This is your source for information on premium, unrefined, gourmet salt. Here you will find an ever-changing smorgasbord of entries by
our staff and guest authors about their experiences and love for gourmet salt, references to salt in the news and on the web, and salt application and tasting ideas.
Posts Tagged ‘Alderwood Smoke’
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 25th, 2010 by Tyler
Filed under: Alderwood Smoke, Chanterelle Vanilla, Chef's Blend, Citrus Basil, event, Garlic Shallot, Herb Garden, Hickory Maple, Hot Habenero, recipes, Windy City Celery
As I am sure you have been following, the Beyond the Shaker salt challenge was last week, and it was amazing! I had no idea that my friends had were so imaginative and skilled in the kitchen. I honestly expected some of the dishes to be flops, simply on the basis that cooking in this forum is challenging, but every single dish was superb and we were all blown away. A few observations that I found interesting:
1. There was a really nice distribution between courses that people made. When laying down the rules for the challenge, I didn’t specify what type of dish you had to make, and was pleased with the amount of appetizers, entrees, sides, and even desserts that were made!
2. Much to my surprise, the desserts actually were AMAZING – I guess it makes sense when you think about how nicely salty and sweet flavors pair together.
3. I was surprised at how distinct each of our own salts are and how much flavor they added to each dish.
With that, here is a breakdown of what was created:
Myself (Tyler) [Citrus Wet] – Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops with a Honey Citrus Glaze
Amanda [French Herb Blend] – French Herb Lentil Soup
Chris [Hot Habanero]: Salad with a Hot Habanero Chile Dressing, Slab of Bacon, and a Hot Habanero Dressing Infused Watermelon slice
Kate [Chef’s Blend]: Chef’s Blend Yum Pasta
Logan [Windy City Celery]: Pork Tenderloin Brined in Windy City Celery Salt with Brussel Sprouts
Melissa [Everest Wet]: Everest Coconut Macaroons
Geoff [Citrus Basil Blend]: Citrus Basil Blackened Tilapia Fish Tacos
Mandy [Herb Garden Blend]: Herb Garden Mashed Potatoes
Amy [Hickory Maple Blend]: Hickory Maple Twice Baked Potato
Laurie [Alderwood Smoke]: Alderwood Smoke Slow-Cooked Ribs
Dave [Garlic Shallot]: Garlic Shallot Pizzas
Roxanne [Chanterelle Vanilla]: Chanterelle Vanilla Walnut Toffee/Chanterelle Vanilla Almond Toffee Topped with Chanterelle Vanilla Ice Cream
And the winner of the first Beyond the Shaker challenge was..
Geoff with the Citrus Basil Blackened Tilapia Fish Tacos! These were amazing. Geoff added the Citrus Basil salt to the seasoning he coated the Tilapia with, as well as to his homemade chipotle mayo and each bite was better than before. He warmed the tortilla’s up and cooked the Tilapia moments before serving and topped them with lettuce, tomato, chipotle mayo, and cilantro.
I could have easily eaten ten more of these without hesitation.
I wanted to also call out honorable mentions, but after sitting here for ten minutes I have to say its impossible to do so based on the caliber of what was created. Every single dish was amazing. However, as I mentioned above, I was extremely impressed with the two venturesome participants who chose to make desserts. Melissa’s macaroons were so amazing – each bite was an alternating combination of sweet from the coconut and salty from the Everest Wet salts. And Roxanne’s toffee/ice cream combination was the perfect way to end the night.
So that’s it! Keep checking back over the next few weeks as we will be posting many of the recipes that were created and hope you will try them yourself!
Posted September 3rd, 2009 by Lindsey
Filed under: Alderwood Smoke, Bolivian Rose, Cyprus Black Lava, Fumee de Sel, Hawaiian Black Lava, Himalayan Pink, Pure Foundation Salts, Tasting
Recently, I was asked how to host a salt tasting. In my opinion there are two different ways to stage such tasting- (1) Simply taste the salts, one after another, in their natural form, or (2) stage a multi-course meal with different salts utilized in each dish. This post covers the first type of tasting, and I will discuss the second type at a later date.
I hosted a salt tasting a few weeks ago, and I learned a few important lessons. First, you need a foil to balance out all the saltiness. Second, you can’t taste too many at one time or it burns your tongue (even our premium unrefined salts can be TOO much salt if eaten in excess in a single session).
Here are my tips for a delicious, successful salt tasting.
I prefer a fairly neutral palate for tasting the salt, such as white bread, like sourdough or challah. I offered both olive oil and unsalted butter. This is a great opportunity to try a local or artisanal butter.
Offer as many salt options as you desire, but suggest that guests taste no more than two or three at a time. Recommend a generous break in between every few salts.
To balance the salt, I recommend a smooth beverage. If you are interested in wine, try something that is not particularly dry, acidic or oaky. I think Riesling, particularly from Black Star Farms, is an excellent compliment to salt tasting. For a non-alcoholic beverage, try sparkling water. In addition, snacks like fresh fruit and vegetables (rather than cheese and crackers) will cleanse and refresh the palate for continued tasting.
The Pure Foundation Salts are excellent for tasting in this manner. The subtle differences in salinity and minerality can be appreciated while tasting with bread and butter. Offering a tasting allows you and your guests to study the diverse crystal structures and colors. I love trying salts with similar characteristics, such as color, and really studying their differences. Take, for example, Himalayan Pink and Bolivian Rose. Each is a pink, mountain salt. But they are so different. Compare the pink color and clarity. Let the crystals dissolve in your mouth and note the difference in minerality. Chew a few crystals and feel the difference between them on your teeth and your tongue.
Compare Hawaiian Black Lava and Cyprus Black Lava. Each is a black lava salt, but the difference in shape and texture make them so different and delicious in their own way.
One of my favorite comparisons is the smoked salts. Try to tease out the differences between Alderwood Smoke and Fumee de Sel. See if you can taste the subtle sweetness in Fumee de Sel, compared to the more robust Alderwood Smoke. Note how the size of the crystals affects the flavor.
Enjoy your tasting, share your comments and stay tuned for the next salt tasting installment.
Posted August 26th, 2009 by Lindsey
Filed under: Alderwood Smoke, Bolivian Rose, brussels sprouts, Chef's Blend, Farmers' Market, Garlic Shallot, Himalayan Pink, Hot Habanero, Murray River, recipe
A basket of fresh brussels sprouts from the Farmers’ Market
Mmm, brussels sprouts (not brussel sprouts, as thought by many). This poor vegetable is loathed by millions of children who are forced to choke it down before being rewarded with dessert. But this disrespected member of the cabbage family has recently been updated to celebrity status. Instead of an overly boiled staple served with equally overcooked pot roast, brussels sprouts are experiencing a renaissance. Take, for example, Iron Chef Michael Symon and his new Detroit restaurant, Roast. I could go on and on about the virtues of this fantastic, meat-centered restaurant, but this post is about the vegetables. One of the non-meat stars on Chef Symon’s menu is the fried brussels sprouts side dish. Deliciously crispy and slightly sweet, these crispy treats are well salted, almost like mini-cabbage fries.
I experienced my rebirth with brussels sprouts last Thanksgiving. The grocery store featured brussels sprouts on the stalk, and I couldn’t resist this cool looking veggies. After exhaustive research, I settled on a recipe that combined sauteed bacon, apple cider vinegar and shredded brussels sprouts. The salty bacon, combined with the sweet, cabbagey brussels sprouts and the tart and tangy cider vinegar…this will be a new, permanent fixture on the Thanksgiving table. But after Thanksgiving, I forgot about brussels sprouts. Until two weeks ago.
While strolling through the Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning, there they were. These perfect, tiny, green orbs. They were much smaller than the fall brussels sprouts, but they looked equally delicious. And a wonderful sauteed brussels sprout dish sounded like a great compliment to pork or chicken off the grill. I took my precious little globes of goodness home with me to experiment.
First up, sauteed. I couldn’t resist the lure of bacon. The bacon/brussels sprouts combination is so enticing. Chop two to three slices of bacon and cook until the fat has melted and the resulting bacon bits are crispy. Remove the bacon bits with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat behind. Start by chopping off the ends, then slicing the brussels sprouts in half from top to bottom. Lay the brussels sprouts cut side down in the pan with the bacon fat, adding olive oil if there is not enough bacon fat left for all the sprouts, and cook for three to five minutes, until the cut sides are brown and beginning to carmelize. At this point, I season generously with one of the milder salts. For me, Murray River is the go to. I love the light, flaky, texture and perfect salt flavor. It melts quickly into a dish and isn’t overpowering. Add about a cup of water to the pan, cover and cook until the brussels sprouts are tender to the tooth, but not mushy. At this point, I uncover the pan to let the rest of the water boil away, add the bacon bits back in and quickly splash of about a tablespoon of apple cider in the pan, tossing the sprouts to coat. Finish with more Murray River or Garlic Shallot for a little extra crunch (Bolivian Rose provides a delicious crunch, too!) This is such a tasty side dish, my mouth is watering.
The following week, I wanted to try something different. Both Ina Garten and Mark Bittman’s How to Eat Everything have roasted brussels sprouts recipe. Roasting is very simple and requires less attention than sauteing. This time, I started with olive oil in an oven proof pan, and again laid my brussels sprouts cut side down in the pan for three to five minutes. Once they started to carmelize, I added about five cloves of garlic and put the pan in the oven at 400 degrees for fifteen minutes. Your cooking time will vary tremendously based on the size of the brussels sprouts, but the goal is dark and crispy on the outside, tender and delicious on the inside. Salt generously with a Beyond the Shaker salt that compliments the crunch; I like Himalayan Pink or peppery Chef’s Blend. For a salty, smoky treat, Alderwood Smoke is a fantastic choice or you can spice them up with Hot Habanero. You can dress this dish up a little with a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar, but they are truly perfect just simple and salty.