Crushing aromatics in a mortar with a pestle will help release flavour. Start off slowly, or ingredients are likely to fly out the top. Hold the pestle in one hand and cup the other around the edge of the mortar to act as a barrier for ingredients which try to pop over the top of the mortar. Push ingredients around side of the bowl with the pestle to break them up, then twist the pestle in a circular motion. For peppercorns and seeds, do a few at a time, and go gently or they will fly out the top! Gently tap them to break them up, then use the pestle, pushing it into the peppercorns or seeds and grind against the sides of the mortar until ground as finely as you need them. When crushing soft-leaf herbs like basil, pound to a paste. See Baked Snapper with Aromatics
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