Thursday, February 23, 2017

Salt Preserving - February Challenge

Yum

A group of us are participating in the Food In Jars Mastery Challenge hosted by Marisa at Food in Jars and this month's challenge was SALT PRESERVING. It was fascinating to me to see all the varied ways to preserve foods with salt and many of us tried several of the suggested methods during the challenge.

The most intriguing one was Salt Cured Egg Yolks! The way the process changes the molecular structure of  the egg yolks from their original state to one where they are more or less solid and can be grated was fascinating. Then there was salt preserved citrus, sauerkraut made simply with cabbage and salt, a vegetable soup base, salt infused with herbs and spices making your own salt blends and so much more.

The Recipes suggested were:
  • Salt preserved lemons – This is an easy starting point. I make at least one batch of these every year. They add a tangy, funky bite to soups and stews. I often heap a bunch of them in the blender and puree them smooth. I dollop that puree into hummus, vinaigrettes, and other creamy spreads.
  • Salt preserved key limes – Some readers argued whether the fruit I used were in this project were actually key limes, but that’s what the bag said. They’re zippy and bright and worth the making.
  • Citrus salt – Another really simple one. Zest a bunch of lemons, limes, grapefruits, or oranges and combine them with chunky salt. Spread it out on plate or parchment-lined cookie sheet and let it air dry. Then sprinkle it over chicken, fish, dips, and roasted vegetables.
  • Herb salt – A variation on the citrus salt above, this expansive, wide-ranging recipe is flexible and adaptable.
  • Herbes salees – There’s a version of this recipe in my second book, but I learned everything I know about salt preserved herbs from Joel and Dana at Well Preserved. And so if their post was a good starting place for me, it’s a good starting place for you!
  • Gravlax – Quick cured and seasoned salmon that takes a few minutes to prep and just a couple days in the fridge to get good. It’s a low effort, high reward project and just the thing to make if you’re planning a dinner party or fancy brunch.
  • Cured egg yolks – I’ve not made these before, so I point you in the direction of Hank Shaw for instructions here. From what I hear, this relatively quick cure produces something with the flavor and depth of good cheese.
  • Kraut – There’s so many directions to go here. Start with a recipe that appeals and begin to explore.
  • Kimchi – This is my favorite approach, but it just one of many. If you decide to go in this direction, do try to stay away from the brined recipes and stick to the ones that are salted directly, as we’ll focus on wet brined foods later in the year.
  • Soup base – I almost always have a jar of this vegetable-heavy paste in my fridge for giving depth to soups and stews.



Here are our results! So many great ideas and techniques used


video





Enjoy,
Mary 

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