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Tips for using Flavored Sea Salts

January 17th, 2012 by Jean Gleason

At the farmers’ markets last summer, we tested over 14 different flavored sea salts. We had sample tastings of everything from Habanero Sea Salt (a Texan favorite) to Ginger Beet Sea Salt (amazing color, but lacking in flavor at the time… this one is back in our test kitchen and we hope to re-introduce it next year). Based upon customer feedback, we narrowed our product offering to the following:

Black Truffle Sea Salt

Smoked Applewood Sea Salt

Lime Sea Salt

Rosemary Lavender Sea Salt

Garlic Sea Salt

Sel Gris (French grey sea salt)

Throughout the summer, loyal customers returned time and again to share how they had used the flavored sea salts. Below are a few of their tips. If you have any other recipe favorite, please let me know. We’d love to add them to our list.

Black Truffle Sea Salt was the hit of the Vail Farmers’ Market. We wish we had a video of the reactions… definitely YouTube material. Maybe next year we’ll become technically savvy enough to to take one. Sprinkle this Italian taste of heaven on:

- popcorn
- french fries (a la Lark Burger)
- hamburgers or steak
- pasta (especially good with Parmesan cheese)
- potatoes, eggs, mushrooms
- veggies (especially snow peas)
- soups, salads and stews…

We really haven’t found anything that doesn’t improve with just a little truffle salt. Be warned, a little goes a long way. The truffle is powerful, and too much is not a good thing. Get creative and enjoy.

Smoked Applewood Sea Salt has become the appetizer accompaniment in our house. Sprinkle a little on:

- blue cheese on a cracker, and serve with red wine (my favorite)
- a kobe beef hamburger
- steak
- eggs (almost as good as bacon)
- chicken, fish, lentils, pork, roast beef, potatoes, beans, tomatoes…
- rim your bloody mary glass!

Lime Sea Salt was very popular with the margarita crowd. Also good with fish, chicken, guacamole, and on fresh fruit.

Sel Gris is a favorite among our restaurant customers. Our chefs use it to finish dishes in their restaurants such as fish, scallops, chicken. This salt is high in minerals and moisture has a very clean taste. This is the salt of salts!

Garlic Sea Salt This is the best you will ever taste. Freshly ground for bold flavor, this is an excellent complement to Italian food – pizza especially. Also broccoli, popcorn, chicken, steak, potatoes, tomatoes, soups, stews, and of course bread!

Rosemary Lavender Sea Salt has fresh ground rosemary, lavender and French grey sea salt. It makes an excellent rub for chicken, pork, and steak. This was very popular with our vegetarian customers… think green beans, snow peas, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes…

These are just a few of our customers tips. There are no rules, get creative and sprinkle away!

Tebow “Lamb of God” Rub

January 12th, 2012 by Jean Gleason

Denver has a new faith, and Tebow is its new disciple.  I don’t think its followers are religious, but rather united in a common belief. Instead of crosses, they sport blue and orange jerseys. “We believe” signs are sprinkled throughout the city. Last week, on my way to the bookstore, I came upon eight people “tebowing”, while a total stranger took their picture. As I was waiting for the light to change, three more people joined the group.  Everyone was crawling around in the snow, squeezing closer together so that all 11 of them would fit in the frame. The photographer was on a scavenger hunt. One of the tasks was to get pictures of 24 “tebowers”. Now, I ask you, “What else would get total strangers to kneel down on a street corner in the middle of a snow storm?”

Yesterday, in my yoga class, we paused at the end of our standing poses, for a modified “tree-bow” pose. The mood changed from self centered focus, to unified hope. “Could the Broncos do it again?”

I once read about a study where a dozen meditating gurus joined together and meditated on a vat of water.  By uniting their intentions, they were able to raise the temperature of the water 1 degree Celsius. This blew my mind. The scientist in me responded “no way”. But as I get older, and realize that I really don’t know much about anything, I’ve changed my response to “could be”.

So, as I look forward to the game this afternoon, even though the scientist in me says “no way”, my newly evolving spiritual side answers “could be”. I mean, what does one dozen meditating gurus have over 1 million faithful Broncos fans?

I wonder how many Patriot fans are meditating today.

This recipe is compliments of my nephew Corey. Though not an experienced cook, he has a great sense of humor. He sent me a text with the idea for the recipe and said … make sure to use “extra virgin olive oil.”

Tebow “Lamb of God” Rub
 
Ingredients
  • 1 rack of lamb
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Smith & Truslow Organic Tarra·Cardamom Rub

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Rub lamb with olive oil.
  3. Sear in skillet over medium high heat on all four sides.
  4. Set aside, let cool a little, then coat with dijon mustard and roll in Tarra·Cardamom Rub.
  5. Cover the bones with aluminum foil.
  6. Bake with bone side down for 12-18 minutes… until temperature taken with a meat thermometer is 5-10 degrees below target temperature (temperature will continue to rise after you remove it from the oven).
  7. Target temperatures are as follows:
  8. Rare 125°-130°
  9. Medium rare 130°-140°
  10. Medium 140°-150°

 

Spicy Bloody Mary

December 10th, 2011 by Jean Gleason

Bloody Mary… or a mimosa? Our family debate, but I think we’ve come to a consensus. While a mimosa is preferred with waffles, muffins or coffee cake, a spicy bloody Mary (or Caesar) is the perfect side kick to an omelet, frittata or strata. The spicier the better, so horse radish is a must at our house.

Spicy Bloody Mary
 
Ingredients
  • 6 oz spicy V8 juice (tomato juice or Clamato, if you prefer)
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 fresh lime, cut into wedges
  • 4 dashes tabasco sauce
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pinch celery salt
  • organic ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp horseradish (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked applewood sea salt
  • celery stick

Directions
  1. Spoon the sea salt onto a small plate. Rub a lime wedge around the rim of a tall glass, and dip rim in salt.
  2. Place a few ice cubes in the glass. Grind some pepper on top and add the dash of celery salt.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes, and shake well.
  4. Strain the mixture over the ice cubes in the glass.
  5. Squeeze a lime wedge over the drink and drop it in the glass.
  6. Garnish with celery stick.

 

Festive Egg & Cheese Strata

December 10th, 2011 by Jean Gleason

The red and green peppers give this egg casserole a nice Christmas flair. Because you can make it ahead, it is great for Christmas brunch. Just pop it in the oven, turn on Nat King Cole and enjoy it with those you love.
Serves 6-8

Festive Egg & Cheese Strata
 
Ingredients

Directions
  1. Butter sides and bottom of a 9×12 oblong pan.
  2. Beat eggs, add milk, onions, salt, pepper, mustard, and Cholula sauce, set aside.
  3. Spread butter on bread slices, cut into bite size chunks.
  4. Sprinkle ½ of the bread into pan and top with ½ of the cheese, repeat.
  5. Pour egg mixture over bread and cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least 6 hours).
  6. Sprinkle minced peppers (save some for final garnish) and paprika on the top and bake at 350°F for 1 hour.
  7. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley, minced red pepper, and minced green pepper and serve warm from the oven.

 

Apple Cranberry Bourbon Bundt Cake

December 10th, 2011 by Jean Gleason

I like to bake. In part because I like to eat baked goods. Unlike most bakers, I like to experiment. Okay, I have to admit, it took me three tries to perfect this cake. But I’m glad I persevered. Check out the ingredient list… For a rich moist cake, it’s pretty healthy… no sugar and no butter! The secret is in the chia seeds, a healthy superfood loaded in omega 3′s, and agave nectar, a natural low glycemic sweetener. As my friend Maria says… “you gotta get on the chia train. Once you get on board, you will never get off.”

This is more of a coffee cake than a dessert cake. It is rich in flavor, but not overly sweet. Thanks to the high fiber cereal, the candied ginger and the pecans, it has a more complex texture than a traditional cake, but is not as dense as a muffin. This is the perfect cake for sitting around the table with your family on Christmas morning.

 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Ingredients
  • Cake
  • 2 Tablespoons organic chia seeds*
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1½ cup flour
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill high fiber cereal
  • 3 Tablespoons bourbon
  • ½ cup candied ginger, minced
  • 1 cup agave nectar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons organic ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon organic ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 medium honey crisp apple, cored and grated coarsely
  • ½ cup of fresh cranberries, chopped into halves
  • 1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
  • Sauce
  • ⅓ cup agave nectar
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • * available at Vitamin Cottage, Whole Foods, and other natural grocery stores.

Directions
  1. Heat oven to 300°F. Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan.
  2. Ina small bowl, soak the chia seeds in the ¾ cup of water, set aside and let sit for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Toast the pecans at 325° for 7 minutes, cool, mince and set aside
  4. In a small bowl, combine the candied ginger with the bourbon, set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, vanilla extract and apple and set aside.
  6. Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour Bob’s Red Mill cereal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, sea salt, nutmeg and pecans.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, beat together chia gel, eggs and agave nectar, on medium speed. Add the ginger and bourbon. Add in yogurt mixture. Mix until blended.
  8. Turn mixer to low and add dry ingredients. Mix lightly until incorporated. DO NOT OVERMIX!
  9. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and bake for 1-1/4 hours.
  10. Bake until golden brown and skewer inserted into cake comes out dry. Remove from oven and cool in pan 20 minutes.
  11. Release the cake by running a knife around the edges and cool on a wire rack.
  12. Heat bourbon, agave nectar, and lemon juice until agave melts.
  13. Fork pierce the top of the cake and slowly pour the sauce onto the cake.