“When it rains it pours” was the slogan that made Morton Salt famous. But is there more to salt than what comes out of a shaker at your local dining establishment? You bet there is!

Salt is mostly mined from the earth or evaporated from ocean water and comes in many forms such as: fine iodized table salt, Kosher salt, course salt, and salt exclusively for culinary purposes. There are a vast array of gourmet and naturally occurring salts such as Himalayan pink salt or unprocessed sea salt from the Sea of Cortez.

Some of the more flavorful and culinary adventurous salts I have in my pantry are: sea salt from the sea of Cortez (which my two sons brought back from a trip to Baja, Mexico), Chardonnay Oak Smoked salt and Alder Wood Smoked sea salt. Kosher salt is what I use for an everyday general-purpose salt because the crystals are larger, easier to distribute in foods and not as harsh as table salt. I usually mix this half-and-half with course ground pepper. The salt brings out the natural flavor in foods while the pepper adds a bit.

A good quality salt doesn’t taste quite as salty as one might think. The salt from the sea of Cortez tastes like the ocean breeze. Himalayan pink salt contains a little more than 98% sodium chloride (salt) with the remainder consisting of an array of minerals making it earthy tasting and colorful ranging from white to rose colored. It also has a nice little crunch to it if you leave it on the course side. The Chardonnay Oak Smoked salt was a little saltier than I expected with a Smokey Oakey hint to it. The Alder Wood Smoked sea salt was really bold with what I would describe as campfire quality.

Experiment and use different salts when preparing your dishes. From mild to bold tasting, the right salt can make a huge difference. The more flavorful salts can be used in cooking as well as finishing by sprinkling them on just before serving.

Here are a couple of recipes I cooked the other night that you might enjoy:

Grilled Salmon w/Alder wood smoked sea salt

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 Salmon Fillet Steaks
Olive Oil
Alder wood smoked sea salt

Directions:

Prepare the coals in a BBQ or pre-heat a gas grill. Let salmon steaks come to room temperature then coat with olive oil and sprinkle medium to moderately with the salt. When the coals are covered with white ash or the gas grill has pre-heated; it’s time to put the salmon steaks on. Depending on the thickness of the steaks and the temperature of the grill, leave the salmon steaks on the first side for 3 – 5 min. then turning them over carefully with a spatula, grill the other side for about 3 min. until just cooked and the fish slightly flakes apart with a fork. Finish with Alder wood smoked sea salt and serve immediately!

Grilled Potato Wedges

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 med. Yucon Gold Potatoes
2 med Purple Potatoes
2 med Sweet Potatoes
Olive Oil
Chardonnay Oak Smoked salt
Fresh ground pepper
Chopped fresh herbs (rosemary is always good for potatoes)

Directions:

Wash potatoes thoroughly and remove any unwanted bad spots or eyes. Par boil the potatoes starting out with cold, salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until a fork just starts to go into the potatoes easily. Remove potatoes and run under cold water or place in ice bath to cool off and stop the cooking process. When potatoes are cooled off, pat dry with paper towels, cut into wedges and coat with olive oil then toss with salt, pepper and any herbs. Place on grill until nice grill marks appear then turn them over to achieve the same on the second side. Serve with your favorite condiment: ketchup, sour cream, sweet chili sauce, hot sauce, tomato sauce, barbecue sauce or mayonnaise.

Grilled Summer Veggies

Serves 2

Ingredients:

An assortment of fresh, colorful, summer veggies:

Colored Bell Peppers
Mushrooms
Leeks
Red Onions
Scallions
Sweet Vidalia Onions
Zucchini
Yellow Summer Squash
Snap Peas
Egg Plant
Swiss Chard
Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
Baby Bok Choy
Etc.

Olive Oil,
Fresh Ground Pepper
Fresh chopped Herbs
Himalayan pink salt

Directions:

Wash, Peal (if needed), de-seed and chop veggies of your choice into bite size pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and herbs. Place in a veggie grill basket and grill until tender and grill marks appear.
Serve immediately!

Here’s an interesting fact: Salt is the only rock eaten by humans.

Sincerely,

Chef Trusan

http://www.trusancuisines.com
trusan@trusancuisines.com

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