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Salts

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
SO mant to pick from. I know table salt is what all baking recipes call for but what about cooking when it's more to taste. I have Table salt, sea salt, fancy Fleur de Sel Sea Salt and Fleur de Sel Sea Salt with herbs. There is also Grey Sea Salt, sea salt in course, fine and extra fine grounds, some from Hawaiian 'Alaea Sea Salt which is red and Napastyle.com Michael Chiarello's website has many different blends of salt.

which do you use for what?



http://www.saltworks.us/salt_info/si..._reference.asp
post #2 of 27
kosher....all purpose, searring meats...adding to dishes, adding to water for veg blanching
fleur de sel....finishing fish mainly or caramels/good chocolate
sel gris...when I want a ocean flavor
Hawaiian...I've got and have not used.
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post #3 of 27
Watch it, and don't get hosed for a $15 box of salt. It all salt, sodium chloride, and the trace amounts of other stuff is just that, trace amounts.

That being said, there is a difference with the actual shape of the salt granuales. Some are very thin flakes and melt in your mouth, some are big hunks and go well on flatbreads and pretzels, some are curled and slightly hollow, allowing you to "crunch" into them. These are worth exploring, but you won't be getting any health benifits from them.
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post #4 of 27
I agree with shroom on that first she listed. Kosher salt very versatile. Use it a lot.

Regards Cakerookie...
post #5 of 27
I swear by kosher in the home and hotel. Flavor is, well, salty...as stated VERY versitile, and you can feel what you are using.

Thomas Keller does a salt tasting course at his French Laundry. Pretty interesting, he pairs all the for mentioned salts with various aquitrimonts(sp?) and the result can be stunning.

There are a few "Smoked" salts that are real fun and funky too. Used with game and fowl, the taste is a step aside, and you can notice the "smoky" quality.

I love the pink seasalt for it's intensity. Wakes up melons and berries a lot too.
Like all good meals, this too shall pass
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post #6 of 27
In my opinion, margarita salt is indispensable. :D

I almost always use kosher for cooking. I keep table salt and course sea salt in the cupboard, but rarely think to reach for them. I also have some very course salt in a salt grinder I bought by mistake, thinking it was a pepper mill. It produces widely varying sizes and shapes. I rarely bother but, I like the different size crystals, in combination, on stuff like homemade chips, french fries or sliced fresh tomatoes.

I'm no expert and am looking forward to the advice of the those more experienced.
just an old guy learning to live off his own cooking
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post #7 of 27
Kosher - I use this for nearly all my cooking.

French Gray Sea Salt (Sel Gris) - I really don't use this one that often. The texture just seems so hard and compact.

Fleur de Sel - I really do love this stuff. It's like having a little flavor snowflake melt on your tongue. I've learned my lesson not to let things destroy on the shelf, so I use it whenever it's called for. I use it as a topper.

Fine Iodized Salt - popcorn


But...just to be clear...please read my signature below. I am not a chef :)


take care all,
dan
post #8 of 27
Salt, I love it. we have Moulden salt, Kosher is not so easy to find here. And we have unidentified salt from the grinder. Big gorgeous salt flakes that go so well with garlic on generously buttered flat bread. Or slices, or french or sour dough , lightly toasted, Brilliant on Turkish bread one buys by the inch. Or Indian Naan, that one buys by the metre. Salt, must love it, but don't try it as as a bono fide ingredient, if it is the common table salt with far too many additives.
post #9 of 27
post #10 of 27
I have a bag of Hawaiian red salt. To be honest, I can't taste a difference. That doesn't mean no one else can.... I haven't used it much.
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post #11 of 27
Dan,

You know I respect your opinion but why in the world should I spend 15 to 24 dollars a pound for salt that's going to "destroy on the shelf"? What does that mean anyway? I would expect salt to last forever.

The taste of salt on my tounge in no way reminds me of a snowflake. Is the flavor of Fleur de Sel that much milder?

How do you know when It's called for?

Respectfully,
Bert
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post #12 of 27
I'm a kosher salt guy.

Tony
post #13 of 27
My older sister lives in a small town in Essex, England, called Whitam. The next town over is Malden, famous for its sea salt. I was surprised to find that the cost for a box of salt in a Malden supermarket was only slightly less expensive than at Williams-Sonoma in San Francisco.

Anyway, I have a couple of boxes of that on the shelf that I use occasionally for finishing. My wife decided to do a fetuccini with clam sauce last week. I asked her if the pasta water was salted and she proudly told me yes it was and since we were having seafood, she salted the water with Malden sea salt. Aaaargh!

It's kosher all the way for me.

For those used to using regular table salt, if you are substituting kosher you need to remember that because the kosher grains are hollow and much larger, the salt is almost half the weight. A TBS of kosher salt weighs about the same as 1 3/4 tsp of table salt.

Jock
post #14 of 27
Hi Bert,

I could remember a few times when I had that "special item" that I wanted to use sparingly (such as vanilla beans, some spices, good olive oils etc.) I would use them so sparingly just trying to stretch the time I'd have with it on the shelf. Well, after having a few of these items either go bad (like the vanilla beans) or just loose flavor (oils and spices).

So now...I try to order smaller amounts and use them whenever the feeling strikes me. With the Fleur de Sel I don't want to let it just take up spice in the drawer. It doesn't do anyone any good if you don't use it. The snowflake comment strikes me more from the texture than the flavor. It reminds me of that little *burst* that you feel when a snowflake falls from the sky and lands on your tongue. It's like a little flavor burst. I'm not sure if it will go bad...but the texture does seem to be tied with the moisture content of the salt. Which is a little "wet". This is why I'm guessing that it may go bad as it ages and possibly dries out as well. The cost? Well...it may be expensive by the pound...and the price does sound impressive when stated by the pound. But I'm not buying that much at a time. I'm still trying to use up my 3.5oz jar that cost me $7.49. If I go thru a jar every year or two...I don't consider that a bad deal. ;)

But that's just my take on it...I'd rather buy some nice spices than spend it on McDonalds burgers (or something like it)

take care,
dan
post #15 of 27
Very well put. If I see it a small jar I'll try it, but my mom would spin in her grave if she knew I spent over $34 a pound for salt!

What are some of the things you've used Fleur de Sel on? What have you used it on that wasn't worth the extra expense?
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post #16 of 27
Like Mezzaluna, I've bought plenty of different salts where I wonder, finally, why ? That doesn't stop me though. I've got a whole pantry of used-once things; not only salts.

One salt, however, that I bought after reading about it in a Sunday New York Times magazine article a few years ago is a Smoked Spanish Sea Salt.

It adds a wonderfully subtle flavor to simple things like salmon filets pan-seared and oven roasted.
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post #17 of 27
Penzys Salts. They;ve got some nice spices...I just love the paprika selection. Tasty :)


dan
post #18 of 27
HA HAAAAAA! YES! People thought I was crazzzzzzzzy(guess the name doesn't help)when I said SMOKED Salts!..................................

Good stuff!
Like all good meals, this too shall pass
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post #19 of 27
For some reason, we like Maldon's salt better than anything else. I tried Kosher salt, but it didn't do it for me. I don't know why. I tried something called Chef's salt, but I really didn't like that!
I sometimes wonder if I should be using the iodized salt-no seafood around here! But we really don't like it.
Using different kinds of ingredients is one of the fun parts of cooking for me, so when I get a chance at something new to me . . . well, you know! I get a kick out of having several different kinds of salt, and since I don't use a large amount of salt, the cost isn't too bad.
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post #20 of 27
I guess I'm not hijacking the thread... people have mentioned smoked items and also Penzy's paprikas already.

Try the Penzy's Smoked Spanish Paprika. As the Pythons used to say, it is definitely something of else! Great for sprinkling on fish or chicken, salad dressings, in potato salad, and on and on. Use only a pinch- it's pretty strong.

Mike :chef:
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post #21 of 27
I use the Penzey's smoked paprika in grilling rubs and like it very much. As many hits as Rachael Ray takes (and I'm no fan), it's from her I first heard of it.
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post #22 of 27
I know it's a stupid idea...but I actually got lucky and did a salt tasting one day. You'd be surprised the variance in flavors of certain salts.

The hawaiian salt was mild but had that clay/earthy flavor from the clay beds it's "harvested" from.

As for what salt to use in everyday life: Kosher, nice and simple.

If you're lookin for a GREAT finishing salt though, I tried this "maldon sea salt" during an event. It's these long flat shards that just melt onto whatever food you put em on, and if you do it just last minute, presents well too :lips: .
post #23 of 27

Has anyone heard of using kosher salt to "tenderize" a cheap cut of steak?

 

http://steamykitchen.com/163-how-to-turn-cheap-choice-steaks-into-gucci-prime-steaks.html

post #24 of 27

Has anyone heard of using kosher salt to "tenderize" a cheap cut of steak?

 

Cover the steak with kosher salt, wait about 60 min's, then rinse off all of the salt, pat completely dry, then cook...

post #25 of 27

I can't see how this is supposed to work. It just will draw some more moisture out of the meat. Cheap cuts are generally cuts with more connective tissue, and those are treated by cooking low and slow - braising or BBQing, to slowly solubilize the collagen and get a juicy product. Salt boxing for an hour seems rather counter productive here.

post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneMachine View Post
 

I can't see how this is supposed to work. It just will draw some more moisture out of the meat. Cheap cuts are generally cuts with more connective tissue, and those are treated by cooking low and slow - braising or BBQing, to slowly solubilize the collagen and get a juicy product. Salt boxing for an hour seems rather counter productive here.

 

@GeneMachine

That was my take on it as well ( drawing moisture out would probably make it drier ), but there are a lot of people who swear by it.

There's also a youtube vid of some guy cooking two steaks ( one with the kosher salt treatment, the other without, cut from the same piece ) and showing it's more tender.

 

 

I usually put them in a freezer bag, and beat them with a meat mallet :lol:...seems to work.

post #27 of 27

Kosher, coarse for Melichak?. Used to take 72 hrs.Takes the blood out of the meat.

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