There are Different Kinds of Salt? 6 Recipes Where Cooking with Salt You Haven’t Tried Can Totally Change Flavors
This article about cooking with salt is sponsored by Orson Gygi. Family owned and operated since 1945, Orson Gygi is the West’s premier source for kitchen tools, supplies, and specialty foods. Visit them at Gygi.com.
When you start cooking, you have a very important choice to make: what kind of salt you are going to use? Almost everything you are cooking with is going to contain some amount of salt, but do you know what types of salt there are and how you can use them? Heather Smith and Candace Heward with Orson Gygi sort out what types of salt you could be using. Then check out the recipes below to see how you can use salt in your cooking.
Table salt is the standard salt we all know. Table salt is an extremely refined and finely ground salt. All impurities and trace minerals are removed in the processing. It’s also treated with an anti-caking agent to keep from clumping together. Most table salt is iodized. This means that iodine has been added to prevent iodine deficiencies, which can cause hypothyroidism and other maladies. This isn’t really a problem for people in the USA, but outside of the country iodine deficiency is a real problem.
Here’s a simple recipe off of ChowHound for Easy Roasted Chicken Breast that uses simple table salt and pepper.
Kosher salt is a coarsely ground salt that usually doesn’t contain any iodine but might contain an anti-caking agent. Kosher salt doesn’t have to be blessed by Jewish rabbis at all that would give it it’s namesake. Although Morton’s salt claims to be. In fact, Kosher salt was originally meant to ‘kosher’ meat, meaning to remove the blood from meat. So it’s actually koshering salt. Kosher salt also dissolves quickly.
Keep this ratio in mind when substituting Kosher salt for table salt: 1 teaspoon table salt = 1 1/2 teaspoons Morton kosher salt = 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
Here’s a great recipe for Tacos El Pastor that comes from Morton Salt who farms a lot of their salt locally from the south end of the Great Salt Lake.
A great easy thing that you can do with Kosher salt is to sautee veggies. Here’s a simple Kosher salt and sauteed veggies recipe that doesn’t involve too much measuring. Just eyeball the ingredients, and then season/cook them to taste. Just combine green beans, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli in a frying pan with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. You can cook with either olive oil or unsalted butter. Cook until slightly browned.
Sea salt is usually unrefined and more corse than normal table salt. Like some of the other salts on this list, it’s harvested from evaporated seawater. It contains some minerals which give it it’s flavor but does not have the same mineral content as the Himalayan pink salt that is next on the list. Because it is a fairly broad term, sea salt is often on multiple different kinds of salts that could be considered sea salt. It’s best to use sea salt when you want a little more taste than normal table salt can offer.
Here is a recipe for a Cast Iron Pan-Seared Steak from Grif on AllRecipes that you can finish in the oven.
Himalayan Pink Salt
Another variation of sea salt, Himalayan pink salt is one of the most popular salts right now because of it’s supposed health benefits. It’s harvested in the Khewra Salt Mine in the Himalayan Mountains of Pakistan. It contains the 84 different types of minerals and elements that are found in the human body which is why it’s commonly used in spas for salt treatments. Its mineral content makes it have a bolder flavor compared to other salts. You can use it as a cooking and finishing salt.
Here’s a delicious recipe for Sea Bass with Broccolini from What’s Cooking America that is actually served on a Himalayan salt block.
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This is a favorite local salt here in Utah. According to the company, “Real Salt is an all-natural sea salt that comes from our underground salt deposit in Central Utah. The deposit was left there by a pristine ancient sea that covered much of North America millions of years ago.” This salt contains very little naturally occurring iodine. And it’s a great replacement for any kosher or sea salt recipe. And not having iodine makes it a great salt for making pickles and cheese.
Here’s a recipe for Salted Garlic Rosemary Beef Tenderloin from the people at Redmond, the company behind the delicious Real Salt. This will definitely give you an idea why you will want this salt in your food over just the boring old table salt.
Fleur De Sel
Translated to ‘flower of salt’ fleur de sel is an expensive salt that is hand harvested in the tidal pools off the coast of Brittany, France. Because this process can only be done with a traditional wooden rake on sunny, dry days with a slight breeze, it makes this salt one of the most expensive and sought after. It retains it’s own moisture and tends to have a blue-grey tint from its mineral content.
Here is a yummy recipe for a Caramel-Fleur de Sel Ice Cream from Beth Biundo on MyRecipes.com