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Recipes to showcase specialty salts?


barbhealy
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I just bought a selection of specialty salts:

Murray River pink flake

Himalayan pink (fine)

Salish - alderwood smoked sea salt, coarse dark grey crystals

fumee de Sel - cold smoked in chardonnay wine barrels

Hawaiian Alalea red, coarse crystals

Hawaiian black lava (coarse crystals blended with charcoal)

We are having a candlelight dinner party on Friday and I was hoping to serve a selection of finger foods that would highlight each of the salts unique qualities. However, I am having trouble finding recipes!

Does anyone have a book or other resource that might help me? Or, recipes you've tried and liked?

If all else fails, I will hardboil some quail eggs and sprinkle each with the different salts. Boring, I know, but easy and effective.

Thank you!

Barb

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I like Melkor's advice. Any excuse to eat foie is a good one. At per se, they offer an assortment of salts with their foie gras course. If foie gras isn't an option, cooled poached chicken would be a nice alternative if you just want to "show off" the differences between salts.

I think the number one principle in this exercise is simplicity...

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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:biggrin:

Crudo is nice with different salts and olive oils.

Great suggestion...simple, but also worthy of a bit of luxury. Heck, both come from the sea, it's a match made in heaven!

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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As much as I hate touting all the rage, flaked sea salt is becoming a big thing. I like it in and put on top of homemake caramels. That said.

I think salts should be used as garnish...unless they are just the plain seasalt variety. I mean, why the hell would you use flake salt from the most unpolluted regions of the earth, to put salt into say, a pie crust? basic morton salt will bring the flavor out just fine,..

OK, maybe I'm being stupid here, and I'm making the salted caramels as well (as soon as the humidity gets below 60) amd I've also spent a small fortune on salts (hawaiian red, french, spanish, italian...geeze) and figure it's one thing that won't go bad on me if I don't use it! My thought on this boils down to when I was making focaccia, and could not find coarse salt in this stupid town. When I asked, they stocked. They must sell the hell out of it, cause I'm constantly on there're butts to keep it in stock. But the focaccia is made, and I now have a steady supply of salts.

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I've never tried to do a comparative salt tasting like this, and I'm intrigued.

I'd keep it simple. Maybe bake some focaccia or soda crackers (like saltines), brush them with olive oil and sprinkle on the different salts when they come out of the oven.

I'd even consider cutting up celery sticks, sprinkling them with the salts, and serving them with your other finger foods.

If I felt inspired (and not under time pressure) I'd make gravlax with each of the different salts, and do a comparative tasting that way.

Whatever you decide to do, I'm sure your guests will like trying these salts.

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If you can find good French Bread, just slice, spread with a little high quality unsalted butter, and sprinkle with the salts.

SB (not much better fare anywhere! :smile: )

I do this all the time. My kids don't understand why I insist on unsalted butter, but then salt my bread and butter.

I think it would be a great way to simply showcase the salts and make them the star. Other stuff could be served to fill in.

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I vote for one preparation that highlights the salt (like the bread with good, unsalted butter), one preparation with meat (the foie gras idea is great, but a little pricey! You could do little devilled quail's eggs, or sunny-side up quail eggs on little truffled toasts), and then one sweet (the salted caramel idea is wonderful--I especially love flaky salts on caramels! Don't bother using the different salts in a baked item--their individual nuances would be masked.)

I just got a new salt from Halen Mon--it's sea salt that's been smoked over 800 year old Welsh oak. The flakes are quite big and a pretty golden brown colour. I am going to serve it on grilled hangar.

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If you can find good French Bread, just slice, spread with a little high quality unsalted butter, and sprinkle with the salts.

SB (not much better fare anywhere! :smile: )

I do this all the time. My kids don't understand why I insist on unsalted butter, but then salt my bread and butter.

I think it would be a great way to simply showcase the salts and make them the star. Other stuff could be served to fill in.

Ditto

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Pink salts and smoked salts are wonderful sprinkled on light-colored seafood, like scallops. Maybe ceviche?

Not so useful now, but in the summer it's nice to arrange cucumber spears on a platter and sprinkle them with different colored salts to make a pattern.

As well as sweet butter (great idea) the salts might look nice on mild goat cheese.

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gallery_10011_1589_41134.jpg

a holiday gift from my daughter .. to add to my Fleur du Sel and Maldon collections .... :wink:

I must say, that is an awesome gift...

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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