Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Tips for Cooking with Salt

I got a book from the library by Michael Ruhlman.  They didn't have the one I was looking for – Egg but I thought one of his that they did have sounded interesting.  It is called Ruhlman's Twenty.  I will post about it as a book separately.
One of his chapters is about using salt.  And I learned new things as a result and thought I would share a few of them with you in case you find them helpful too. 
The first is about when to salt meat.  He says you should salt it just as soon as you get it home and then leave it salted in the fridge until you are ready to cook it – even if that is a few days later!  I have never heard of this before.  He says that the meat will improve with the salt and that it will definitely keep much longer since the salt inhibits bacteria growth.  He does say not to used iodised salt.  So he recommends doing this with all meat, chops, steaks, roasts (with the sole exception of whole roasted chicken which he likes better when its salted just before cooking). 
This is not a technique that should be applied to fish.
Other salty tips:
Salt tomatoes well before serving them to allow the flavour to develop.
The water you cook pasta in must be very salty – like the sea.
If you are going to cook vegetables and then shock them in cold water to stop them cooking and keep the colour, you should add quite a lot of salt to the water. 
Ruhlman adds Thai Fish Sauce to his mac n cheese and to many other non Asian dishes as a source of saltiness and umami.  I am definitely going to try this!

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