What else can I do with this artisanal salt?
March 2, 2013 10:06 AM   Subscribe

I'm making salt carmel ice cream and several recipes I've found insisted on using Maldon salt if you're going to try making it. So I looked it up online and then tracked it down at a local grocery and HOLY PETE $7 for 8 oz! Well, I bought it, but now I'm wondering what else I can do with it. Any suggestions for what else I might make with light, flakey, hand-crafted, lovingly-desiccated, pyramidal salt? Is it pretty much the same as fleur de sel?
posted by Toekneesan to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's a lovely finishing salt - we sprinkle it on top of any steak, roast, carved meat or chicken before serving, and the crunchy flakes add a delicious touch.
posted by tatiana131 at 10:15 AM on March 2, 2013


I've sprinkled fancy salt on homemade crackers (which are easy to make!). Dab a wet finger on top of each cracker before putting them in the oven, sprinkle with your fancy salt, bake.
posted by deludingmyself at 10:16 AM on March 2, 2013


Whenever you're going to put salt on or around chocolate, Maldon salt is fantastic. I use it atop "crack brownies".

Because I know it'll get ruined if I try to store it for more than a few weeks in the galley, I just sub it for kosher salt, especially when searing meats, and feel profligate when I do. "Boom ! There's thirty cents worth !"
posted by Kakkerlak at 10:17 AM on March 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Homemade soft pretzels!
posted by katie at 10:20 AM on March 2, 2013


Chocolate EVERYTHING. Also, caramel sauce in general. Fresh avocado slices, and ripe tomatoes with a bit of olive oil.
posted by jetlagaddict at 11:07 AM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


At the restaurant Lucques in West Hollywood, they serve their bread with sweet butter and a pile of sea salt (and olives and almonds). Butter the bread, sprinkle with salt, die and go to heaven.
posted by cecic at 11:32 AM on March 2, 2013


Oh yeah wow bread and homemade butter, definitely. Radishes and butter and sea salt, too.
posted by jetlagaddict at 12:13 PM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is it pretty much the same as fleur de sel?

Here's a Slate article outlining some differences in taste, texture, and application for various kinds of salt, including Maldon salt.

In general, think of it as a finishing salt. That is, you want to deploy it in such a way that it retains its distinctive structure and crunch. Dust it over desserts, either immediately before baking (like the brownies linked above) or as they're setting (like I sometimes do with homemade toffee; I like this recipe), or put a few grains on a dish of ice cream just before serving.

I occasionally use my flaky finishing salts on salads. It's a trade-off: the large crystals don't spread evenly, so rather than salting the whole salad, the salt acts more like an element of the salad, like a crouton or a piece of nut. (I rely on kosher salt in the dressing to balance the overall flavor of the dish; dissolving Maldon salt seems like a waste to me.)

Yes to radishes with fancy salt! Either serve whole radishes with a dish of unsalted butter for dipping and a dish of salt for sprinkling, or provide slices/chunks of baguette spread with butter, layered with radishes, and dusted with salt. It will also improve cucumber sandwiches from "mmm" to "wow!"

A summertime tomato on good bread with Maldon salt and butter or good olive oil will knock you out. In tomato season, I often serve plain sliced tomatoes plain, with just large-crystal salt and maaaaybe a drizzle of olive oil or a dusting of fresh pepper.

Basically, use it with dishes where the salt will stand out, and on foods where it will cling nicely without dissolving completely. For example, it would be a poor choice for french fries or homemade potato chips, but a great choice for baked potatoes. I still remember serving a baked potato bar lavish with lots of homemade toppings and sauces and treats and hearing my guests rhapsodize about, of all things, the salt.

Because I know it'll get ruined if I try to store it for more than a few weeks in the galley

OP, don't let this worry you. Your posh salt will be fine for as long as you can keep it --- provided you keep it dry. I have a good collection of fancy salts that have kept perfectly for years, through appallingly wet seasons. I keep them in canning jars, tightly lidded, with no loss in texture or flavor. (That includes the jar I accidentally dropped into a pot of water. Oops.)
posted by Elsa at 12:40 PM on March 2, 2013


It makes a lovely rim on a cocktail. Like a margarita. Or a salted caramel-tini.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 12:46 PM on March 2, 2013


Love maldon but if your recipe calls for it to be used as anything beyond a last second finishing sprinkle its not worth using anything fancier than plain old salt.
posted by JPD at 1:27 PM on March 2, 2013


Slices of raw kohlrabi are a great thing to put nice salt on. Even plain salt...
posted by glip at 2:10 PM on March 2, 2013


Maldon salt is all about the texture (those lovely crunchy crystals), so if you're using it on anything at all moist you want to add it at the last moment, immediately before serving. Maybe with a salt cellar on the table, come to think of it.

I've never had a problem with keeping it in the pantry for months as long as it's in a sealed container (but it doesn't tend to be humid here, so…). I do take the jar down every couple of weeks and give it a shake to ensure that it's not clumping.
posted by Lexica at 4:34 PM on March 2, 2013


Baked potato, cold butter melting into it, Maldon sea salt sprinkled on top. Mmmm.

I grew up near Maldon (in Essex, UK), I didn't realise the salt was internationally famous - how cool!
posted by penguin pie at 9:33 PM on March 2, 2013


Make Melissa Clark's Fudgy Brownies with Chili and Sea Salt. They've been a big hit with friends. I bet the infamous New York Times 36-hour chocolate chip cookie recipe would be great with Maldon in place of the kosher salt garnish too.
posted by ifjuly at 10:27 PM on March 2, 2013


Okay, here's what I've done so far. The salted carmel ice cream was great, but a little of the carmel didn't completely blend with with ice cream. This actually worked out okay. When I transferred the ice cream from the maker to a container for freezing, I smeared the lumps of carmel through the mixture as evenly as possible with a spatula. This created a carmel ribbon effect that was pretty amazing.

I also tried the "crack brownie" recipe above. When these came out of the oven, we let them cool a little but not completely, and then we had it a la mode with the salt carmel ice cream. A small temple is currently being built in the playroom in my honor. They are threatening to sacrifice the cat unless I give them more ice cream and brownies. This may have been too successful.

Finally, I made some homemade "Ritz" crackers (substituting in 1/2 cup of durham for ap) and used those with avocado sprinkled with salt. I can also attest to the deliciousness of Maldon salt sprinkled on a sliced bartlett pear.

I'm making a sourdough rye tomorrow so I'll try the simple, with butter thing then.

Thanks for all the help, information and great ideas!
posted by Toekneesan at 8:30 AM on March 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


CHOCOLATE. CHIP. COOKIES.

I have done this. I will never make chocolate chip cookies again *without* Maldon . . .

Excuse me, I need to go make some chocolate chip cookies . . .
posted by jeremias at 1:31 PM on March 3, 2013


As a child, my family always sprinkled salt on a slice of cantaloupe before eating. It gives a rich note to the flavor. I bet it would be amazing with some really good salt.

I also want to comment that I've looked at your photos and there is an awful lot of salt hanging around on the plate and the countertop. I hope you are licking your finger and touching each piece to pick it up and eat it.
posted by CathyG at 4:55 PM on March 3, 2013


Small sliced bread or crostini, goat cheese, and then sprinkle the salt on top.
posted by djspinmonkey at 7:31 PM on March 4, 2013


Ditto on the sliced bread or crostini, but roast some cherry tomatoes and add goat cheese/good mozzarella and basil. Then a healthy dusting of the salt just before you stuff it all in your mouth. Yum.
posted by sapere aude at 11:28 AM on March 5, 2013


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