Sunday, January 16, 2011
Salt, brussels sprouts and related matters
On December 23, I was skittering my way through the Big Rosauers (a local grocery store chain - and that's opposed to the Little Rosauers, where we usually shop) on patrol for fresh, whole calamari (seriously) for a Christmas Eve seafood brodetto. I was a Woman on a Calamari Mission -- until the artisan salt display above the olive bar caught my eye.
Artisan salt. Black. Pink. Grey. Apricot. And, of course, beautiful variations of white.
I know artisan salt is not a New Culinary Concept. But, let's face it. . . though it's getting better. . . my fair city can be just a tad behind the culinary cutting-edge curve.
I think it's pretty safe to say Bermtopians are a meat-and-potatoes-Morton's-salt kind of tribe. We are, after all, just 45 minutes from the Idaho border.
I was just a little bit excited to find artisanal salts a mile from my home. No need to schlep downtown to my favorite kitchen purveyor for said salts. Huzzah!
But I digress.
Artisan salts were not on my shopping list December 23, BUT they were yesterday. May I present (left to right)
Salish Alderwood Smoked: Pacific sea salt cold smoked over - duh - alderwood for 48 hours. O.M.G. My kitchen smelled like barbecue (in the good way) for hours after cooking dinner last night. Note: It's supposed to be good on salmon. Double duh.
Murray River Australian Pink: My photo doesn't do justice, but a pinky-taste does. What a hit of flavor!
Alaea Hawaiian Sea Salt: Look at the heft and depth of that salt. 'Nuff said. A traditional salt used to season and preserve foods. Hmmmm. According to the "user manual," rub it on red meat and the clay seals in moisture while roasting.
Uh oh. I threw 1 1/2 tablespoons into today's batch of Artisan Bread Awesome-ness.
It looks pretty. So far. Stay tuned.
So, speaking of brussels sprouts. . . and we were, don't you remember?
I took the plunge last night, courtesy of a Sunset magazine recipe -- steak and a tater/sprouts hash. And threw in a little Salish alderwood smoke salt to boot.
Balsamic vinegar and the Salish salt on steak? Are you freakin' kidding me? Oh my my. Oh hell yes. Time to put on the party dress.
Brussels sprouts and rosemary, on the other hand. Bleck. We will not go down THAT road again. The sprouts weren't mushy and stunk up the house, but we are seriously back to the brussels sprouts drawing board.
I am determined to love these little turds, I mean, buds. At some point.
Sooner. Or later.