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.
In our opinion, gourmet salt is the quintessential ingredient during the holiday season. This festive time is filled with food and family, and so to enhance the experience, we recommend replacing lifeless, processed, table salt with all natural, flavor-forward, gourmet salts. Our salts are each packaged in beautiful, hand made, glass jars that we import from Italy to truly show off the splendor and natural color of our products. In addition to individual jars, we have gift sets available, which make a thoughtful and unique present for just about anyone on your holiday list.
Our premium salts are divided into two categories – Pure Foundation and Beyond Blends. The Pure Foundation collection highlights the wonderful variety of salts from around the world in their natural state without any additional ingredients. This is a good place to start, and if you are looking to move beyond table salt, we would highly recommend trying the pink flakes of Murray River or the deep brine flavor of Sel Gris.
The Beyond Blends collection is our exclusive line of chef-inspired, hand blended, gourmet salts. As a base, each of these blends uses one or more of the Pure Foundation salts, and then our salt chef incorporates only the finest premium ingredients to further enhance the flavor of the salts for a variety of culinary applications. Our focus is organic and locally-derived ingredients in our blends, and certainly you will experience the difference the moment you open the jar! Some of our most popular salts from the Beyond Blends collection during the holiday season are the sweet and smokey Hickory Maple Blend and the dill powerhouse Dill-icious Blend.
And while you are checking off gifts for the holiday season, do not forget our unique variety of Saltwares!
Today’s recipe is from the kitchen of Detroit’s own Amy Ruud – comedienne extraordinaire. When she’s not in the kitchen whipping up delicious recipes, you can find her in comedy clubs preforming stand-up. While you are waiting for your potatoes to bake check out her act here:
3. When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes.
4. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; save skins. To the potato flesh add sour cream, milk, butter, salt, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 the green onions. Mix with a hand mixer until well blended and creamy.
5. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins.
6. Top each with remaining cheese, green onions and bacon.
7. Bake for another 15 minutes.
This is a dish guaranteed to get you invited back but sadly, you won’t have any leftovers to take home. To see Amy’s creation from the Beyond the Shaker Challenge check out our Facebook page.
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!
Last week I attended an incredible wine tasting at the University Club in Chicago that featured wines from various producers in Napa Valley, California. A few of my favorites included wines from Trinitas Cellars, Folio Wine Producers, Rutherford Hill, Oakville Ranch, and an incredible Cabernet Franc (which I usually do not like because a lingering green pepper taste) from Larkin Wines. Since this was a private event (that I was oh so lucky to get invited to), the crowd in attendance was not overwhelming and so the guests could speak to the folks pouring the wines without feeling rushed to move to the next table. Additionally, most of the people pouring the wines were actually intimately involved with the winery they were representing – for instance, Sean Larkin, of Larkin Wines, was pouring for the guests. Certainly this is a step above the typical ‘cattle call’ wine tasting event where everyone is herded around and the people pouring the wines were hired only hours before from a temporary labor agency.
I have a special love for wine tastings, above and beyond trying the wines themselves (of course that is a BIG part of it), because these events remind me of how similar wine is to unrefined salt. There are distinct varietals in both wine and salt, which have unique characteristics that can be teased out or enhanced by blending in other ingredients. And perhaps because of the many similarities between wine and salt, there seems to exist a special appreciation by ‘wine people’ of the remarkable variation between types of unrefined salts. These people embrace the notion that there is not just one single type of naturally occurring salt, and that each salt brings something different to the kitchen table in terms of flavor, color and consistency. In wine, you see variants identified in many of the same ways as salt, and so there exists a natural analogy.
After the wine tasting, I ran into a friend and we got to talking about Beyond the Shaker, and the use of salt in general. I had several samples that I proceeded to dose out to my friend, and I then began to describe some culinary applications for the various salts. Before I could get based on my second recommendation, Jake piped out, “well aren’t these salts only good for finishing a dish?!” Two problems with that question – first, unrefined salts in both their Pure and blended form, can be used for much more than just finishing the flavor canvas of a dish. Indeed, in the information provided with each of our Pure Foundation and Beyond Blend salts, you will find application ideas that fall into every part of the cooking process.
The second (and more serious) problem with Jake’s question/statement, was that there is an assumption that being part of the ‘finishing’ of a recipe or dish is something that is not incredibly meaningful to how the food turns out on the whole. This mistaken notion is downright hogwash! I would argue that it is indeed the opposite- that the ‘finish’ on a dish may be the most important influence on how the flavor is ultimately transmitted to the person eating the food. Adding a sprinkle of our Hickory Maple Blend to a grilled lamb chop just prior to serving means that this will be the very first flavor that hits the tongue and mouth once consumed. Indeed it sets the ground work for all other flavors to come, and so if it is off balance or over powering this finishing could wreck the entire meal. Likewise if this flavor is deep and sophisticated (like what you will find in the Hickory Maple Blend), it can carry the rest of the dish even if you screwed up and grilled your lamb chop a bit too much or made some other culinary misstep along the way. One of my recent favorite application involved finishing herb encrusted salmon that has been grilled with a sprinkle of Citrus Basil blend right before serving (picture above). The flavor is incredible and the Citrus Basil acts as a warning to your mouth that some awesome food is about to be eaten. YUM.
Jake agreed (and I don’t think he was simply doing it to placate a salt fanatic) that he would need to rethink his perception of salt, and flavor in general the next time he did some cooking. Similarly, after my conversation with Jake, I was reminded of one of the vintner’s comments at the wine tasting earlier in the evening. He elaborated on wine making and the focus that needs to be had at every step of the process to create an ideal wine. This could be years in the making as the grapes are harvested and aged before being bottled. So in reply to the question of what part of the process was the very most important, he replied that in his mind it was really the little things that happen at the ‘end’ which can make or break a great wine. The final processing of the wine can destroy an otherwise fantastic wine, since mishandling at this point will erase all the time, work and effort exerted. And similarly, an example that the vintner used to prove his point that the finishing on a wine can be the most critical part of the wine tasting experience, was describing the importance of decanting particular wines. This final step can take a wine that initially would only taste mediocre and allow its true flavor to shine.
Chris in the new Beyond the Shaker t-shirt standing with some studly friends in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
What a weekend! In a crazy 28 hour window of time, I traveled from Chicago to Ann Arbor, Michigan to get dinner with friends on Friday, and then the next day attend a roller-coaster of a football match between the mighty University of Michigan and the (over-hyped) Notre Dame (for the Domers in the crowd I promise this is my last bit of gloating in this post. Here is a link to the synopsis of the game.).
There were a lot of adventures (culinary and otherwise) in this jam packed 28 hour whirlwind trip (6 hours of which were spent driving). Late Friday night, as we rolled into Ann Arbor, I got drinks with some pals from my U of M undergrad years at Arbor Brewing Company. Of course I had several Beyond the Shaker salt samples at the ready, and although everyone had already enjoyed a very large dinner only hours earlier, we decided the blended salts were just too enticing to simply look at…in the end we ordered a huge plate of hand cut french fries and a dollop of vanilla ice cream (yep, ice cream and our blended salts are a super YUM experience).
As a side note, the looks and stares I receive from diners and wait staff when spreading salt samples across a restaurant table never gets old. The little foil lined bags with colorful labels and compelling contents almost always draw a crowd. Surprisingly, in almost 2 years of toting samples around publicly, I have only been asked once by a suspicious third party if I was a drug dealer. At the time I was yearning for a witty retort, but unfortunately simply stammered something like, “well if flavor is a drug, than consider me guilty as charged.” Lame. UBER LAME. I could picture a brazen letter “L” burnt orange into my forehead as I mumbled my pitiful response. Next time I will be ready with a snappy line or two, since surely this moment will present itself again in the future…
Anyway, back in Arbor Brewing Company, when the steaming hot french fries arrived, everyone grabbed an appetizer plate and began tearing into the various salt samples they had hoarded in their corner of the table. As I required plenty of samples to shower on folks throughout my remaining 24 and counting hours in Ann Arbor, I supplied our group with only a smattering of blended salts including- Hot Habanero, Chef’s Blend, Hickory Maple, Citrus Basil, Windy City Celery and Everest Wet Salt. What ensued was a veritable salt frenzy as everyone tried to taste every blend available before they all disappeared. Of course the question that may be on your mind is, “which salt was the most popular?” As the blends were all gobbled up along with the fries, it would be difficult to say which actually was the biggest hit, but I can confirm that Hot Habanero seemed to be eaten the fastest. This may have to do with how well it paired with the hot and crunchy fries (which we ordered with no salt so as to not muck up our tasting).
A related question I get a lot is “which salt do you like the best?”….Seriously, this is a tough one because I ultimately picked these blends out of an insane amount of versions and revisions over a long period of research and development with our salt chef. The blends available on our site are the best of the best of the very best as there was no way that Beyond the Shaker was going to offer up anything that was not up to snuff. However, I do have to admit there are some favorites. Even parents have favorites amongts their children (you know this is true), but the salt blend I like the best is my little “McVictories’ Secret” and so I guard that information closely (wow, that was lame too).
After we demolished the fries, it was time for the ice cream, which the salt-newbies at the table were a bit apprehensive about…however, when the cold vanilla taste of the ice cream combined with the kafir lime & spiced salinity of Everest Wet Salt, this unusual duo converted all that tasted its fascinating flavor. There is a reason salt is used in baking and most sweet applications as it tempers and enhances the richness of these sweet foods. After it became clear that mixing ice cream and salt was pretty darn tastey, we experimented some more and found that the other three blends that went well with vanilla ice cream were the smokey Hickory Maple, the spicy Chef’s Blend and the light/clean taste of Citrus Basil.
It was great to catch-up with these friends from undergrad, especially over some Beyond the Shaker salts. Later on Friday evening we went to my favorite Ann Arbor bar, Ashley’s, for one more drink prior to conducting a very late night/early morning tour of the campus. Walking into Ashley’s, there was a rush of feeling as I have so many amazing memories from this bar – heated conversations about life, literature, philosophy and all the other matters that are paramount to a slightly inebriated undergraduate student. I could recall almost every table I had ever sat in at that bar and the topics that were whirled around between us at such table. A decade & more later, and the place was almost identical except for better menus and superior music playing in the background.
While at Ashley’s, we discovered a great use for refined table salt as shown in this picture.
When it is a humid evening in the midwest and your cold beer is perspiring and sticking to the coaster on the table, why not use a thin sprinkle of table salt to act as a barrier so that the coaster will stay firmly planted?! Genius.
As always, Ashley’s did not dissappoint and we stayed there until the bar closed at 2am. We then walked around the campus, including the law quad and the new business school buildings. I believe we got back to the hotel close to 5am ET and I had plenty of work to get done in the morning before we went tailgating, and so sleep was sacrificed.
All and all it was a great weekend with one more thing to note- If you look closely at the picture accompanying this post (and I know you will), you can catch a glimpse in the photos from that night I was donning the new, limited edition, Beyond the Shaker tee-shirt with an ultra cool design on the back that combined an overlay of our logo with a paragraph describing the impetus behind our gourmet salt line.
Close-up Photo of the Front of the Beyond the Shaker T-shirt
The Back of the Beyond the Shaker T-Shirt.
Here is a picture of the back of the t-shirt and then a close-up of the front. You know you want it! We plan to be selling these t-shirts shortly and also giving them away in contests that we will be hosting in the Fall. Until then, you will have to make due with your good ‘ole hanes undershirt.
Why do I crave salt? From time to time, everyone experiences cravings. Cravings can be influenced by culture, by the seasons, by your particular taste buds. A craving may signal a certain nutritional inadequacy or deficiency. My cravings typically tend towards savory foods, and I often crave salt. But why? Why do we crave salt? There is a biological theory, but I have another theory too.
Intense salt cravings can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition such as an adrenal insufficiency. Salt cravings can also mean your body is lacking something that it thinks it can get from salt, such as certain minerals that are found in salt. But wait, there are minerals in salt? Well that depends on the kind of salt. Regular table salt has been processed to remove its natural minerals. Therefore, if you are craving minerals, processed salt will not fulfill what the body desires. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Beyond the Shaker Pure Foundation Salts such as Himalayan Pink and Murray River contain naturally occurring minerals that the body associates with salt.
I have yet another theory why we crave salt. Because it makes our food delicious! Many of us live in a bland, underseasoned world. What we crave perhaps isn’t salt, but rather the bright, vibrant flavors that come alive to us when salt is used properly. What we crave is chicken that tastes like chicken. We want chicken that was raised on a farm, eating grass and seeds and bugs. A chicken that is not only cooked properly but seasoned well to highlight its juiciness. Salt is the light that illuminates those flavors. Simple Fleur de Sel is enough, or you can elevate it to the next level with Hickory Maple or Chanterelle Vanilla. What we crave is a tomato. Not a mealy, watery red vegetable from the grocery store, but a beautiful, meaty, sun-ripened tomato that was grown in natural soil and raised with water and sunlight. A tomato that has been seasoned with Murray River or Herb Garden Blend, perhaps splashed with a little aged balsamic vinegar.
Our cravings are a signal, a mental response to the bodies needs or desires. Sometimes, they are biological. But often they are more primitive. The need, in fact the hunger, for something more, something better, something to satisfy both the palate and the soul. Salt soothes the craving and nourishes the body.
President Obama may have made a national faux pas when he commented on the price of arugula at Whole Foods, but you’ll find a great deal on arugula this summer at the local Farmers’ Market. When the sun starts warming the sidewalks, and the days get slowly longer, I know it’s time for my favorite summer salad green. In season, you can get a large bunch pulled fresh from the soil for only a couple dollars. Arugula, or rucola or rocket as it’s known in many parts of the world, is a robust and peppery, long-leafed lettuce. Used frequently as a salad green, arugula is also a tasty to addition to sandwiches, paninis or pizza. Because arugula has so much peppery flavor on its own, you don’t want to overpower it with a heavy, creamy dressing.
One of my favorite restaurants in Chicago features an arugula salad with crispy prosciutto, shaved parmesan and lemon vinaigrette. It’s heavenly. I decided to recreate this delicious dish at home. I started with fresh arugula and drizzled it with quality olive oil. When making a simple salad (or any simple dish without a lot of ingredients), it is vital to use high quality products. With only a few ingredients, each item plays a critical role in the final success of the flavors. Take a fresh lemon and squeeze about a quarter to a half over the arugula. To add a salty, savory component and balance out the acidity of the lemon and the peppery arugula, I like to shave a few pieces of Parmigiano Reggiano over the greens. You must use real Parmigiano Reggiano. Any other parmesan is not worthy to kiss the feet of Parmigiano Reggiano (really it’s like table versus Fleur de Sel). Finally, I finish it off with a teaspoon or two of Truffle Wet Salt, toss and enjoy. The Truffle Wet Salt adds a warm, earthy component that harmonizes beautifully with the salty Parmigiano Reggiano, tart fresh lemon and sharp, peppery arugula. The flavors with dance around in your mouth, rounded out by the good, quality olive oil. Mmmm…so good. There are times I’ve eaten this everyday for a week.
But recently I’ve been craving Beyond the Shaker Hickory Maple Salt. Something about the sweet, smoky, vanilla flavors of Hickory Maple Salt…I think about it every day. I want to put it on everything, and I’ve been struggling with whether or not this would be good with my leftover arugula. I needed to balance the salt and sweetness with something sharp. Vinegar didn’t seem right; the flavor might overpower the Hickory Maple. Lemon and Hickory Maple didn’t sound right. Finally, I decided to give it a whirl with blue cheese. While blue cheese doesn’t have the acidity of vinegar or lemon juice, it does have a sharpness that is a great contrast to something sweet or smoky. I already know I like blue cheese with meat, so why not with smoky Hickory Maple? I started with some hand torn arugula and again drizzled it with that good quality olive oil. Hickory Maple (a generous sprinkling) came next, followed by a healthy handful of crumbled blue cheese. Finally, I decided to add some chopped yellow tomatoes from the Farmers’ Market. I tossed it all together really well to allow the tomatoes, olive oil and salt to form a nice juicy coating over the arugula. Well, let me tell you, it was amazing. The peppery arugula paired nicely with the juicy yellow tomatoes. The blue cheese and Hickory Maple Salt were an amazing pair – salty, sweet, sharp, smoky. This pairing is definitely a keeper. I just hope arugula stays in season!
We’d love to hear some of your salty salad ideas; please share!
I’ll admit it: I’m a sucker for fancy chocolates. They’re just fun, compact little treats that bring a smile to my face and my stomach (assuming a stomach can ACTUALLY smile).
But it’s not just the pretty little treats you find behind the glass at your local candy shop..what I really like are the new wave of chocolate bars that are gracing the aisles of our favorite grocery stores. I usually get my groceries at Whole Foods, and they have this amazing ability to draw me in like a moth to light with their displays of fun chocolate bars and other chocolate fare. The labels are like sirens on the rocks, calling to me: 80% Cacao, Hazelnut, Mint—but in my latest visit, it was one siren’s song that finally drew me in: Dagoba’s organic chocolate with hemp, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and a touch of fleur de sel sea salt.
I had to get it. How could I not? How could I resist something like that? No way jose!
Dagoba has so many enchanting varieties of chocolate, and this one was no different. The perfect balance of salt to sweet—that touch of fleur de sel sea salt is not lost on you at all. It’s definitely there, filling out the nutty, chocolaty flavors.
It’s not decadent, though—it feels entirely nutritious in the most delicious kind of way.
I took a look at their website, and sure enough, they feel the same way about this little delight: Dark chocolate with omega-rich hemp seeds, heart healthy pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and a touch of Balinese sea salt. An energetic combination of power foods for body and mind in a base of our delicious 68% dark chocolate.
We have experimented a bit with salt and chocolate here at Beyond the Shaker, and we have found that Citrus Basil is incredible when lightly sprinkled on dark or milk chocolate. The citrus notes combined with sweet basil, really highlights the rich chocolate. In our taste tests, the other Beyond Blend that really teased out interesting depth of flavor from dark chocolate was the smoky sweet Hickory Maple blend. Again, we recommend only using a a touch of salt on the chocolate as you do not want to overpower the sweetness of the dark chocolate.
Other salts in our Pure Foundation collection that seem obvious for chocolate experimentation include Murray River, Sel Gris or Cyprus Black Lava (for light salinity, grey color and crunchy texture). If you are willing to be a bit adventurous (and yes, we will be trying these options soon), the following salts from our Beyond Blends collection may make the perfect pair for chocolate – Everest Wet salt, Truffle Wet Salt (oh yes), or Hot Habanero (heat and sweet are a great combo).
While eating at The Boathouse in Traverse City (the home of our Salt Chef), I was treated to one of the most delicate and delightful cuts of meat I have had in years. Of course the name “Waygu Kobe beef” is enough to send excited shivers down a dinner guest’s spine and make the wallet tremble in fear. Since I had not been to Traverse City nearly as much as I wanted this summer, I thought recession be damned, and boldly placed my order! I was certain Executive Chef Eric, wouldn’t dare mess around with something sculpted with culinary purpose out of nature by the master Japanese cattle farmers, and so I went “all-in” with the 5 ounce filet.
And indeed, I was rewarded when my plate arrived at our table. We already had a marvelous meal up to this point, but nothing makes such a grand entrance as a perfectly cooked piece of some of the finest steak known. Tender and bursting with flavor, I couldn’t wait to carve into this lovely cut of meat.
A rare sneak peek at the Beyond the Shaker resealable, foil-lined, sample pack (coming soon…we know you are excited)…
We were given knives that would normally have a difficult time carving through a properly seared scallop, let alone beef, but of course the playful point was made. This was no ordinary steak, and the typical cutlery would be unnecessary to enjoy the remarkably tender filet. Chef Eric lightly seasoned the meat with the queen of the unrefined world of salt, fleur de sel, as we wanted to play with different combinations from our Beyond Blends collection. Of course, only the finest salt would do for this premium steak experience, and so we brought Hickory Maple, French Herb, and Citrus Basil out of flavor arsenal (tucked in resealable sample packs, of course).
We knew each of these blends was amazingly scrumptious as a finishing salt on steak we had grilled at home, but the question was if the flavors and textures would match well on one of the world’s finest cuts of beef… and the answer? Well it can be summed up by the fact that over a week later I am still dreaming (and writing) about this dining experience. For the Waygu virgin, this is a very special breed of cattle that is known for its flavor and subtle texture. The meat is heavily marbled which adds to its juicy tenderness. The ‘Kobe’ part of the name is a reference to the area in Japan where the cattle was raised. Waygu ranchers are known for the special care used to raise these incredible animals.
Anyway, all three of the Beyond Blends we tried on our steaks finished them beautifully, highlighting the unmistakable flavor and texture of the Waygu beef. The favorite of the table was Hickory Maple, with Citrus Basil and French Herb not far behind. Regardless, you can’t go wrong with this cut of meat (if your bank account can handle the sizable blow), especially when in the hands of a master artist in the kitchen, like our Salt Chef. Cooked right, Waygu filets are some of the finest culinary experiences around (just don’t forget to pair your steak, or any grilled beef for that matter, with an equally premium gourmet salt)…
An awesome deep fried turkey from thanksgiving 2008…
A friend of mine has a serious love affair with turkey–not the country, but the poultry. She just can’t get enough of it. Delicious, nutritious, and available–what more could a girl ask for, really?
She told me, though, that she wishes she could relish in “Thanksgiving Turkey” more than just once a year, but that she just doesn’t have the time or the determination to spend days slaving over a whole, roasted turkey. And can you blame her? Most of us grew up watching the trials and tribulations of a holiday turkey dinner our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles suffered year after year: the undercooked bird, the overcooked bird, the near-tragic deep fryer mishap, the sloppy brine bucket. Why would anyone want to take on that kind of trauma?
Well, because it at the end of the day, it really is delicious. And comforting, too. So I decided to help my friend out and find an everyday, easy version of Thanksgiving turkey–that’s what friends are for!
It didn’t take me long to find this recipe. What attracted me most to it was 1)the very simple ingredient list, 2) the fact that it didn’t involve a whole turkey but rather turkey breast (which is about 10x more manageable that a big, ol’ bird), and 3) a brine!
Brines are flavor-infusing, juiciness-producing, culinary assistants, and giving your turkey (or other proteins) a nice, long bath in a brine will ensure the utmost tastiness in your dish.
So I sent it along to my friend, and she gave it a whirl. The result? Pure joy. It’s so easy and delicious, that she makes it on a weekly basis. I gave her a fun little tip, though. Brines usually call for a hefty amount of salt, so why not experiment? Throw some blended salt into the mix to try out different flavors. Fumee De Sel for a rich smokey flavor, Hickory Maple for a sweet, barbecue-like flavor, or even Citrus Basil for something innovative and fresh. Or try a large granule Pure Foundation salt like Himalayan Pink. As always, the flavor possibilities are endless, and it keeps that turkey dinner exciting and new.
Needless to say, my friend is forever thankful for the advice (and so are her tastebuds!). Now she can have stress-free, flavorful turkey whenever her little heart desires it. Gosh, helping people reach their culinary dreams can be so satisfying!