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 ‘Windy City Celery’
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 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 August 19th, 2010 by Chris
Filed under: news, recipes, Windy City Celery
Hey, look at that! – an article we wrote was recently published in Michigan Home and Lifestyle Magazine. Here is a link to a PDF copy of the article that appeared in the Summer 2010 edition of the magazine (provided with permission from Michigan Home and Lifestyle Magazine). The article is titled “Make this Summer Worth its Salt” and it is a solid (if we do say so ourselves) primer to unrefined salts and their use, especially in summer-time applications.
The article also includes a copy of our ridiculously yummy Windy-City Celery Potato Salad. We use avocado to add huge oomph to the flavor and texture of blah old potato salad…but of course the true secret to this recipe is our hand blended Windy City Celery Salt. Seriously, if you have not tried this marvelous blended salt, we have incredibly pity for you and your taste buds. It is one of your top sellers (collect the whole set), and for very good reason! We are huge fans of Michigan Home and Lifestyle Magazine (and not just for the obvious reasons), and we highly recommend you seek it out if you can for some other delicious articles. Anyway, we hope you enjoy the article and also make some time to claim this last bit of summer to do some cooking (don’t forget the salt)!
Posted February 20th, 2010 by Chris
Filed under: news, reviews, Windy City Celery
We at Beyond the Shaker really like Hollywood actresses. Seriously, what is there not to like?! It is a lifestyle and profession all rolled into one stellar package, if we do say so ourselves.
Anyway, we were honored to learn that a pair of actresses dig us too! Well, not exactly ‘us’, but our distinctive salts and blends.
And even better, this dynamic duo maintain an engaging blog called the Actor’s Diet, which includes stories and commentary on food from the view of the up and coming actress. Since we first spoke to Lynn and Christy about our pure unrefined salts and hand crafted blends, I have been an avid reader of their blog.
Recently they posted a great review of the Beyond the Shaker’s Windy-City Celery blend, which you can read HERE.
So thanks Lynn and Christy…in the wonderful universe of Hollywood actresses, you are definitely stars!
Posted February 3rd, 2010 by alesya
Filed under: recipe, Windy City Celery
Brussels Sprouts with Windy City Celery Salt
“I didn’t know you liked Brussels sprouts,” my Mom said as she looked over the dinner ingredients. She was right to question me, I hate Brussels sprouts.
Actually, I used to hate Brussels sprouts. Now that I’m a full blown adult I actually like them. In fact, I like them so much when I looked at this recipe I thought, “Mmmmm, Brussels sprouts!” When did this happen!?
The inspiring recipe is from Logan’s entry in the Beyond the Shaker Challenge. Not only does it look good, it tastes fantastic. You can find all the pictures from the Challenge on our Facebook Page.
My parents joined us for this meal and it was finished in one sitting. Sprouts and all. Enjoy it with adults or try to pass one over on your favorite child.
Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Bacon Sauteed Brussels Sprouts & Savory Apple Cider Honey
The Finished Product – Logan’s Was Prettier
Roasted Pork Tenderloin
1/8C Beyond the Shaker Windy City Salt
1/8C Kosher Salt
1/4C Brown Sugar
Dissolve salts and sugar in 1C boiling water. Remove from heat and pour into large Ziploc bag. Add remaining water (this water should be very cold). Add the pork tenderloin to the Ziploc bag. Brine in fridge for at least 60 minutes. Remove tenderloin from brine and dry it. Sear all sides on a med high grill. Roast 30 minutes for each pound of pork at 350 degrees . Let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Savory Apple Cider Honey
1QT Apple Cider
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 small Shallot, cut into small pieces
2 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into very small pieces
Bring Apple Cider to boil, reduce heat and simmer until cider is reduced to 2 cups (if you continuously watch and stir, you may leave the heat higher — this is recommended as it will otherwise take a LONG time). Remove bay leaf and shallot. Continue to reduce to about a cup of liquid. At this point, it should be fairly thick, like maple syrup. Pour into small bowl and add the butter one piece at a time, whisking until each piece of butter is gone.
Bacon Sauteed Brussels Sprouts
12-24 Brussels Sprouts, halved
3-6 Bacon slices
Approx. 1 Tablespoon Beyond the Shaker Windy City Salt
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cook bacon in large nonstick frying pan. Remove bacon and cut into small pieces. Leave half of the bacon fat in the pan and save the other half. Add half of the Brussels sprouts with 1/2 tablespoon of the celery salt and saute until tender and slightly browned. Remove from pan and cook the other half of them (with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon celery salt) in the remaining bacon fat. Add all Brussels sprouts to a large bowl and mix in the bacon pieces. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To serve: Place pork tenderloin slices atop the Brussels sprouts on a platter. Drizzle pork with the cider honey. Try to avoid licking the cider honey spoon clean before serving.
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 October 4th, 2009 by Amanda
Filed under: Chef's Blend, Citrus Basil, Hot Habanero, juice, recipe, spicy, tomato, Windy City Celery
Windy City Celery Looking Yummy with Tomato Juice
I’m one of those weird people craves tomato juice when I’m on an airplane. It just sounds so delicious, nutritious, and satisfying when I’m flying the friendly skies. So imagine my shock when I decided to take a look at the nutrition facts on the back of my spicy tomato juice during my last flight. It had a total of 1600 mg of sodium—in just one beverage! The American Heart Association recommends having no more than 2400 mg of sodium per day—so that one drink could have potentially contained well over half of my entire daily intake.
I felt duped. There is no need to have that much refined sodium in anything, let alone a delicious tomato juice. So when I got home, I decided to search for my own recipe for spicy tomato juice—on that didn’t contain an obscene amount of refined sodium but rather utilized the potency of my natural, unrefined salt that contains less sodium than the refined version undoubtedly used in that can of juice.
I found this recipe on Martha Stewart’s website—she must have had the same experience I did and was so fed up that she made this marvelous recipe that requires only ¼ teaspoon of salt for a recipe that two people can enjoy.
The recipe calls for a food processor and juicer. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender. If you don’t have a juicer, borrow one from your neighbor. They’ll understand. If they don’t, skip the celery and just add ½ cup of water. And consider making new neighbor friends.
3 stalks of celery, leaves attached
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon celery seed (even if you use Windy City Celery, still add the celery seed. No one wins when you skimp on flavor.)
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon of your favorite Beyond the Shaker salt (Windy City Celery, Hot Habanero, Citrus Basil, or Chef’s Blend are all awesome in this recipe)
2 red chile peppers, for garnish (optional)
Juice the heck out of the celery stalks so you can get about 1/2 cup of juice (yep, you can juice celery. Seemed crazy to us too). Pour into the bowl of your processor or into your blender. Toss the chopped tomatoes, jalapeno, lemon juice, celery seed, black pepper, and of course, your favorite Beyond the Shaker salt. I used the Windy City Celery Salt, but you could really use any Beyond the Shaker salts mentioned in this recipe. Of course, Hot Habanero Blend really can add a ton of spicy kick!
Process/blend until fairly smooth, but keep some of that thick texture that makes tomato juice so satisfying. Garnish with chile peppers, if you’d like, or perhaps olives, pickles, another stalk of celery—go crazy! It’s natural, it’s delicious, and it’s yours.
Posted September 14th, 2009 by Chris
Filed under: Chef's Blend, Citrus Basil, Hickory Maple, Hot Habanero, Michigan, salt samples, Windy City Celery
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.
Posted July 29th, 2009 by Amanda
Filed under: beer can, Chef's Blend, Chicken, grilling, Potatoes, recipe, Windy City Celery
My friend Steve makes a
hell heck of a good great chicken on the BBQ grill. His secret is something I have seen on TV many times, but never in person. An open beer (in the can) is used as a stand for a whole chicken, and the chicken then sits on this little hops-filled throne while cooked in a gas or charcoal grill. Steve swears he has tried every beer under the sun, and the cheaper beers work the best as long as they are not the ‘lite’ or even ‘light’ version. Of course the beer not only works as a way to secure the chicken in an upright position, but it also provides steam and flavor that permeates the chicken.
Recently Steve made his famous whole chicken for me using Chef’s Blend as a rub for the outside of the bird prior to grilling. He cleaned the entire chicken first, then hand dried it, rubbed it with olive oil and liberally applied Chef’s Blend to the chicken’s skin (more than just at typical rub, he actually applied force as he pressed the Chef’s Blend onto the outside of the chicken). He then opened a can of a beer I only thought was available at ball parks, took a swig, and sat the whole chicken on the beer in an upright position. This whole set-up then was placed in a pre-heated grill to cook for about 45 minutes to an hour. Obviously your time may vary based on the heat of your grill and size of your bird, but the goal is to have a very crisp skin and of course cook the chicken entirely through (always take care to make sure chicken is properly cooked). The steam from the beer kept the chicken very moist as it cooked away. Steve checked on it periodically, but mostly left the chicken alone as to keep the steam inside the bbq to work its tasty magic.
Once the chicken was done, he pulled it out and let it ‘rest’ for another 10 minutes with a bit of aluminum foil draped over the top to keep the heat focused on the bird. He then carefully pulled the chicken off the top of the beer can and threw the can away (it had served its purpose, but take care that when you do this at home you are mindful the beer in the can is still boiling hot). Once we carved into the chicken it was clear that this method was brilliant since everything bit was moist and full of flavor. The crispy skin melted in your mouth with the taste of the Chef’s Blend adding a salty/spicy kick.
As a side course, Steve paired some potatoes which were prepared with Windy City Celery salt to boost the terrific flavor. The recipe was easy — cut up Yukon Gold potatoes and put them on tinfoil. Splash on some olive oil, butter, parsley and Windy City Celery salt. Throw this whole thing on the grill. Remove when the outside of the potatoes become crispy and remember to reposition the potato pieces often to have them cook evenly. Delicious and easy.
Anyway, Steve showed me once again that a fantastic meal does not require a lot of time, ingredients or even special skills. Having the right salts on hand makes a huge difference and transformed this dinner from good to absolutely amazing. We are anxious to explore more of the ‘beer can’ method and welcome your comments/experience notes.
Posted July 27th, 2009 by Chris
Filed under: Citrus Basil, Fleur de Sel, glass rim, Hot Habenero, recipe, rimmers, Windy City Celery
Nothing beats a great drink with a salty rim!
Salt and summer. Sunny weekend afternoons. And summer drinks, of course. It just all goes together perfectly. For me (and my statistically insignificant and 100% unscientific poll indicates most people in this world feel the same way), the quintessential summer drink is the tangy margarita (on the rocks) with a salt crusted rim. The salt balances out the bitter tartness of the lemon and lime in the margarita, and provides the perfect refreshing flavor, especially on steamy hot days. Interestingly, sodium is an essential nutrient that is lost when we sweat (here is an article from a website for runners that sums up how it all works). In fact, if you look at most exercise drinks, they contain higher than expected sodium content as part of the ‘secret recipe’ that helps athletes regain electrolytes lost during strenuous activity.
Why this background is at all interesting to us, the informed and hungry salt consumer, is simply a question of the manner in which the margarita evolved to its in enlightened state for which we now get to enjoy it. How did this seemingly perfect drink take the prescribed format we have come to expect? Perhaps the margarita is so delicious and refreshing during hot summer months because this is when our bodies physically crave salt the most. It is said that some deep wired parts of the ancient human brain developed to instinctually drive us to consume items that our bodies require to stay healthy (or alive). Our own evolution allowed the reinforcement of this survival instinct by rewarding us with a pleasurable experience when we eat/drink something that keeps our bodies working in good order. Of course I have no idea if this is the actual reason behind why margaritas taste so dang amazing, but it is fun to theorize a mind/body justification for why we love them so much.
Margaritas are really the beginning of the ‘rimmer’ craze. Restaurants and bars have gone into overdrive offering different sugar, salt, and even chocolate options for every drink you can imagine. And we are rewarded with tasty combinations that add further complexity to those cocktails we already know and love. The term ‘rimmer’ makes complete descriptive sense and yet, simultaneously, I think we can all agree it is also an unfortunate name. Really I do not have a better option (yet), and I doubt I have much sway with the rimmer/bar/restaurant terminology community anyway, so RIMMER it is!
The picture above is from a beautiful new patio bar in Chicago at the Trump Tower called “16″ (it is on the 16th floor of the building). This is a play on the classic margarita with a touch of coconut flavored rum. But the real excitement is on the rim, as it is crusted in a mixture of fleur de sel and dried flaked coconut. The blend draws out all of the flavors in the drink and leaves a wonderfully refreshing after taste. Drinks that we have been enjoying this summer with Beyond the Shaker salts include strawberry daiquiris with a Citrus Basil rimmer and Bloody Mary’s with Hot Habenero or Windy City Celery along the rim.
It appears that rimmers are here to stay, and although the term is slightly strange, the resulting flavor is not to be ignored. We love this rimmer trend, and we plan to continue to push the envelope with matching great drinks with Beyond the Shaker premium gourmet salts and blends.