Steamy Kitchen Recipes | RSS Feed http://steamykitchen.com Steamy Kitchen Food Blog: fast recipes, simple recipes, with fresh ingredients to create delicious meals. Tue, 21 Jul 2015 18:52:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Asian Flavored Sea Salts http://steamykitchen.com/446-asian-flavored-sea-salts.html http://steamykitchen.com/446-asian-flavored-sea-salts.html#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2008 12:34:51 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/blog/?p=446 from Steamy Kitchen food column in Tampa Tribune If I had to just choose one thing, “my killer app” in the kitchen, it would be salt. It doesn’t matter what cuisine I’m cooking, salt is the basis of flavor in a savory dish. Call me a salt snob, but I stay away from the regular table salt, mainly because it ...

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Asian Flavored Sea Salts

from Steamy Kitchen food column in Tampa Tribune

If I had to just choose one thing, “my killer app” in the kitchen, it would be salt. It doesn’t matter what cuisine I’m cooking, salt is the basis of flavor in a savory dish. Call me a salt snob, but I stay away from the regular table salt, mainly because it tastes like crap! The granules are way too fine, the anti-caking agent just sounds gross and added iodine is sooooo 1920’s. The taste reminds me of…um…getting smacked in the face with a salt lick dipped in a vat of bitters?

Normally, I use kosher salt in the kitchen, mainly because of the texture and cheap price. I really like the feel of kosher salt in my fingers as I’m seasoning, and I’ve learned to season by sight, feel and taste. I’m just too lazy to bust out the measuring spoons, because each time, I have to wash and wipe dry the set of awkward, clanging, dangling spoons for fear of tainting the oregano with chili powder or powdered sugar with vanilla extract. How inefficient! Wouldn’t it be cool if spice jars came with twist lids that doled out the spice in teaspoon increments? What a great product idea. And if you steal my idea, at least take me out to dinner. But I digress.

I also use sea salt and serve sea salt at the table. Sea salt is evaporated sea water, and you’d be surprised at how many different types of sea salt there are, Australia’s Murray River pink salt crystals, salt from the tropical salt beds of Bali, grey salt from France and even Hawaiian black lava salt. The colors are naturally occurring and the taste? Imagine standing at the clear, blue water’s edge in the Mediterranean, closing your eyes and letting the crashing waves mist your face. I call that $12.95 for an 8oz vacation!

Normally, because of its price, I reserve sea salt as a “finishing salt” to sprinkle on a dish either at the table or after the cooking process. But guess what I discovered at the market? Affordable sea salt that is shaped and textured just like kosher salt. Look for Alessi Fine Sea SaltAlessi Fine Sea Salt at the market or Pure Ocean sold by Seasalt.com. Pure Ocean is Kosher certified, if that’s important to you. If you see other brands of sea salt at the market, look at the label and make sure that the only ingredient is salt.

So, now that sea salt is finally affordable enough to play with, let’s take it one step further and talk about combining spices and herbs with sea salt to create flavored salts. One of my favorites is orange and lemon zest, which is perfect for summertime dishes and keeps in a jar for months.

It’s great on any seafood, steamed vegetables or grilled chicken. Cut back on the amount of salt that you normally use during cooking and instead, sprinkle the Citrus Flavored Sea Salt on top of the dish to finish. You can certainly cook with the flavored sea salt, but using it as a finishing salt really lets the flavors sing.

The formula is simple – spice or dried herbs + fine ground sea salt. If you’re using fresh ingredients (like citrus zest) make sure you dry them out in the oven first. Other combinations that work well: Chili powder + lime zest; toasted and ground Sichuan peppercorn or even lavender + mint, which is great on lamb or eggs. If you don’t want to make you own, check out

Fusion Sea Salt from Salt WorksSeaSalt.com – they have some fabulous fusion flavors like Espresso Brava (great on steaks), Spicy Curry, Vintage Merlot, Chili Verde, Black Truffle, Thai Ginger, Smoked Serrano and Soy Sauce Salt.

Curry Salt

2 teaspoons curry powder + 1/4 very fine sea salt

Make sure you get the “fine sea salt” when working with a powder spice. If you can’t find the “fine” grind, then just throw it in the food processor or spice grinder and pulse a few times. This salt is excellent on roasted cauliflower!

Sichuan Peppercorn Salt

it\'s a berry from a bush - not really peppercorn

Sichuan Peppercorn or Szechuan Peppercorn is really not a peppercorn at all – its a berry from a bush that will make your tongue and lips tingle and numb when you eat them. Yes, its legal. No, you can’t snort it. When you dry-roast the peppercorns, your entire house will smell heavenly…woodsy, citrusy, earthy…so incredibly aromatic

Sichuan peppercorn salt

Dry toast 1/4 cup of Sichuan Peppercorn in a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Make sure you don’t burn the spice! It should take about 5 minutes and you’ll see a bit of smoke. Let cool and grind in spice grinder or food processor and combine with equal amount of sea salt.

Sichuan Peppercorn is great in:

Sichuan Peppercorn Roasted Chicken

Grilled Giant Prawns with Sichuan Peppercorn Dipping Salt


Citrus Flavored Sea Salt

Citrus Flavored Sea Salt

2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons orange zest
ΒΌ cup sea salt (fine)

Preheat oven to 200F. Set a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and spread out the lemon and orange zest. Bake for 30 minutes or until the zest has dried. Combine with sea salt. Store in covered glass jar on counter.

Wow, this stuff is great on just about anything – chicken, fish, vegetables, pork…I use this salt the most in my cooking because it’s just lifts any dish that I make with a bright, cheerful color and fragrance!

Great with carrots:

Honey Ginger Carrots with Citrus Honey Ginger Carrots with Citrus Salt

Matcha Green Tea Salt

1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder + 1/4 very fine sea salt (you may have to grind your sea salt in food processor or spice grinder if you don’t get the fine sea salt)

Matcha or Maccha is Japanese green tea powder made from the highest quality of green tea leaves. Its a stunning and lovely mossy color which makes such a pretty finishing salt, especially if you use a white plate and also sprinkle some directly on the plate. Matcha powder + sea salt + couple pulses in food processor if you are using course sea salt

You know what is so totally divine? Your favorite chocolate truffle or chocolate bar + dip in Matcha Salt. So very different!

Use with dishes that are light in texture and flavor, like eggs, tofu, fish, since this salt’s flavor is more delicate and subtle. It gives a beautiful floral, grassy, sweet and soothing aroma. You can buy Matcha powder at your local Asian market. Sometimes coffee/tea shops will carry as well. But…matcha green tea powder is not the same as green tea leaves. Ask specifically for “matcha powder.” Its a little expensive. I paid $7.50 for 1.4 oz jar at a Japanese market in Los Angeles (which will last me a long time as I only used about 1 teaspoon in my mixture. Don’t get the super-premium stuff, it would be a waste to use the expensive powder for the salts. Buy online at Matcha Green Tea PowderAmazon (this is the brand I got). Use your leftover powder to make:

White Chocolate Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream White Chocolate Matcha Ice Cream.

**

And if you haven’t read this yet:

“WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD?” Come read the responses from readers – guaranteed to make you laugh!

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Grilled Prawns with Sichuan Peppercorn Salt http://steamykitchen.com/165-grilled-prawns-with-szechuan-peppercorn-salt.html http://steamykitchen.com/165-grilled-prawns-with-szechuan-peppercorn-salt.html#comments Thu, 06 Sep 2007 07:18:35 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/blog/2007/09/06/grilled-prawns-with-szechuan-peppercorn-salt/ shhhhhh...i did a naughty thing. last week my husband tromped off to Vegas for a 5-day vacation with this poker buddies. i had an affair. i heard the garage door close as he left for the airport. i waited 15 minutes to make sure he didn't return, in case he forgot something...

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sichuan-peppercorn-prawn

shhhhhh…….

i did a naughty thing.

last week my husband tromped off to Vegas for a 5-day vacation with this poker buddies.

i had an affair.

i heard the garage door close as he left for the airport. i waited 15 minutes to make sure he didn’t return, in case he forgot something.

i peeked out the window…..

my eyes nervously scanned the street…..

then tiptoed to the back door….

with one hand on the knob and the other pressed against the warmth of the door, i paused briefly to collect my breath. i turned the knob slowly, my toe softly nudged the door open. It was still early, and the morning light reached through the crack of the door to help me open it the rest of the way.

he was waiting.

for a moment, i thought i had heard the garage door again. i turned my head. but no, it was just my jitters playing games. i stepped out towards him and felt my heart flutter with anticipation and longing. speaking was not necessary – we both already knew what was going to happen. nothing was going to get in the way of our union. my hands deftly removed his dark blue, canvas, weather protection jacket and threw it on the ground. i didn’t care where it landed.

how handsome he was. so massively big…..continued after the jump….

68,000 BTUs and a side burner, and he was all mine for 5 days…..

***

Oh, don’t tell me that you guys were thinking it was going to be my lawn boy (cuz I don’t have one!) If you’ve been a regular reader, you’ll know that Husband doesn’t let me touch his outdoor grill. And I totally get that. Because I wouldn’t want him rummaging and rearranging my spice drawer, you know? It’s just a highly personal thing and that is fine. Our marriage work so wonderfully this way. But….he got to go to Vegas while I stayed home with both kids. Since this particular situation was not covered in our marriage contract, I took the liberty to amend the terms and wrote an addendum.

This guy helped me write it:

My first meal, Grilled Prawns with Sichuan Peppercorn Salt was so deliriously easy and quick that I didn’t even feel a tinge of guilt for using the grill. These were HUGE freshwater prawns that I found in the freezer section at the Asian market (Phuoc Loc Tho in Sarasota, FL).

A 2lb box of these beauties from Thailand for $16.00!! YEAH! I know! Each prawn was at least 7″ long head-to-tail, not counting the claws. HUGE! Now I know you might not be able to find the same, but feel free to substitute with smaller shrimp – just keep the shell on and skewer them for easy grilling.

I didn’t season the prawns, but simply left them naked to grill as I was going for simple, clean, elegant to pair with my Sichuan or Szechuan Peppercorn Salt.

If you haven’t tried Sichuan or Szechuan Peppercorn (SZP) (it’s spelled both ways) before, it’s really not a peppercorn at all, but rather a berry from an Asian bush. Put a couple of pods between your teeth and chew – you’ll get a numbing, tingly sensation all inside your mouth and lips. Contrary to what people think, SZP is not really spicy in your face hot. It has a citrusy, warming and woodsy aroma and flavor. You can find SZP at most Asian markets and some gourmet stores. If you are going to an Asian market where they don’t speak English, it’s best to print out a photo of the packaging in Chinese.

Click on thumbnail to get bigger photo.

I also have some online sources within Asian Flavored Saltspost. Lightly toast the pods and your home will smell incredibly wonderfully exotic. Grind with sea salt and you’ve got yourself a very versatile Sichuan Peppercorn Salt.

After a quick grill, unpeel a shrimp and dip just a bit into the SZP Salt. mmmmmm……perfect.


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Grilled Prawns with Sichuan Peppercorn Salt

Servings: 4-6 Prep Time: Cook Time:
Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 2.43.06 PM

I skewered each prawn lenthwise, which prevented them from curling up on the grill. If you are using smaller prawn/shrimp (really, both words mean the same thing. i just like calling big, expensive shrimp, "prawns" as it's a fancier word that justifies its price) keep the shell intact and use 3-4 per skewer. Keep nice space between the prawns so that the flame can lick each prawn evenly.

To devein without piercing the shell, I used a toothpick and poked in right in the middle of the back between the shell segments and fished out the tract.

Ingredients:

2 lbs prawns/shrimp, shell on
skewers
Sichuan Peppercorn Salt

Directions:

1. Preheat your grill to super-duper hot. I let the grill preheat for 15 minutes on high.

2. While grill is preheating, make your Sichuan Peppercorn Salt and skewer the prawns.

3. Grill 1-2 minutes per side, depending on the size of your prawns. Serve with the Sichuan Peppercorn Salt as a dipping salt.


whatcha lookin’ at Willis?

***

Sweet Yogurt Sundae with Saffron & Pomegranate

Sichuan Peppercorn Roasted Chicken

15 Minute Asian Noodle

 

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Honey Ginger Carrots with Citrus Salt http://steamykitchen.com/127-honey-ginger-carrots-with-citrus-salt.html http://steamykitchen.com/127-honey-ginger-carrots-with-citrus-salt.html#comments Sat, 30 Jun 2007 00:19:44 +0000 http://s198136598.onlinehome.us/blog/2007/06/29/honey-ginger-carrots-with-citrus-salt/ Fast, easy way to prepare carrots - instantly transform them to "gourmet" by sprinkling with a homemade Citrus Flavored Salt...

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Honey Ginger Carrots

A great use for Citrus Finishing Salt is to pair them with carrots!

Honey Ginger Carrots

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Honey Ginger Carrots with Citrus Salt

Servings: 4 Prep Time: Cook Time:
Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 2.51.40 PM

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Ingredients:

6 medium carrots, sliced diagonally 1/4" thick
1/2 cup stock (chicken or vegetable)
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger (use microplane grater)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or parsley, mint)
1/2 teaspoon Citrus Salt (or to taste)

Directions:

In a 12" nonstick skillet, bring carrots, stock, ginger and honey to boil over medium heat. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes. Uncover, poke a carrot with a paring knife. The knife should go through, but you should feel resistance, especially when you try to pull the knife out. Keep uncovered and increase heat to high and allow some of the liquid to boil off for 1 minute. Add butter, thyme leaves and stir to melt butter. Finish with Citrus Salt to taste.

Note: I didn't use the butter in this dish. Figured I had enough fat in the Grilled Garlic Rosemary Steak and Garlic Truffle Fries that I could leave out the butter in this dish.

Another note: Sometimes I use 1/4 cup stock + 1/4 cup orange juice. If you use small carrots or slice them thin, then check the carrots after 3 -4 minutes. I like my carrots with a little bite, so I tend to undercook them.

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Szechuan Peppercorn Roasted Chicken http://steamykitchen.com/126-szechuan-peppercorn-roasted-chicken.html http://steamykitchen.com/126-szechuan-peppercorn-roasted-chicken.html#comments Thu, 28 Jun 2007 04:03:23 +0000 http://s198136598.onlinehome.us/blog/2007/06/28/szechuan-peppercorn-roasted-chicken/ I am notorious for seeing something on TV, wanting coveting, and then coming up with 101 reasons fo Why I Must Have This Kitchen Gadget. Of course, after explaining to husband reason #79 for the fifth time in a row, he usually gives in....not because he thinks ...

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Szechuan Peppercorn Roasted Chicken

What’s better than Asian Flavored Salts? A recipe using a flavored salt + a nice little gift from me to a randomly chosen lucky ducky winner (keep reading!) I am notorious for seeing something on TV, wanting coveting, and then coming up with 101 reasons fo Why I Must Have This Kitchen Gadget. Of course, after explaining to husband reason #79 for the fifth time in a row, he usually gives in….not because he thinks I Must Have This Kitchen Gadget, but because I’ve nagged him to death. Poor man. He’s since banned me from late night television. Something about child-locking any channel above 13 after 1 a.m. Prior to censoring late-night infomercials, I purchased multiple dehydrators, juicers, shark-vacs, chopper-boppers, swirly-twirlies, sucker-puckers, pasta-prestos and the Pocket-Rocket.

Oh wait…that wasn’t a kitchen gadget :::blush:::

ANYWAYSSSS…..I would buy these gadgets, rave and rave about them. We’d have fresh fruit juices every single morning for 2 weeks straight. Banana chips and beef jerky for breakfast, snack and lunch for 2 weeks straight. Random items in the household were vacuum sealed. Pureed pea porridge for 2 weeks straight. Verrrrry happy mornings if you know what I mean…2 weeks straight. But after the 2 week honeymoon, I’d bore of the Gadget and it would be moved from Prime Real-Estate on kitchen countertop to Skid Row in the garage.

Well, the other night, I lugged out my Flavorwave Oven Deluxe to make Sichuan or Szechuan Peppercorn Roasted Chicken. OH MY….I suddenly remembered reason #38 – luscious, moist, roasted chicken. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing this chicken tastes. This has become my favorite roast chicken recipe (sorry, Joanne Weir Roast Chicken) and the tingly dipping salt that accompanies the chicken is quite addictive.

If you are tired of your same ‘ol chicken dinners, then you simply must try this. Once you cook the Sichuan Peppercorn Salt with the bird, it really does infuse the entire bird with all of its earthy aroma and flavors. Even my little kids loved this chicken and liked having a dipping salt. When you get your package of SZP (either from the store or from winning the contest below) – take a couple pods and chew. The tip of your tongue goes numb!! The peppercorn is not hot-spicy at all. Cooking with the SZP tames the pepperyness.

Szechuan Peppercorn Roasted Chicken

I almost always buy organic chicken now. It’s healthier and the prices have gone way down on organic meats. Usually, I visit my small local butcher, The Chop Shop, where they have birds for $2.19 per pound that are antibiotic and hormone free. If you don’t have a local butcher that carries good, healthy chicken, and you are lucky enough to have a Super Target nearby, check out their antibiotic and hormone free chickens – $3.89 for a entire 3.25-lb bird. If you are penny-pinching, you really can’t beat that – its cheaper than a chemical-laden chicken! But please support small, local businesses like the butcher if you can.

I stuffed my bird with ginger, scallions and orange. Of course, feel free to substitute….use a few star-anise, cinammon sticks, garlic, lemon, parsley, onion half….basically whatever you have on hand.

My gift to you: In the comments, link to your most favorite recipe on your blog. At the end of the week, I’ll draw a random name and the lucky ducky winner will get a HUGE bag of Szechuan Peppercorns sent from me…enough to spice the world and beyond. Go forth and spread the love and joy of Szechuan Peppercorns! Yup. Thats how much I love you.

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Sichuan or Szechuan Peppercorn Roasted Chicken

Servings: Prep Time: Cook Time:
Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 2.51.07 PM

Of course not all of you have the Flavorwave Oven Deluxe, which really is just a convection oven in a plastic dome.

Ingredients:

1 chicken, organic (I like using a small 3 1/2 pound bird)
1/2 orange
2-3 stalks of scallions, cut into 3" sections
4 long, thin slices of ginger
2 tablespoons Sichuan Peppercorn Salt + more to serve as dipping salt
2 tablespoons oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F set for convection.

1. Wash chicken and pat very dry. Tie legs together with kitchen twine, tuck wings in. Generously season chicken inside and out with the Szechuan Peppercorn Flavored Salt. If you look at my photo, I use quite a bit of seasoning, which I think is one of the secrets to delicious tasting roast chicken. The roasting mellows out the salt - so don't be afraid to have a heavy-hand in seasoning. Stuff bird with ginger, scallions and orange. Place bird breast-side down in roasting pan. Brush 1 tablespoon oil all over the top of the bird (which is the thigh side).

2. Roast chicken breast-side down for 30 minutes. Turn breast side up. Brush breast side with oil. Continue roasting until thickest part of thigh reaches temperature of 175F and breast is 160F. Generally, this will take another 20 minutes for a 3 1/2 lb bird. If using larger bird, add 7 more minutes for every add'l pound.

3. Remove from oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Carve and serve with more Sichuan Peppercorn Salt on side for dipping.

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