I have to admit – salt block cooking is a trend that almost passed me by completely. Which is strange because we have a number of salt lamps around the house and only use himalayan salt in our cooking. Clearly I need to pay more attention to my trend-watching!
So I recently purchased a couple of small salt blocks and Mark Bitterman’s “Salt Block Cooking: 70 recipes for Grilling, Chilling, Searing and Serving on Himalayan Salt Blocks” Apparently this is the definitive guide to cooking with salt blocks.
The book includes recipes for curing fruit and vegetables so I figured that was an easy way to get started. And I am always looking for preservred lemons but have neither the patience to wait out normal preservation times nor pay ridiculous prices at the shop – where the added ingredients are often less than desirable.
Technique is very important when working with these salt blocks. If you tend to make things up as you go along, you may end up with some very overly salty results.
Please note that salt curing requires 2 salt blocks because you position the food item to be cured between them. The weight of the top block applies pressure, which helps force the excess water content out while infusing the food with salt. Rather than buying one large block I invested in two smaller ones which proved to be a great decision. If we want steaks we use both blocks to cook on and then we still have the option of two for curing between them.
Curing with salt blocks is so easy. Why not try out these “preserved” lemons – so many uses in other recipes.
- whole organic lemons, cut into equally sized slices
- 2 large rectangular Himalayan salt blocks
- To begin, place a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet and set a large Himalayan salt block on top.
- Remove seeds from slices and place across the surface of the salt block and cover with the second block. It will take around 48 hours or a little longer for lemon to cure. You want the rind to be soft and chewy.
- The cured slices by themselves are VERY briny. However, when you chop them into small pieces and add them – rinds and all - to salads or pasta dishes, they are absolutely, completely wonderful.
- As an added bonus, the juice forced out of the lemons during the curing process will pull some of the salt from the block as it trickles down to the baking sheet below. When it dries, you will have a wonderful citrusy salt you can use on fish, chicken or anywhere else you want to add a little bit more lemony flavor.
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