Make the most of culinary herbs and spices.
All About Flavored Salts
by Sandra Bowens
Salt is not an herb or a spice yet we consider it to be an important seasoning. Salt is a mineral, sodium chloride, and is essential to the functioning of the human body. Iodized salt is marketed to help in preventing goiter, a disease of the thyroid gland. Salt is commonly used in preserving foods and has been throughout history. The word salary evolved from the allotment of weekly salt given to soldiers in the Roman Army.
Salt is obtained two ways. The most expensive is by evaporating sea water with the power of the sun’s rays, resulting in sea salt. Rock salt is mined, diluted and filtered to remove impurities, then evaporated by steam or direct heat. Salt is available on the market in different grades. Table salt is considered regular grade but you can also buy it in rock form, fine grade and the very coarse Kosher.
Most people are familiar with herbed salts. No spice cabinet is complete without garlic salt, onion salt and celery salt. Unfortunately, these purchased blends are far more salt than flavoring, sometimes as much as 90% salt, 10% garlic, onion or celery seed. Perhaps the reasoning is that a producer can sell an inexpensive additive (salt) for the premium price of the seasoning (garlic, etc..). The answer to getting what you pay for is to make your own.
This is done simply by purchasing onion and garlic in “granulated” form (sometimes labeled as powder but look for the consistency of sugar, not cinnamon) and combining with regular table salt to the proportions of your choosing. Fifty-fifty is a logical place to start, adjusting later to your own personal taste. Fill a clean, dry spice jar halfway with granulated garlic, top it off with salt and shake well. For celery salt, which is good in Bloody Marys, use ground celery seed.
Bear in mind, you may need to add more salt than a recipe calls for when you are using your own new and improved zesty salt blends. The one that follows is written using the fifty-fifty blended salts.
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 teaspoons onion salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds yams, peeled and sliced 1/8” thick
Combine the garlic salt, onion salt and black pepper in a small bowl.
Melt the butter with the oil in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add yams, sprinkle with half the salt and pepper mixture. Use a spatula to turn the yams, coating with the butter and oil. Fry, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper mixture and continue cooking until yams are beginning to brown and are cooked through, about 10 more minutes.
Makes 4 servings
Here's one that's full of our favorite recipes because we wrote the book! It is also full of information, helpful hints and ideas for using herbs and spices in your kitchen.
A collection of over 100 recipes for making your own spice combinations gathered from spice shops and herb farms all over America.
There's more to salt than just the shaker, it is a life force. Follow along as it shapes the world.