Holy Salt! I'm knee deep in it!
January 2, 2007 11:01 PM   Subscribe

I've come into a great quantity of salt and I'd like to know what I can do with it. I am recently the proud owner of 4 lbs. of high quality sea salt; is there anything that I could possibly put it to use for in the short term? (side note: there is no ice on the ground and I don't do meat)
posted by tev to Food & Drink (27 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Make pickles?
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:07 PM on January 2, 2007

How about fish? A salt crust grill?
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:10 PM on January 2, 2007

Cure some sort of meat. Perhaps a salmon for some nice lox.
posted by Good Brain at 11:15 PM on January 2, 2007

Make kimchi.
posted by Listener at 11:15 PM on January 2, 2007

Salt-preserved lemons? I'm not really sure if this is the kind of thing that neccesarily requires great salt, though.
posted by rossination at 11:17 PM on January 2, 2007

Buy a bunch of salt grinders and fill them with this salt as a gift?

I know I'd appreciate high quality natural salt in a nice grinder.
posted by krisjohn at 11:18 PM on January 2, 2007 [2 favorites]

Here's a good reference page... It's not specific to sea-salt, but it might give you some ideas.
posted by amyms at 11:20 PM on January 2, 2007

posted by brujita at 11:20 PM on January 2, 2007

Use it to melt ice to make homemade ice cream.
posted by Osmanthus at 11:28 PM on January 2, 2007

Is there a reason you have to use this salt quickly? If you store it in air-tight containers it should keep very, very well and hey, no more buying salt for a long, long time. Kosher salt is superior for cooking, supposedly. I just prefer the feel of it in my fingers when sprinkling in dishes/on food.

I second pickles. Keep in mind that pickles can be more than just cucumbers. Eggplant, turnips, cabbage, and other sundry vegetables (and a few fruit as well) lend themselves to being pickled, which can be as easy as liberally coating the sides of the cut pieces with salt, letting them sit a while to get "flavor", then rinsing off most of the salt and keeping the pickled vegetables in some kind of brine. Of course, if you can hold on to the pickles long term, why not just hold on to the salt?

If you have loads of milk and a few lemons sitting around, you can make a nice quantity of cheese: Easy "Lemon" Cheese recipe. Of course, this will only get rid of some of your salt, but hey, now you have cheese.

As far as preserved lemons needing salt -- "Yes, there is quite a lot of salt invoved" in making them.
posted by Deathalicious at 11:31 PM on January 2, 2007

Make salt scrubs and bath salts. Then put 'em in pretty jars and sell 'em for a fortune.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:40 PM on January 2, 2007

I vote for not trying to use it. In a worst-case scenario, if there's a economic collapse of some kind, that salt will be worth its weight in gold. In a best-scenario, there's always great salt on hand for recipes.
posted by rolypolyman at 11:58 PM on January 2, 2007

Possibly helpful, somewhat relevant previous answer. Actually, you might try browsing that whole thread, it has some very similar advice given.
posted by philomathoholic at 12:07 AM on January 3, 2007

I second miss lynnster's bath salt idea. Folks will pay a goodly amount for these and they make great gifts. Lavender scented is a big seller.
posted by SilverTail at 1:37 AM on January 3, 2007

You can make different kinds of flavoured salts and keep them in your pantry for long-term use. (or gift them, as others above mentioned) Smoked salt is one good example (truly fabulous, you just stick a pan of it in the smoker when you're smoking meat... which is probably out of the question for you, sad face!). Alternatively, seasoned salts containing garam masala, or herbes de provence, or more esoteric offerings like lavender, vanilla; all are great to have in the pantry.

Realistically, if you don't eat meat of any kind, what you can do to get rid of it in a jiffy is extremely limited. Look long-term.
posted by mek at 1:44 AM on January 3, 2007

Thirding miss lynnster's idea. Open a shop on Etsy, make a little pin money, then when all the salt's used, go out at the top of your game, while retaining mystery. ("Hey, where did the person with the salt scrubs go?" "I dunno, but those sure were nice scrubs." "Yeah.")
posted by Dreama at 2:14 AM on January 3, 2007

You could cure most, if not all, of your ailments. There's something called the water cure which basically attributes most medical condition to lack of water in the body. The solution is to drink a certain amount of water mixed with sea-salt through out the day. I know of a local businessman back home that swear it cured his cancer, and has thus advertised it heavily in hopes of help others. It could just be a bunch of bull, but who knows? http://www.watercure2.com
posted by jimdanger at 3:00 AM on January 3, 2007

Dear God, forgive me for all those horrible typos.
posted by jimdanger at 3:01 AM on January 3, 2007

If you have something along the lines of fleur de sel (and 4 lbs. should be about $70 worth), just use it as you normally would for salting vegetables. Salt is basically an edible rock, after all, and will last for a very long time. Good sea salt is especially good to add to food just before serving, as the larger grain adds texture to the food. Salads particularly taste good with a little sea salt. I find that I use much less salt if I use the good stuff. Making flavored salts for gifts is a great idea, but don't waste it for things like ice cream, where regular rock salt will do.
posted by TedW at 5:06 AM on January 3, 2007

There's a type of cooking that uses salt as the cooking medium, rather than an ingredient. I saw it in a recipe this weekend but I don't know what the method is called. It was for fish though. They put down a layer of salt in a pan and warmed it up to 350F, put a fish in, and then dumped more salt on top. Apparently a salt crust forms around the fish which can be broken off, or not, that seals in all of the flavors without adding much salt to the fish. Might be interesting to try.
posted by jwells at 6:01 AM on January 3, 2007

Here's a bit more, aimed for meat cooking but it could be used for much else. They mention potatoes in the article. "Getting the most out of meat by cooking in salt bed or pastry".
posted by jwells at 6:10 AM on January 3, 2007

Instead of making a fortune selling salt scrubs, use it on yourself. Once a week, use a handful in the shower. On wet skin, scrub all over. It should feel good-- if it stings, then simply rinse that area clean. Afterwards you will exude an exfoliated glow and your skin will be softer.

I'd rather have the soft skin than the $$. YMMV.
posted by hermitosis at 8:10 AM on January 3, 2007

Wash your hair with saltwater. Seriously. People look so goddamn good after they dry out from the ocean. It's an adorable look.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:16 AM on January 3, 2007

People have mentioned taters, but here's my particular favorite recipe for salt-crusted potatoes from 101 Cookbooks.
posted by bcwinters at 10:21 AM on January 3, 2007

do you eat fish? gravlax, or scandinavian salt-cured fish, is delicious and very easy to make. it tastes like smoked salmon, although a bit moister. i am not a particularly showy cook, but i made some for new year's eve 2000 and we partied like it was 1999. it was great.
here is a recipe. when i made it, i poured a shot of vodka over the fish before i salted it, i used more salt than they did (maybe 1/2 cup below the fish and 1/2 cup above), and after it was all wrapped, i put a plate on it with a can of beans on top to weight the fish while it drained in the fridge- this recipe is a bit different, and i suspect those differences are completely unimportant. shop around and find the recipe that appeals to you.
posted by twistofrhyme at 4:13 PM on January 3, 2007

There are two things that differentiate high quality sea salt from "regular" table salt - it has a larger grain, and it may contain trace minerals that slightly alter the flavor. Mostly, it's about the grain, and the texture you get from eating it when you crunch on the larger granules.

High quality sea salt is best used as a garnish - for all of these salt crusts (except the salt-crusted potatoes above, where you eat the crust), cures, and preserved lemons, you won't get any better results with this than you will with kosher salt, which costs around $1.79 for a big box. To be blunt, if you use this salt for those things, you're wasting it.

Basically, the only interesting culinary things you can do with high quality sea salt are to sprinkle it on things you're going to eat immediately before eating them, or to incorporate it into something where it won't dissolve. Some of my personal favorites include omelets, smashed roasted potatoes (boil small potatoes until just tender, squish under a towel on a sheet pan, cool, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and roast at 400F until browned) freshly baked bread (buttered or not), and ripe, in-season heirloom tomatoes. Sea salt caramels seem to be pretty popular now.

If you don't want it for these kinds of things, give it away to someone who does.
posted by Caviar at 10:34 PM on January 4, 2007

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