearmint is the best known herb among all the varieties of mint, in the mint family. Native to Europe and Southwest Asia, spearmint is a herbaceous rhizomatous perennial plant that grows to a height of 30 to 100 cm. The plant bears small leaves measuring 5-9 cm in length and 1.5-3 cm in width. The leaves have a mild, sweet fragrance and aroma. Spearmint is used either in its fresh or dried form for seasoning various delicacies.

Try making spearmint tea by putting a tablespoon of leaves into boiling water and letting it steep for 15 min. Don't let the water boil. Experiment with dropping a few leaves into hot/boiling water, steeping for 5-15 minutes and seeing how many leaves and how many minutes it took to steep before you liked it.

Spearmint is native to the Mediterranean region and was cultivated throughout the Roman Empire. The Spearmint plant grows to about two feet in height, with short, bright green leaves and small, compactly-arranged flowers. Spearmint is easy to cultivate and grows well in most types of soil and is, in fact, sometimes considered a weed in America.

Today, Spearmint is used for culinary purposes by people across the world. The leaf is used as a flavoring in many dishes, candies and beverages, and it is also an ingredient in cosmetics. Medicinally, Spearmint Leaf is similar to Peppermint in action, though it is considered to be milder. For this reason, Spearmint Leaf has traditionally been used for stomach aches in children. A decoction of Spearmint Leaf was formerly gargled to keep gums healthy and whiten the teeth, and it is still used in many toothpastes. Spearmint Leaf is primarily used to reduce fevers and to aid in digestion.

It is the essential oil menthol present in spearmint that relaxes the smooth muscle, thus relieving symptoms of stomach aches, muscle spasms, IBS, etc. The phytonutrient, Perillyl alcohol, a monoterpene, present in the mint leaves is shown to inhibit the proliferation of cells in lung, pancreatic, liver and skin killer cells. The essential oil, menthol, also has an anti-bacterial property. Spearmint leaves are a very good source of beta-carotene, a precursor of Vitamin A. It enhances the eye sight, fights against acne, results in smooth radiant skin and also a good source of Vitamin C, a natural water soluble antioxidant. It enhances the body's immune system, maintains the elasticity of skin and blood vessels, increases the absorption of iron from the intestines and prevents bruising of the skin.

Florida Herb House