20 hours ago
Friday, March 8, 2013
When a recipe calls for salt, there are dozens of choices these days.
When I grew up there were 2 kinds of salt.
Morton's Iodized ("when it rains it pours") in the blue container w/ the little girl and umbrella.
Or Diamond Kosher Salt. This was reserved for salting or "koshering" a chicken.
Now that I am a grownup I can make my own salt choices, and there are so many to choose from.
These days, salt is very fashionable.
I think the key to good cooking is salt. A pinch of salt goes a long way.
It is essential to most everything you cook. I don't mean pile it on, but a pinch of salt always brings out the flavors of a dish. Obviously, don't be heavy handed.
My personal favorite salt is Maldon (pronounced "Mal-din"...it is not French, but English).
I love the big flaky crystals that stick to the top of food. It's even wonderful on chocolate. This is not a cooking salt, but a "finishing" salt.
I use Morton's Iodized salt for salting pasta water and maybe a pinch in potato salad, but not really for cooking anymore.
Kosher salt is my go to salt for cooking these days.
It is not as salty in flavor as Iodized, and it makes roasted vegetables taste like candy. Sprinkling kosher salt on chicken and veggies before roasting brings out the flavors. I have also been using it in my baking lately.
Fleur de Sel from France is special and wonderful too.
Sea salt is created from evaporated sea water and should smell like the sea.
It is used like Maldon, as a finishing salt on salads, meats and anything that requires seasoning after it has been cooked. It is wetter than Maldon and many French companies harvest it, some brands can be quite pricey.
A good inexpensive everyday fine grain sea salt is La Baleine from France.
Nowadays, there are a million fancy salts that have seasonings already mixed in.
Thyme and lemon zest; rosemary & garlic; the combinations are endless.
I love truffle salt too, but at $25. for a small jar, it is an indulgence.
I even have a container of smoked salt sitting here, but I haven't figured out what to do with it yet!
Now that we've learned a bit about salt, you must have a container in which to house your salt, no?
My very favorite kitchen item that I could not live without is this beautiful French Berard wooden salt cellar.
The hinge swings open both ways for easy access, and I leave it on my counter so I always have salt at my disposable when cooking.
Remember: A little goes a long way.