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 ‘Murray River’
Posted February 12th, 2012 by Jessica
Filed under: Murray River
This is just sinful. I was planning to put the frosting on cupcakes but truthfully I just don’t like cake. Trader Joe’s had a good chocolate truffle brownie mix, so we slathered them with peanutbutter cream cheese goodness.
The tiny bit of salt in the icing really brings out the peanut flavor. I used the Murray River – it’s my favorite for baking, because it is so light and flaky that it blends easily. A bit of salt makes sweet things so much better!
This combination is so decadent that the only thing it can be paired with is an equally intense stout. We were lucky enough to have a 2011 bottle of Night Stalker (the base for Bourbon County) from Goose Island and Left Hand nitro milk stout. Mmm…
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
• 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
• 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (do not use old-fashioned or freshly ground)
• ½ tsp salt
Sift powdered sugar into large bowl. Add salt. Add cream cheese, butter, and peanut butter. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until smooth.
Posted February 6th, 2012 by Jessica
Filed under: banana bread, dulce de leche, Himalayan Pink, Murray River
Yes, this is as good as it sounds. It’s actually orgasmic- there’s just no other word that does it justice.
Start by making a batch of Mark Bittman’s banana bread. Bittman is one of my original food gurus and if you’re only going to own one cookbook it should be How to Cook Everything. The secret ingredient in this bread is shredded coconut. For baking I use the Murray River salt, because it is so finely flaked.
To make dulce de leche, place a can of sweetened condensed milk in a stock pot and cover with water. Boil for 2.5-3 hours depending how thick the desired consistency is and voila! You can keep this in the fridge and slather it on anything. Also delicious stirred into coffee.
Take a slice of banana bread and toast it. Top with a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream, then drizzle with dulce de leche and sprinkle with salt. I used Himalayan Pink. Take a bite, close your eyes and enjoy. And if that doesn’t get you off I don’t know what will.
Mark Bittman’s Banana Bread (from How to Cook Everything)
8 tablespoons butter, plus some for greasing the pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork until smooth
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (this blogger omitted)
1/2 grated dried unsweetened coconut
Preheat the overn to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
Mix together the dry ingredients. Cream the butter and beat in the eggs and bananas (this blogger creamed in the sugar as well out of habit – it worked fine). Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients; do not mix more than necessary. Gently stir in the vanilla, nuts, and coconut.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until nicely browned. A toothpick inserted in the center of the bread will come out fairly clean, but banana bread is excessively moist compared to other breads. Do not overcook.
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 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!
Posted December 3rd, 2011 by Chris
Filed under: Dill-icious Blend, gift ideas, Hickory Maple, Murray River, salt sets, saltware, Sel Gris
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!
Posted January 1st, 2011 by Chris
Filed under: Cyprus Black Lava, Murray River, news, reviews, Windy City Celery
Happy New Year 2011! To ring in the new year, we received a wonderful review from a great blogger – She Scribes. Kimberly has a fresh perspective, and covers a broad range of topics on her engaging blog.
Anyway, we sent Kimberly a slew of Beyond the Shaker salt samples for her review including Cyprus Black Lava, Windy City Celery, and Murray River Salt. Even though Kimberly admits she does not use a lot of salt in her cooking, having our Beyond the Shaker blends available really spurred her in the kitchen. And of course that is our goal!
The She Scribes review can be read in its entirety here – but even better, Kimberly is also offering a giveaway of our Top Sellers Set! The contest rules are embedded in the page link, so good luck…
Posted September 26th, 2010 by Chris
Filed under: Bolivian Rose, Himalayan Pink, Murray River, news
Check out this Internet site we found that is focused on pink salt! It is pinksalt.org .
We love ourselves Himalayan Pink salt, Bolivian Rose and Murray River.
Beyond the Shaker actually sells an awesome three jar set of pink salts that includes all of the above! Anyway, we are super happy that gourmet salts and pink salt in particular is becoming so popular!
Posted August 11th, 2010 by Chris
Filed under: book review, Fleur de Sel, Murray River, recipe, reviews, Sel Gris
Another resource in the kitchen that I find myself reaching for often, and just ‘reading’ randomly during downtime is What’s A Cook To Do? an invaluable reference by James Peterson (here is a Amazon link). The book is captioned as an “Illustrated Guide To Essential Tools, Tips, Techniques, and Tricks” – and I can attest to the honesty of that statement. The book is chocked full of hundreds of color photos of food and culinary tools. Even better, there are detailed pictures of knife work on various vegetables, proteins and breads.
Peterson has a concise commentary on various salts, which includes a brief discussion of the four essential types of salt that should be in the home chef’s arsenal. These salts are comprised of inexpensive kosher salt, fine flake or grain salt (for when coarse salt is too crunchy, we would recommend Murray River), sea salt (like Sel Gris, which is full of ocean flavors), and Fleur de Sel for delicate foods.
I found the section of the book on broths, soups and sauces to be very informative. The shellfish and fish chapter is also quite educational (including several ways to prepare scallops – a personal favorite). Want detailed directions on how to carve a chicken or make a prime rib roast? Check out the poultry and meat section. Peterson’s writing style is easy to follow, and his detailed techniques show expansive depth of knowledge.
If you can’t tell, I would definitely recommend this guide for any home chef, and at $11.53 on Amazon, honestly it is an unbelievable deal.
Posted January 18th, 2010 by Chris
Filed under: carrot soup, Citrus Basil, Fleur de Sel, Hot Habanero, Murray River, recipe, Sel Gris
It is winter in the Midwest. This means shortened days and bone chilling, unrelenting, cold. This is the type of cold your mom warned you of…it sinks into your body and you feel like a long forgotten icy-pop from the back of the freezer (the one with the strange ‘yellow’ flavor that no one likes). Yeah, that is some serious cold!
So warm up with this delightful carrot soup, which we promise is incredibly filling and robust. One bowl will allow you to battle even the worst of the winter weather while it warms you from the inside out. Some folks out there are probably rolling their eyes about the prospect of carrot soup. At first it does sound a little boring, like a hospital meal, but what if I told you that THIS particular recipe has almost a bottle of wine in it? Hmmm…I certainly am not aware of any ER that is serving such culinary fare! And what if I went on to tell you that this recipe for carrot soup also contains the kick of fresh grated ginger root? Ah, yes, this really is not your typical carrot soup recipe, so perhaps you should give it a whirl and let your taste buds decide for themselves!
The other promise we can make you is that this recipe is ridiculously easy. The flavors do the work for you. No, they don’t cut up the onions or peel the carrots, but if you can accomplish the simple task of getting stuff in a pot, you will be a ‘seasoned’ (HA, never gets old) professional at whipping up this wonderful soup for you and your family/friends. AND the best part, is that it is not cream based, so there is an argument that it probably is not entirely bad for you (the 6 tablespoons of butter might indicate differently, but we will leave that determination to the experts).
Here are the ingredients:
6 tablespoons of butter, unsalted (you will be the master of what salts go into your food!)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1/3 cup chopped ginger root (you can pick this up at most grocery stores now..just use a potato peeler to remove the brown outer skin)
3 cloves of chopped garlic
5 cups of chicken or veggie stock, unsalted (I think you know why)
2 cups of dry white wine (just grab any old dry white wine, the grape varietal is not important)
1 lb of carrots, peeled and chopped into little coin shapes
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of either Beyond the Shaker Hot Habanero Blend (for those folks that want even more kick) or Citrus Basil Blend (for those folks that like a stronger citrus flavor)
Fresh chives (optional, but yummy)
2 teaspoons of a Pure Foundation Collection salt with a flakey texture, like Sel Gris, Fleur de Sel or Murray River.
1. Prepare all your ingredients ahead of time. Seriously. Organization like this will help make your cooking experience much more delightful and less rushed. Chop your onions, garlic and ginger root and toss them in a bowl together. Separately peel and cut your carrots. Have your wine bottle open (a small swig at this point is acceptable).
2. Get a large stock pot and put it on a medium heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt then add the olive oil. Drop in your onion, garlic and ginger root. Stir this around until the onions just start to become clear. Turn down the heat if anything starts to brown in the pot (browning is bad at this point).
3. Once your onions just begin to become clear add your Beyond Blend salt (either Hot Habanero Blend or Citrus Basil, but feel free to experiment too) and the carrots. Keep mixing (folding the carrots into the yummy flavors already built up in the pot) until the onions are completely clear. Add in the wine. Scrap the bottom of the pot with your mixing spoon or spatula to release all the crazy good flavors that have caramelized there. The wine will help you a lot here. Now keep mixing periodically until the whole mixture starts to boil.
4. Now add in the chicken or veggie stock and wait until the mixture boils again, and then turn it down to a simmer (like a mini boil, small little bubble escaping across the entire surface).
5. The mixture should simmer until you can pull a carrot out and it is soft all the way through (put a fork in it to test). Turn off the heat completely. Add the lemon juice.
6. If you are using a blender with a glass pitcher, be careful to allow the mixture to cool a bit before blending. The heat can easily crack the blender, and that would mean ‘no soup for you!’ Pour the mixture into a blender. Blend the heck out of it until it is a consistent and uniform color.
7. Add the blended mixture back to the pot to warm it up again, if necessary. To serve, add to bowls and top with the rough chopped chives and the flakey salt – season to taste with the salt. Most likely the soup will need some salt at this point since we were careful to only include ingredients that did not have salt in them in our soup mixture.
That is it! Seriously, I broke out each step to guide you through the process, but do not let that fool you into thinking this recipe is complex. It is very simple and the robust flavors will make you think differently about carrot soup. In all, it took about 45 minutes to make with the bulk of the time required to allow the carrots to become tender.
For the more adventure driven cooks, try these variations:
1. Add two medium sized Serrano peppers, chopped, to the mix at the same time as wine. The trick to the heat is the seeds of the pepper. Add them all if you want some SERIOUS heat or add just a bit for some nice spicy warmth.
2. Parsnip. Sounds like a funny name, but tastes great with carrot. Take three large parsnips, peel them with a potato peel. Coat with olive oil and put on a roasting pan covered with aluminum foil in a 400 oven for about 20 minutes. The parsnips are ready when they have a little brown to them and are soft. Now throw this into the mix at the same time as the carrots. Wow, is that good and worth the extra effort. Seriously do not rob yourself of the yum.
3. Add a dollop of plain yogurt or butter to the top of the soup just prior to serving.
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.