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Archive for the ‘himalayan salt block’ Category

i received a himalayan salt block for christmas from my ex- husband, i had been really curious about cooking on one. i decided to start off slow, with grilled apricots and butternut squash. the salt block did impart a bit of a salty flavor, but it was very complimentary and not overwhelming in the slightest.

i macerated the apricots in some locally hand- crafted aqua vit, a splash of triple sec, and some sugar. i just rubbed the squash with some olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

while the apricots were stewing in the aqua vit, i heated the salt block. i started it on a low flame, then slowly increased the flame every 15 minutes for almost an hour [it’s about 45 minutes for a smaller block to get it to cooking temperature]. i never let the flame get past medium. i took a small sliver of squash with nothing on it and stuck it in the corner as a temperature control.

when the block was adequately heated, i drained the apricots, put a little butter on the slab, then arranged my apricots stone side down. i was amazed that they sizzled immediately, and after a few minutes the butter was browning beautifully.

i flipped the apricots over and allowed them to cook on the other side. at this point i turned off the flame, but let it sit on the hot burner grate. i sprinkled the tops with a little sugar and flipped them once more on their stone- side to see if the sugar would caramelize nicely. it did.

i squeezed a blood orange into a pan with the liquid from the apricot maceration and added some honey, about 1 t of butter, and a bit more sugar. i let it come to a boil until the sugar was dissolved and it was a little syrupy.

when i removed the apricots from the block, i started the squash. they browned and cooked through quickly. i ate the apricots for lunch with the syrup dripped over and some whipped cream.

i was very pleased with the results. i was glad that i tried something manageable and not meat or fish. but that’s next!

EPILOGUE

so, if you have read by blog before, and you are still unconvinced of my excitement for food [and this blog], i offer some evidence. i ate the apricots at my desk while i downloaded, saved, uploaded, and wrote this post. and not only did i leave the kitchen a complete disaster, but i left the butternut squash on the salt block. the squash became shrunken and salty to the point of being inedible, and circles where the slices had cooked become canals; the slices had sweat and dissolved the salt block. live and learn.

i left the block on the stove burner to allow it to cool slowly. i cleaned the salt block with a sponge that has one of those textured sides [but not abrasive], then just wiped the moisture off with a paper towel. a brush is also recommended, and a patina will develop over time. the block needs to dry thoroughly before next use, overnight. evidently a salt block has a life expectancy of about 24 uses, so plan accordingly. now i have to go clean the kitchen…

[that’s a pot full of stock i made after roasting a turkey yesterday, sitting on the back burner of the stove. looks like soup again soon…]

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