Salts, Herbs & Spice make everything Nice. There’s nothing confusing about infusing. These do-it-yourself finishing salts are not only great to have on hand for everyday meals but they also make an excellent hostess gift. Find a nice little container to put them in (as shown), tie a bow or ribbon & voila! They’re not fussy and you can tweak them to your liking.
For instance, I dry fresh lavender flowers, grind them (in a coffee grinder used specifically for purposes other than grinding coffee) and then put them into a container (I keep several clean empty ones on hand for this purpose ) with either course Himalayan pink salt or kosher salt for a nice flavor to add to pork roasts or potatoes. Add rosemary, thyme & oregano leaves for Sel-de-Provence.
This simple malt-vinegarsalt takes a few minutes of work to yield a summer’s worth of pub-fries type seasoning. In addition to chips (or any kind of potato dish), you can use it on shellfish or fried fish. Try it on popcorn too. I like to thinly slice Yukon gold potatoes & bake them at 375 F until done with a bit of olive oil & this salt sprinkled over them – tastes like a day at the beach.
6 Tbsp. of course salt
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
¼ cup malt vinegar
Stir all ingredients together until a loose paste forms. Pour onto a rimmed baking sheet & spread into a thin layer. Let stand at room temperature, uncovered for a day or two. The paste will dry into a hard, cohesive sheet.
Rake and mash sheet with a fork until it develops into the texture of course salt. Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid and store in a cool, dry place up to 3 months (that is, if it lasts that long).
This will add a bright finish to curries, soups and stews – you can even sprinkle it on banana bread.
Preheat oven to 300 F. In a medium bowl, mix ½ cup of flaky sea salt with 1 Tbsp. of grapefruit zest, 2 tsp. orange zest, and 1 tsp. lemon zest, working zest into salt to eliminate clumps. Add ½ tsp. ground fennel seed, and spread across a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until zest is dried out, about 15 minutes (it should crumble when pinched). Let cool, then store in an airtight jar up to 2-3 months. Makes ¾ cup.
Herbs de Provence
The flavor is amazing here. Delicious sprinkled on salads, soups, fish, chicken, beef and pork. Did I miss anything?
2 Tbsp. dried rosemary
1 Tbsp. fennel Seed
2 Tbsp. dried lavender flowers
2 Tbsp. dried Italian Parsley
2 Tbsp. Dried Savory
2 Tbsp. Dried Thyme
2 Tbsp. Dried Basil
2 Tbsp. Dried Marjoram
Grind rosemary & fennel seed in a spice grinder (which could be a second coffee grinder); transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir savory, thyme, basil, marjoram, lavender, parsley, oregano & tarragon with the rosemary mixture. Store in an air-tight container between uses. Makes 1 cup.
Flower Pepper (okay, I had a lot of flowers last summer – here’s a way to make them last all year long).
Mix black peppercorns with dried rose petals and lavender (or other edible flowers like Calendula) for a colorful mix of flavor. Use it with salads, eggs, fish, meat, chicken or pasta dishes – pretty much everything.
The added touch: for a more personalized feel you can create your own label to stick on the lid of any jar. The receiver will remember who it came from and what exactly is inside.
Note: Sufferers of asthma, ragweed, and hayfever should not consume composite flowers, and may have extreme allergies to ingesting any flowers at all. Composite flowers consist of a family of plants with heads composed of many florets, including the aster; daisy; dandelion; goldenrod; marigold; lettuces; ragweed; sunflower; thistle; zinnia.
AVOID: some flowers in particular to be avoided (but not a complete list) are: azalea, crocus, daffodil, foxglove, oleander, rhododendron, jack-in-the-pulpit, lily of the valley, and wisteria.
Have you ever tried creating your own versions?
Food board on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/intrigueimports/foodsavour-taste-flavor-relish-palate-enjoyment/