This is your source for information on premium, unrefined, gourmet salt. Here you will find an ever-changing smorgasbord of entries by
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Archive for January, 2012
Posted January 30th, 2012 by Jessica
Filed under: Alderwood Smoke, recipe, soup
Potato Leek soup is the essence of comfort food. Satisfying, smooth and hearty. You can make it with no cream and it will still be rich and delicious.
We salted five chopped leeks with Fleur de Sel and added an onion and shallots sautéed in olive oil- you can use butter. Then added a couple pounds chopped red potatoes with skin on, cooked a couple minutes, and poured both over to cover.
Broth: so basic yet so key.Bouillon is never as good as the real thing- I still have some at the back of the pantry and feel bad when I have to use it. It’s just so salty- in the bad way! Lately I have started keeping vegetable bits from cooking- carrot, onion, celery stalks, green onion ends etc- in a plastic bag in the freezer. At the end of the week there’s a big bag of veggies and when boiled for an hour or two make great broth. Add some bold Garlic Shallot salt and voila. Not Lipton onion soup mix!
When the potatoes are tender, puree the whole thing with an immersion blender. You could leave it chunky like chowder but I think its nicer smooth. Chris had suggested adding Alderwood Smoke earlier and I was hesitant because it’s so strong and almost meaty. We ended up adding the Adlerwood – a LOT of it – and it was AMAZING!! The whole soup tasted like delicious, smoky bacon and the salt truly sealed the deal.
Chris can’t eat wheat and Meredith can’t eat dairy but we had creamy soup with crunchy croutons! You can add cream to this soup for sure and it will only be more rich and delish but really is yummy dairy free so I don’t include it. Mere got a gluten free baguette which we cut up and tossed in the pan with olive oil and Dill-icious Salt till crunchy. Topped the bowls with swiss chard and the croutons- extra Alderwood and hot sauce optional. A little parm would be great too. YUM!
Talking to my mom tonight she said she had bags of potato leek soup she froze because it was totally bland- and we had used the exact same recipe from Cooks Illustrated. So I’m going to bring some special salt home to Boston to snazz up that soup!
Though I didn’t intend it to be, this recipe is what these salts are all about. One totally crucial ingredient can make or break something. When it sings, salt is the star.
Posted January 27th, 2012 by Jessica
Filed under: bloody mary, Murray River, Windy City Celery
At my favorite neighborhood Mexican place, Taco Veloz, there are big containers of pickled cauliflower, carrots, jalapeños and whole heads of garlic on every table. I could eat just that and be happy! I wanted to recreate this wonderful snack at home. It was my first attempt at pickling and hopefully will be the first of many batches! For the brine I combined a few garlic cloves, ½ cup sugar, 2 cups cider vinegar, 1 cup water, a dash of cumin and red pepper flakes, and 2 Tbs of Windy City Celery Salt in a pot and brought it all to a boil. I poured the hot brine over a couple jars filled with cauliflower, carrots, radishes for color, and jalapeños, let them cool, then covered the jars and placed them in the fridge. They are supposed to sit for at least two days and should be eaten before two weeks. If you process the jars using the proper technique for canning they will be preserved, but the ones I made are just quick pickles. A few days later the veggies were crisp, sweet, salty, sour and delicious!
I used Windy City Celery Salt for the pickles because the blend of ingredients complimented the flavors so perfectly. It is made of Murray River salt, kosher flake salt, celery seed, organic mustard seed, organic jalapeno, organic garlic and organic shallot. It is awesome on the rim of a bloody mary and I happened to have some tomato juice on hand so whipped one up while making the pickles. I love bloody marys because they turn out different every time. And I can’t recommend a real recipe, because everyone has different tastes. I do have to suggest that Sriracha makes everything better and a bloody is no exception. For a killer bloody mary combine ice and vodka with tomato juice, a dash of Windy City Celery Salt and any or ALL of the following: Sriracha, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, pickle juice, fresh ground pepper, and lemon juice. Garnish with a Windy City Celery Salt Rim, celery stalks, pickles, and a skewer of cheese cubes, olives and salami.
Posted January 25th, 2012 by Chris
Filed under: Bolivian Rose, Hawaiian Black Lava, Hot Habenero, Red Alaea, soup
Black bean soup is so satisfying and simple to make. Dress it up with some fresh garnishes and it’s a meal. I cook big batches of dried beans and freeze them so they’re ready for a quick dinner- they taste much better than the canned version. For this soup you just combine black beans and broth with sautéed onion, garlic, cumin and red pepper flakes. Use an immersion blender to puree everything to your preferred thickness.
Then the fun part! Top the soup with any and all of the following: a fried egg, sliced avacado, sliced radishes, green onions, cilantro, cheddar cheese or queso fresco, sour cream, salsa, hot sauce, tortilla chips.. and a sprinkle of Hot Habanero Blend. This blend combines several types of chili peppers with Hawaiian Black Lava and Red Alaea salts, finished with organic carrot and cilantro. The salt Blend really enhances all the spicy, savory flavors of the soup and looks lovely sprinkled on top.
My favorite Mexican restaurant in the neighborhood is called Taco Veloz on Chicago Avenue. The best thing on the menu is grilled green onions- cebollitas. They finish them with soy sauce at Taco Veloz but I wanted to make them at home using salt instead. Cebollitas are so incredibly easy to make, look beautiful and are just delicious. You can do them on the grill, but that’s not happening in January in Chicago so just crank up the broiler. Brush with olive oil and place on a foiled baking sheet, then broil for about 10 minutes or until the onions are soft and lightly charred. I sprinkled the cebollitas with Bolivian Rose salt, which is good on pretty much everything. The pink crystals looked so pretty on the green onions and added great flavor and crunch. Bolivian Rose is harvested by hand from mines in the Andes Mountains.
Posted January 24th, 2012 by Chris
Filed under: Murray River
Hello! My name is Jessica and I live in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago with my Siamese cat, Chai. Recently I have fallen in love with Beyond the Shaker and can never go back to using regular salt! Every time I cook its so exciting to season each dish with a different salt. After slaving over potato pancakes for Hanukkah at a friend’s house last month I was devastated to realize I forgot my special salt and had to use Morton. That was when I knew I was officially a salt convert. Beyond the Shaker’s salts are so beautiful and delicious that you can really see and taste the difference. I’m going to start sharing ways to use these wonderful salts; they make even a simple meal something special.
Salt has always been my favorite ingredient- it’s the most important element in food! You should never leave home for a road trip without salt and hot sauce in the glove compartment. After graduating from college I traveled to Israel and kept tiny packets of salt in my wallet, as we never knew what our next meal would be and it could be bland. A piece of pita with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and a sprinkle of salt was my daily breakfast as we traveled across the beautiful country.
While studying abroad in Florence I taught myself to cook and it’s been my favorite thing to do (other than seeing live music) ever since. Italians are so pornographic about everything from tomatoes to fresh focaccia – I lived above a bakery- to cheese, good wine and gelato that it was impossible not to fall in love with La Dolce Vita forever.
I love to cook and eat with friends and am always looking for the next culinary adventure- everything from ethnic holes in walls to the best restaurants in Chicago. I love Vietnamese, Korean, Italian, Indian and Mexican food and enjoy making Jewish dishes like my famous fluffy matzoh balls. Recently I traveled to New Orleans for the first time and have been working on my gumbo!
My food philosophy is the best things are simple and using fresh ingredients and good seasoning is all you need. I almost always cook vegetarian at home but love to eat everything so meat is a treat. Keeping a well-stocked pantry of staples will let you whip up delicious dinners every night in half an hour. Things my kitchen can never be without: Sriracha, miso paste, olive oil and SALT. My must-have Beyond the Shaker is the Murray River salt- it is so light and delicate and works with everything. Thanks for reading and I’m really looking forward to cooking together, cheers!