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COOKING COMPANION


NEW ON THE S


Salt Block: A new way for seasoned entertainers to cook and serve


alt is the world’s oldest form of seasoning, long utilised for preserving and more recently used for enhancing fl avour. Taste buds are


biologically predisposed to be attracted to a salty taste and salt is accordingly recognised as one of the fi ve basic human tastes.


Rich in calcium, sodium, iron, potassium and containing over 80 other minerals, Himalayan salt in particular has been accorded quite a few benefi cial properties. However, the health benefi ts of salt are often overseen.


Good quality salt though, in recent years, has seen a surge in popularity and now it’s received a glamorous makeover into a show-stopping culinary centrepiece.


Salt blocks are one of the latest cookery trends, arriving just in time for summer dining. Although new to home kitchens, the art of grilling, chilling, searing and serving on a salt block is in fact an ancient tradition. Its versatility and durability means you can use it for both hot and cold cooking as well as using for serving canapes.


A stunning ‘gadget’ for the savvy cook, it reacts diff erently depending on the moisture, fat, sugar, starch and protein content of diff erent foods, so it’s an interesting device to experiment on in the kitchen with both sweet and savoury dishes.


Seasoned to perfection...


Not only does the salt block look good, but it can be used for various cooking methods too:


❤ Serving - pop the block in the fridge overnight and use as a chilled serving platter.


❤ Freezing - freeze the block for a couple of hours and use it to make instant ice cream.


❤ Curing - fi sh, meat and vegetables can all be sandwiched between two salt blocks and cured. This is great way to make gravlax.


❤ Grilling & searing - heat the block and brush with a little oil for searing and fl ash- frying steaks and scallops. Alternatively, you can use the block on the barbecue to compress food, such as butterfl y chicken.


SEARED BEEF WITH CHILLI AND SOY MAYONNAISE


A culinary trend straight out of the capital, we asked Tom Cenci, Executive Chef at Duck & Waffl e in London for a fool-proof salt block recipe sure to impress your dinner party guests.


400g fi llet of beef 200ml soy sauce 100g mayonnaise 2 shallots 100ml milk 100g plain fl our Oil for deep frying 1 red chilli


DID YOU KNOW?


Salt allows your food to


release molecules into the air, which boosts the aroma and how we experience the taste.


Half a bunch of coriander 1 lime You will need a Himalayan salt block


1 Heat the oven to 200C/gas 6 and place the salt block inside to slowly heat up.


2 Thinly slice the shallots into rings and soak in the milk, then leave until later. Cut the beef fi llet into more manageable pieces and roll tightly in cling fi lm to form round small fi llets and place in the fridge.


Salt House Himalayan Rock Salt Cooking Block, Lakeland £34.99


62 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER


3 Pour the soy sauce into a small saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce the soy sauce by half. Once thickened, allow to cool, then mix with the mayonnaise.


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