Smoke Makes Everything Taste Better
It is no secret to me why food tastes better when it is cooked out doors. Grilling food gives it that authentic smoky favor that is hard to duplicate inside a kitchen using an ordinary Stainless Steel or Teflon pan. Having a little smoke-flavor to meat is almost never a bad thing. Even sauces, potatoes, rice, pasta and soups can benefit greatly from a little bit of smokiness. However, getting that hint of smoke into the foods is not all that easy. Smoke sauces never taste authentic to me even when they claim to be made naturally, so I rarely ever use them. I have found one way to bring smoke into foods, however, that is not only 100% natural, but tastes good on everything I’ve tried:
The Smell alone is Worth its Salt
Salish, Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt by Saltworks is like discovering the magic of smoke and the Washington Pacific ocean in a bottle. I spotted this stuff in my local King Sooper’s Grocery stores produce section. The Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt comes in bulk, sealed plastic containers, labeled, Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt. It sells for $23.99 per lb. A 34lb container of smoked sea salt cost me about $8.00, which seemed outrageously expensive at the time. One smell of the aroma after I took it home, however, completely changed my mind.
Breathing in the aroma of the smoked salt for the first time is like sitting at the northwest sea by a smoky campfire. In fact, this stuff smells so good, that I often open up the container just to get a whiff of it as I pass through the kitchen. Just smelling the smoked salt made my imagination go wild wondering how how and where it could be used. A more difficult test for the imagination is finding foods where sea salt should not be used. This stuff makes everything taste better.
How to Use
The first thing I used the alder salt on was a pork roast. I coated the entire roast with black pepper, parsley, oregano and the smoked salt and roasted it on a rotisserie for 1 hour in the gas grill. The sea salt literally made the entire roast taste as if it was placed in a smoker all day, making me think it would really go great on ribs or any type of barbecue. While I haven’t prepared any barbecue with the smoked sea salt yet, I have used it in soups, omelettes, sauces, chicken breasts and even put a tad on some ice cream. This really is a magic ingredient, making it easy to add both flavor and smoke to any food dish you can imagine. I have not exhausted all of the possibilities yet, and this stuff really seems to go a long ways. I bought a 1/3rd lb container of the smoked salt about three weeks ago and still have well over half a container. For $8.00, you can easily make it last for 2 months or more. Of course, if you enjoy the flavor as much as I do, you’ll be glad if your $8.00 investment only lasts a month.
Is Sea Salt Healthy?
Smoked sea salt is healthy according to the Mayo Clinic. Because only a very small percentage of the population with very high hypertension need to worry about too much salt in the diet, the question for most of us is whether or not sea salt is healthier than table salt. Because Sea Salt is obviously more natural and less refined than regular, table salt, we could make the argument that it is a healthier alternative to flavoring our foods. Additionally, sea salt does give you some of the minerals from the ocean. For those of us who don’t live by an ocean, smoked sea salt gives us a way to experience the aroma, flavor and nutrition.
When you’re cooking indoors, use a cast iron pan. Cast Iron skillets and sea salt together, provide an impressive simulation of the flavors of the great outdoors.