Home made Flavored Salts


BM # 56
Week : 3 , Day : 1
Theme : Condiments
Country : Mexico

The term condiment comes from the Latin condimentum, meaning "spice, seasoning, sauce" and from the Latin condere, meaning "preserve, pickle, season".



A condiment is a spice, sauce or other food preparation that is added to foods to impart a particular flavor, enhance its flavor, or in some cultures, to complement the dish. The term originally described pickled or preserved foods, but has shifted meaning over time.



The exact definition of what is and isn't a condiment varies. Some definitions include spice and herbs, including salt and pepper, using the term interchangeably with seasoning. Others restrict the definition to including only "prepared food compound, containing one or more spices", which are added to food after the cooking process, such as mustard, ketchup or mint sauce.




For this coming week I shall  share some condiment recipes with you.

When we talk of condiments the first thing that I can think of is salt and pepper which is always a must on the table. Agreed table salt is a complete no no, but yet salt is the most common condiment which is needed on the table. All restaurants and eatery joints have this on their tables by default. Thinking on those lines I decided to make some Home made Flavored salts.

Actually my son is very fond of these flavored salts and every now and then he gets a small pack. Much before this marathon I was keen on making some flavored salts at home , so today I am sharing three flavors with you , along with a dish where you can use these. also on my search I found that these salts are very popular in Mexican Cuisine , hence I have put these under Mexico, even though they are popular world wide.




Garlic Pepper Salt

Citrus Lemon Chilly Salt

Basil Garlic Salt



Garlic Pepper Salt
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients
1 cup sea salt
2 tbsp dehydrated garlic flakes
1 tbsp whole black pepper


Procedure
Pound the garlic flakes coarsely in a mortar and pestle
Pound the whole black pepper also.
Add the sea salt and pound all ingredients a little.
The sea salt I used is a coarse variety and I pounded the rest of the ingredients coarsely too.
You could put the prepared salt in a table top grinding mill and use.
You could even grind the salt fine and use directly from a salt shaker.




Citrus Lemon Chilly Salt

For this particular salt we need lemon zest.

Zesting  a Lemon

( Well, this is not just about how to zest a lemon - you can zest any citrus fruit.)
What is zesting? It's removing the very outer layer of skin from a citrus fruit.
Zest is a great way to add extra flavor to cooking and extra oomph to food and drink presentation. 
To prepare your own dehydrated zest, you could use a micro plane zester, a pairing knife or a zester. I used a microplane zester.
Make sure the lemons are fresh .
Wash and wipe them.
Using your microplane zest grate the lemons, making sure you grate just the upper layer. We do not want the white pith beneath.
Spread the zest on a kitchen napkin and place it in a shady area . 
This shall dry within a few hours.
Store in a airtight container.

Next we need Red Chilly for this salt.

We need to roast the dried red chilly, so it becomes crisp and we are able to pound it with ease.
If you do not want to roast them, leave them in the sun for a few hours before pounding.

Now the Lemon Chilly Salt
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients
1 cup sea salt
1 tbsp dehydrated lemon zest
2-3 whole red chillies

Procedure
Pound the red chillies coarsely.
Add a tbsp of sea salt and the lemon zest, pound again.
Mix with the rest of the sea salt.
Store in a airtight jar and make use of t he table top grinding mill for use.


Basil and Garlic Salt
Makes 1 cup

Dehydrated Basil
Let us prepare the dehydrated basil first.
Wash and wipe the basil leaves.
Place a thick paper towel in the microwave
Place the leaves individually on a thick paper towel.
Microwave on high for 10 seconds.
Let stand.
Check after a minute. If the leaves are dry, they would be crisp.
If not microwave for another 5 seconds.
Recheck .
You should MW till the leaves are crisp.
Mine took about 20 seconds plus the standing time of a few minutes.
Do not microwave for long at one go, this tends to burn the leaves.
Once the leaves are dry you can store them for a long period and use as and when required.

Coming to the Basil and Garlic Salt
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients
1 cup sea salt
1 tbsp dehydrated garlic
2 tbsp dehydrated basil.

Procedure
Pound the dehydrated garlic.
Pond the dehydrated basil.
Mix the two and add 1 tbsp of sea salt and pound.
Mix with the rest of salt.
Store in a airtight container, or put in a table top grinding mill.



While these salts are on the table they can enhance many dishes. Salads, creamy pastas. Nuts, burgers, sandwiches ... Oh the list is endless.


These salts are not restricted as table condiments, you could use them while cooking also.

I have made a simple Macroni dish using this salt.

1 cup macaroni 
1/2 cup ready made tomato sauce
Few basil leaves.
Boil the macaroni with salt. Once boiled, drain and keep aside.
Add the sauce to a pan.
Mix in the boiled macaroni and a few basil leaves.
Serve the dish by sprinkling some Basil Garlic Salt.





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