Archive for the 'Salt Blocks' Category

Himalayan Salt Tequila Shot Glasses

Why put a perfectly good drink in a Himalayan salt tequila shot glass?  (These salt cups have become an instant hit, sold individually and in sets of four.)  First off, salt cups are not just for tequila shots.  As a matter of fact, mescal is better yet… and better yet are cocktails with a bit of sugar in them. Which brings me to the answer of my questions, of why in tarnation would you want to put a perfectly good drink in a pink salt tequila shot glass?

Tequila, mescal, cachaca, or other fiery boozes are great quaffed from with Himalayan salt shot glasses because the mineral zing of the salt miraculously mellows the sensation of fieryness.  Salt opens up all the lush flavors locked in the alcohol and makes them available to your taste buds, and the fiery fierceness falls by the wayside.  In addition, salt cups hold their chill beautifully, so a sipping tequila from a salt shot glass is simply refreshing.

These reasons alone certainly justify the purchase of a set of two or four or twenty four Himalayan pink salt shot glasses for your merry making.  But try them with sweeter drinks, or with a bit of sweetener on the rim of the cup, and you will really see some flavors fly.  Mint Juleps, margarita shots, Spanish coffee… to name a few.  I offer a handful of recipes in my Salt Block Cooking - 70 Recipes for Grilling, Chilling, Searing, and Serving on Himalayan Salt Blocks.  They give you the fundamentals.  But you can experiment on your own. 

The trick to using Himalayan salt shot glasses well is to mix drinks designed for quick quaffing. Liquid dissolves salt quickly. If you let your shot sit for long, it will soon become unpalatable. But done right, the salt transforms drinks that benefit from a little salt.

Salt cups have amazing thermal properties that let them stay hot or cold far longer than glass. Freezing, refrigerating, or heating them before serving opens new doors for drink design.

These pink Himalayan salt shot glasses are a slightly different model than the ones photographed in Salt Block Cooking. The walls of the cup are a little thicker, and the lip is not as rounded. The overall result is a more rustic look and feel, which is accentuated by a more substantial heft in the hand.

Though not as slim and trim, what I really like about these salt shot glasses is that they last longer and are more durable than the thinner ones. Another cool thing is they have more thermal mass, so popping them in the freezer overnight gives you one incredibly frosty-salty cup for that tequila shot you’ve been looking forward to since Monday. Also, because they are thicker they are sturdier for warm-temperature drinks like salt cup Spanish Coffee!

You buy Himalayan salt tequila shot glasses singly or in a set of four retail and wholesale, as well as other pink Himalayan salt blocks products at The Meadow’s online store.

Salt Block Cooking: 70 Recipes for Grilling, Chilling, Searing, and Serving on Himalayan Salt Blocks

My second book, Salt Block Cooking: 70 Recipes for Grilling, Chilling, Searing, and Serving on Himalayan Salt Blocks, will be released on May 28th everywhere books are sold! (if you want a signed copy, please buy from The Meadow’s online store here>>) I want to take a moment to introduce the book to you, and share a few of the recipes it includes. My publisher Andrews McMeel did an incredible job crafting the book itself. It’s a gorgeous hardback, 224 pages long and has over 100 full color photographs.

Salt Block Cooking is a comprehensive guide to the craft of cooking with Himalayan salt in its rough, primordial state–which is to say, as a rock. Salt blocks are boulders of 600 million year old rock salt that are cut into slabs or lathed into cups and bowls for use in the kitchen and at the table.

Cooking with salt blocks is emerging as a powerful but accessible technique, appearing everywhere from Iron Chef America competitions to ritzy Las Vegas steak houses to backyard family barbecues.  Everyone who sees it or tastes food made with it recognized the flavorful, flashy fun that salt blocks have to offer. But until now, the enormous potential has not been explored.  Cooking on salt blocks is indeed fun, but it is also a revolutionary cooking technique that promises serious benefits for cooks and eaters of every stripe.

‘Salt Block Cooking’  provides simple, modern recipes that illustrate the principles of preparing and serving food on Himalayan salt. Beginners will benefit from helpful information on shopping for a block, maintenance, heating, cooling, handling, serving, and cooking with their blocks. More adventurous salt block cooks will find an array of new tips, techniques and recipes (salt block curing a slice of watermelon into a savory prosciutto-like “ham”, anyone?).

My book is divided into seven sections, an introduction serving as an Owner’s Manual, and six cooking chapters, each providing information and recipes for mastering a core technique:

Introduction to Salt Blocks: Where are Himalayan salt blocks, where do they come from, and how are they used? The introduction will answer all your questions about how to select and use your Himalayan salt block.  Think of this as the user guide or owner’s manual.  It includes detailed instructions for warming, chilling, and cooking with your block, and how to clean up afterwards, with pictures to guide you every step of the way.

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How to Cook Steak on a Himalayan Salt Block

Heating a Himalayan salt block

Cooking steak on a slab of pink Himalayan salt isn’t like cooking on steel. When you cook on a Himalayan salt block, the heat of the block sears and browns proteins of the steak and melts fat, while the salt subtly dehydrates the surface and seasons to perfection. Together the heat and salt work in harmony to produce a tremendously tender and salted steak slices.

Cooking on Himalayan salt is unlike anything else, so here’s a step-by-step guide for how to do it: How to Cook Steak on a Himalayan Salt Block. Every step is explained in detail, with pictures to show you how to do it:

  1. Select the right block
  2. Heat it slowly
  3. Cut, apply, and cook the steak
  4. Clean your salt block
  5. Store for later use

We use steak as an example because its one of our favorite things to cook on Himalayan salt. But these principles can be applied to cooking on salt in general – from scallops to eggs, bell peppers to fiddleheads and duck breast.

Go read: How to Cook Steak on a Himalayan Salt Block

For more information, see: Our Guide to Pink Himalayan Salt Blocks and Meadow fan Deanna Dawson’s How to Cook a Hanger Steak on a Himalayan Salt Block guide.

Gravlax on Pink Himalayan Salt Blocks

 This recipe is adapted from the “Salt Block Gravlax” recipe in Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes.

Serves 6

2 large Himalayan Salt Blocks (6x9x2) or The Meadow’s Gravlax Starter Set (two 4x8x2)
Bunch of fresh dill sprigs
2 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon dry yellow mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 pound salmon fillet, skin on, pin bones removed
Melba toast or crackers for serving

Cover one block with half of the dill sprigs. Mix the dry ingredients. Place the salmon on the dill-covered salt block, skin down. Coat the fleshy parts of the salmon, and cover with the remainder of the dill sprigs. Place the second salt block on top, wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap, and place in a fridge.

Leave in the fridge until the fish becomes resilient but not firm to the touch. The top surface should be dry, the sides moist, and the flesh will be slightly opaque. Allow one to three days. Thinner and wild salmon cure faster, while thicker and farm-raised salmon take longer.

When it is ready, unwrap the gravlax, rinse off the spices, and pat dry. Serve skin side down on melba toast or crackers.

 

 

Salt Block Scallops with Szechuan Peppercorns and Citrus

Sautéeing on Himalayan salt blocks creates exponentially more flavor than sautéeing in a conventional skillet.  This is because a salt block cooks your food in two ways. At a blazing 500 degrees or higher, the heavy block of salt has enormous thermal mass, sizzling away moisture to produce a thick crust of rich, concentrated flavor.  At the same time, the Himalayan pink salt itself sets to work, bursting cell membranes, intermingling juices, and breaking loose new flavors that in turn sizzle away to make for even more concentrated flavors.  Want to make the most of this miracle of cooking chemistry?  Balance out the scallop’s rich buttery flavors with a spritz of citrus and reinforce everything with the lip-tingling spice of Szechuan peppercorns. You’ll not have another scallop that’s this fun to cook, impressive to serve, or tasty to eat.

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Quick & Easy Himalayan Salt Block Seared Flank Steak

Flank steak cooked on Himalayan Salt Blocks

Himalayan Salt Block Recipe – Seared Flank Steak

Flank steak has to be pretty much the best thing short of a foot rub while drinking a root beer float.  But it’s tough.  It’s ornery.  There is a common strategy to making the flank steak supple enough to eat without popping your jaw out of joint: marinating.  I’ve made coffee and ginger marinades, lime and tequila marinades, smoked salt and chili pepper marinades, vinegar and sugar marinades… you name it.  Every time, great steak.  But think of the poor steak.  A wonderful, flavor-packed piece of meat forced to suffer quietly the insult of subjugation to intense acids and sugars and salts.  When we see a flank steak, we see a quandary.  How do we get that elemental flavor out of a meat that resists the teeth?  There is a solution, a way honor the humble yet noble flank steak in its naked beauty, a way that takes virtually no preparation ahead of time, a way results in a fun, incredibly juicy and savory dish.

I’ve covered this dish before here and elsewhere, including at the Himalayan salt block cooking classes at The Meadow, but I don’t think it has ever actually been hammered into a simple recipe.

There are two simple tricks to this dish (if you can call steak seared on a giant block of salt a dish): cutting the meat against the grain, and cooking it at a high temperature.  Oh, and cooking it NOT on steel, but on a block of ancient, super dense, mineral rich Himalayan pink salt.

Ingredients:
1 2lb piece of flank steak
1 9x9x2 inch Himalayan Salt Block or Plate

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