A few years ago, I was vacationing at the beach and walked into a store that was selling tea, rubs, flavored salt & sugar…and Himalayan salt blocks. “So, tell me how these work and how do you take care of them?” A very convincing salesperson told me how it enhances the flavor and changes the structure of the food. They also told me that you have to regulate the heat and cold when you are putting it in oven, in order to keep them for a long time. They turn color, as you use them more, and when they start to break apart, due to constant temperature changes, you can always grate them and use the salt later.
In Sur La Table, we made a watermelon & feta salad on the salt block. You should only leave the watermelon on it for 30 minutes or less, but who wouldn’t want to dive right in and finish that baby up! The salt block draws water out of the melon and creates a more rigid, but flavorful structure to that side. The creaminess of the cheese compliments the flavor and it was a refreshing bite as we started cooking together.
Next, we made a simple, yet colorful salad of cucumbers, garlic, red onion and dill! The grassiness of the dill really complimented the cucumber. The cucumber was placed on the salt block, turned over after a minute, and placed right in the salad bowl.
Now, it was time to do a little baking. We made the recipe of Salt-Baked Walnut Brioche Scones. After we mixed the ingredients together, we used the salt block due to it’s thermal nature of holding the heat in such an even and consistent way. The scones were phenomenal. They were crunchy on the outside and sweet and slightly fluffy on the inside.
After all of this, we started to sizzle some scallops on the heated salt block, right on the gas stove! It was fun to watch how it worked and it really flavored the scallops so well. We added a little pepper, and didn’t need the salt, since we were already cooking on it. It was the perfect amount of saltiness…not too much, even though we were cooking right on it!
The last part…not the least part…was dessert. We made our own fondue. We put some chocolate disks on the heated salt block, and spread it around with a cake spreader. We took chunks of pound cake, bacon and strawberries and rolled it around in the chocolate and had a sweet ending to our fabulous cooking class.
To see all of the recipes that I made, you go to to the Sur La Table site, take their Salt Block cooking class, or google the recipe, and you will find it. If Sur La Table didn’t publish it, you can find a comparable recipe on google. I would highly recommend taking the drive to take the cooking class. I drive over 2 hours to get here and it is well worth the drive.
The recipes I made are:
Watermelon and Feta on a Salt Block
Salt Block Cucumber Salad
Salt Baked Walnut Brioche Scones
Salt Crusted Fingerling Potatoes w/Herb Butter
Salt-Crust Scallops w/Thai Lime Dipping Sauce