Salt is the most important ingredient in your kitchen. If I have learned anything over the last couple of years, it is that to properly salt your food is to make it ten times better. The other day we went to a resturant, and T ordered the steak. Apart from the steak being perfectly cooked, T noted that his steaks are so much better because they are seasoned properly. I suggested he add some salt and pepper. The overall flavor was better, and he was able to enjoy his steak for the meal. I read part of Micheal Simon’s cookbook, and he stated that he salts his steaks a day before he serves them in his resturant. If you ever are able to get your hands on that book, I highly suggest adding it to your collection. I will be as soon as I go to the book store. It is completely different from any other cookbook I have. Anyways. Seasoning, mainly involving salt and pepper, begins as soon as you start cooking a recipe. Please do not wait until the very end to add salt to your dish. When you are sweating onions, add salt; the water from the onions will be drawn out to make the cooking process easier. I usually add a pinch at a time.
One evening we sat on the couch after dinner and watched Alton Brown talked about salt for an entire 30 minutes. And I think it was the second episode about salt in his collection. I highly recommend this as well. I admit, I have only used table salt, kosher salt, and sea salt. Kosher is the salt I use in all of my cooking. Every recipe on this website that states salt means kosher salt. I probably should have mentioned that eariler. A friend and I were puzzled by her hummus being too entirely salty after I gave her the recipe. And she had added only half of the salt measurement. After thinking (I am ashamed to say) that she had done something wrong (several hours afterwards), I realized I had not told her about kosher salt, she had used table salt. Table salt’s grains are about three times smaller than kosher salt. Silly me! (If you have made my recipes and found the same to be true, I deeply apologize!) We ended up remedying the situation with making an entire other batch without salt and adding the two together. The unsalted batch was nasty!!! But with salt, it was perfectly delectable. Kosher salt is usually what chefs and cooks use in their cooking, even if they do not mention it. I highly recommend investing in a box. I have one in my pantry that I have used for at least several months now. Let the table salt sit at the table.
Sea salt has been said to use to finish dishes. It has a lovely crunch factor. I just added a tiny bit to my morning hot chocolate. So wonderful!!! Starbucks had a hot chocolate several years back called the Salted Caramel Hot chocolate. Do it at home; the salt adds something exotic to everyday hot chocolate. Sea salt is what is added to mozzarella to make it the lovely cheese it is. In the olden days, the cheese makers would haul barrels of sea water to their “factories” and use the heated sea (salt) water to make mozzarella. (I am still in the process of figuring out how that happened.) Though I have not fully used sea salt to its upmost, I plan to find more ways to explore its potential. I will keep you updated.
Ok SB, you are saying, all this salt talk is increasing my BP! There is a definite link to high sodium levels and increased blood pressure. I strongly feel this is due to the high amount of processed foods. If you make your own food, you have the power to add as much or as little salt to your foods. Processed foods have a very high salt content. If you buy canned items, buy the no salt added veggies and soups. Then you can add the salt to your liking. Give yourself some time to get used to a lesser salt content (because you will add less salt to foods than their process counterparts) if you are used to eating tons of processed foods. Your food will taste fresher.