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Maria Samms

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Relearning to cook with salt

by Maria Samms » Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:22 am

So I recently received a salt mill as a gift. Previously, I used table salt in all my recipes. So I bought myself some sea salt and put it in the grinder. I started cooking with it this week...and I can't believe the difference in level of saltiness. It takes FOREVER to season with the grinder. The sea salt does inpart a nice flavor, but by the time I have seasoned my dish to my liking, it is over cooked or cold...LOL! Any suggestions? I had a friend over and made some pasta with a fresh cherry tomato sauce and she actually asked for some salt :oops: . I was mortified that the dish was so bland. So I gave her the salt grinder, and she was grinding the whole meal :lol: .
"Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance" -Benjamin Franklin
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John Tomasso

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Re: Relearning to cook with salt

by John Tomasso » Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:20 am

My taste for salt is such that I can't be bothered with the grinder.
I keep ramekins full of kosher and sea salt next to the stove, so I can grab it in my fingertips and sprinkle to my heart's delight.
"I say: find cheap wines you like, and never underestimate their considerable charms." - David Rosengarten, "Taste"
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Cynthia Wenslow

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Re: Relearning to cook with salt

by Cynthia Wenslow » Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:10 pm

I generally don't cook with much salt for health reasons, but my best friend/cooking co-conspirator is a salt junkie. Like John, she keeps ramekins of various salts next to the stove, and a salt cellar with finishing salt on the table.
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Bob Ross

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Re: Relearning to cook with salt

by Bob Ross » Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:22 pm

I use a coarse sea salt and kosher salt -- Janet can't have salt -- so I add it after cooking to my portions. After awhile, you can actually "count" how many grains you're using -- about ten to twelve in a typical dish for me now.

Jacques Pepin turned me onto the counting technique in the book Julia Child and he wrote together called Cooking at Home.
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MikeH

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Re: Relearning to cook with salt

by MikeH » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:26 am

Maria,

Your post kinda surprised me. We have the opposite experience, not with the salt mill but with kosher and sea salt. We find them to be much more flavorful than Mortons iodized table salt. OTOH, we are not running them through a salt mill either. We use table salt in limited circumstances now.
Cheers!
Mike
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Jeff Yeast

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Re: Relearning to cook with salt

by Jeff Yeast » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:21 am

Kosher salt here too. We have one of those terracotta English mustard jars that wee keep near the stove and full of salt. I like the control and ease of "pinching" as much salt as I need. I was given a salt grinder as a gift a few years back and my experience was the same as your's, I felt like I was grinding for hours :D Now I keep it in the picnic basket.
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David Creighton

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Re: Relearning to cook with salt

by David Creighton » Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:46 am

from some of the posts here it looks as thought some people still use mortons or other similar things. at the risk of seeming to be a shill for this company, i must say that the ONLY salt i now use other than some fleur de sel, is called Real Salt and is made by a Redmond Company out of Redmond Utah. they get the salt from the salt flats. it is really great stuff. available at Whole Foods and other specialty places.
david creighton
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Larry Greenly

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Re: Relearning to cook with salt

by Larry Greenly » Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:52 am

Try Diamond Crystal kosher salt; there are no additives and the shape is different than Morton's. Tastier, too.
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Ian Sutton

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Re: Relearning to cook with salt

by Ian Sutton » Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:25 pm

I recall the Fantasy author Terry Pratchett defining the term 'autocondimenter' as someone who automatically reaches for the salt/pepper irrespective of how much salt/pepper is already in the dish.

Generally not a salt fan myself, so I'll cook with a pinch, but never add it onto cooked food.

However when I was growing up, I do recall how good porridge tasted with salt instead of sugar, which shocked my sugar-addled young brain.

regards

Ian
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Jenise

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Re: Relearning to cook with salt

by Jenise » Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:43 pm

Maria,

You'll be all happy once you gain the understanding that there are two purposes for salt: seasoning and condiment.

Seasoning: there's fine-grained type table salt and kosher salt. It takes about 1 1/2 cups of kosher salt to approximate the equivalent saltiness of 1 cup of good old Morton's. Bigger grains, less potent. Kosher salt is preferred by most cooks because it has less of a pure sodium flavor and because you have more control--you have a much bigger margin of error before you oversalt, and most apply it with our fingertips. But it's also cheap and perfect for quantity applications like salting stews and pasta water.

Condiment use: salts are not created equal. Some are saltier, some are brinier, and depending on your taste buds you may like one better than the other. This is what salt grinders are for, grinding the kind of extra tasty extra fancy salt you'd sprinkle on a raw tomato, say.

So, it's perfectly logical that you feel like you're grinding too much salt, but in fact you're using the grinder for the wrong purpose. Go buy these some kosher salt, and forget about Morton's. Btw, if you have a choice of kosher salts, buy the Diamond Crystal. Morton's makes a kosher salt now but it doesn't taste as good.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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