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Salt makes a comeback

November 19, 2008 8:24:55 AM PST
There's an ingredient that's making a resurgence in restaurants and recipes, something diners often shy away from. It might just be the secret ingredient in your Thanksgiving turkey.For years, we've heard that salt is bad for you. Then we heard salt is actually okay. And now, if you cook with salt, there's a lot of salt to choose from and so many ways to use it.

"We take some of the little things for granted, like salt," chef David Burke said.

And Burke isn't talking about the basic salt. He's talking about the real salt of the earth stuff, the kind that is mined in chunks. Pink Himalyan salt, which David serves up at his restaurants, can be used in some really creative ways to display and flavor food.

He even heats the salt blocks to help cook food and he has salt walls in his meat lockers. The salt helps kill bacteria and adds flavor.

But you don't have to erect salt walls in your kitchen. Williams Sonoma stocks a wide selection, including sea salt, oak smoked, Australian pink and black - a rainbow of salt.

Jonathan Lindenhauer, of Bon Appetit, says when it comes to Thanksgiving, reach for the salt. He likes to flavor salt with herbs and spices, and then he coats the bird with that salt rub.

Once coated and covered, it's into the fridge for 24 hours. But before you cook it, you've got to rinse it.

There is no need to cook with all that salt, but do stuff the cavity with aromatics and then cook. The result is a juicy bird without lots of fuss.

So go beyond table salt or kosher salt and try something with even more different texture and flavor. But just don't over do it.

Work gingerly. You can always add more salt, but you can't take away what you've already added.

CLICK HERE for more from Bon Appetit on preparing your turkey with salt.

David Burke's Recipe for Tuna Sashimi on Himalayan Salt:

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz. Sushi Grade Tuna Cut into 2-inch Cube
  • 1 Himalayan Salt Block. Available at S.O.S. Chefs or Asian-Style Plate
  • 2 Tsp. Ginger Oil (Recipe Follows)
  • 1/4 Bunch Chives Cut into 2-inch Sticks.
  • XO Sauce (Available at Any Asian Market)
  • 1 Lemon

    Method:
    Ginger Oil

  • 3-inch Piece of Ginger Chopped
  • Blanch Three Times
  • Place In Blender w/ 3 oz. Canola Oil. Puree Until Smooth

    XO Sauce:

  • Zest Lemon
  • Mix w/ 2 oz. XO Sauce

    Plating:

  • Slice Tuna Into 1 oz. Portions
  • Place On Salt Rock
  • Lightly Brush w/ Ginger Oil
  • Place 1 2" Chive Stick on Each Slice
  • Place XO Sauce In Small Dipping Bowl
  • Serve w/ Toast

    Yield: 1 Serving

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