Mastering the art of salting is intuitive and requires practice. The key is to salt in stages: add the seasoning to onions and garlic as they sauté, then a little more after the addition of an acid or sweetener. Just before you remove a sauce from heat, taste it- if it isn’t quite where you want it, try a pinch of salt. This may sound like a lot of salt, but because you are salting only a little as you go, you are in control of the saltiness of your dish, and are actually using less salt than in one large, possibly over-salted, dump.
- Don’t wait until service to add salt. It needs time to dissolve into the dish; otherwise it just tastes—salty.
- If you’ve been using table salt to cook, put it away and use kosher or sea salt.
- Add salt to seafood, poultry and meat immediately before cooking. Adding salt too far in advance of cooking can cause moisture to bead on the surface of the meat and prevent browning. Note: overcooking, not salting is what draws moisture from pre-seasoned meats (with the exception of preserved meats such as charcuterie).
- To cook vegetables, add a full pinch of salt to the water as it comes to a boil, then add the vegetables. Do the same with pasta and polenta.
- Use the bright flavors and delicate crunch of specialty sea salts to finish your dish, bringing it to culinary perfection.
- Adding a potato to soups and stews does not correct over-saltiness. Instead, if the recipe calls for an acid such as lemon, vinegar or wine, add a little more to balance the salt. If it is still too salty, try adding a little more liquid to dilute.
- It is a myth that salt toughens beans: soak dried beans in salted water, cook in salted water and add salt to taste before serving.
- Salt whole birds all over for incredible flavor- inside the cavity, outside on the skin and under the skin with butter.
- Pasta needs plenty of salt to cook properly: not enough and the pasta is likely to cook unevenly and will have a slightly slimy surface. Add roughly a teaspoon of salt per quart of water.
Cooking proteins enrobed with salt serves to trap heat and moisture under a crust, forcing seasonings to permeate into the food rather than evaporate with steam or direct heat. Just as in Indian clay-pot cooking, French ”en papillote”, and Asian leaf or bark wraps, the goal of salt cooking is to minimize moisture loss and maximize seasoning, while not tasting “salty”.
Steak Seared in Salt
Rather than broiling a steak, try preparing it in a cast iron pan dusted with enough salt to coat the bottom. Heat the pan until the salt begins to crackle. Place a thick, room temperature steak over the salt and cook 3-5 minutes, then flip it and continue cooking to your desired doneness. Steak cooked this way has an unusually crispy, flavorful crust and juicy interior.Feel free to share...