Flavored salt is one of the easiest ways to add something special to a dish, but hardly anyone ever does it. Why is that? Maybe they just need inspiration. Read on for 5 ways to make easy, tasty, gourmet flavored salts yourself.
Many of those expensive flavored salts that are all the rage now can easily be mixed up at home at a lower cost and they are so much fun to play around with! And, if you want to go “gourmet”, you can make combinations like porcini, smoked paprika, tomato and squid-ink with the salt. Mixing these together in creative ways can make for great unique gifts.
Onion, garlic and celery are the most common flavored salts but you can make some very wonderfully fragrant, wicked salt flavors with a little experimentation. Flavored salts enhance the flavor of a dish or complement it apart from sounding glamorous. They can spruce up just about anything – soups, sandwiches, vegetables, seafood, side dishes, and grilled meats – anything! Simply sprinkle them on chips and you’ll taste the difference.
Ancho Chili Smoked Paprika Salt
One of my personal favorites, mix sea salt, ancho chili powder, and smoked paprika together for an awesome, South-of-the-Border blend that will have your friends raving. Add a little cumin, Mexican oregano, Cilantro leaves, and/or coriander seed to your salt and make your own Hispanic delight.
To Make: I use 1/4 cup of fine salt, 1/2 tablespoon ancho chili powder, and 1 tablespoon smoked paprika. Mix it up and add it to your salt or spice shaker.
Use on: Any dish where you want to intensify the heat. You can sprinkle it on or you can add to your dish about halfway through the cooking time. Try adding it to bread dough before you bake to have a truly unique flavor!
BBQ Sauce Salt
To Make: Just follow the directions for making Sriracha Salt, but replace the hot Sauce with BBQ Sauce. It is your choice whether to leave the other ingredients out or not, but I do think it perks up the flavor.
Use on: Mix together a barbeque salt to put on meats, snacking fruits and vegetables, to add to your favorite rubs and marinades. Whether it is your favorite homemade barbeque sauce or Baby Ray’s, you will have a flavorful, exclusive addition to any picnic or barbeque party!
Grate the rind of either of the fruits or even a combination and mix with sea salt. Dry out the rind before grinding to mix it with the salt. For those that have citrus intolerance, you can still get your fix by using one of the other herbs I have listed below. How cool is that?
- Orange or Tangerine
- Lemon, Lemongrass, Lemon Balm, Lemon Mint, or Lemon Verbena
- Lime, Kefir Lime Leaves, or Black Lime*
*Black lime: Ground black lime, also known as dried lime or loomi, is used as a spice in Middle Eastern cooking. Fresh limes are boiled in salt water and then left to sun dry. Lacking the sweetness of fresh lime, black lime has a deep sour lime flavor with a slightly fermented, umami note. It is particularly good for savory dishes. Look for loomi in the spice aisle at Middle Eastern markets.
To Make: You can play around with the concentration of flavoring to your liking (more fun) but otherwise I like to use equal quantities of salt and citrus flavoring. I usually use 3 tablespoons of the powdered citrus to 3 tablespoons of fine sea salt and mix it up. This fills one of my spice shakers. You may choose to make these just when you need them or vacuum seal since they lose flavor much faster than other salt blends.
Use on: Citrus Salt is so good with fish, chicken and vegetables! Sweet dishes and baking items love these flavor boosters too; just replace the salt called for in your recipe with Citrus Salt.
Lemon Pepper Salt Blend
1/2 cup dried lemon zest or 2 tablespoons lemon peel powder
6 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons Himalayan salt or sea salt
Mix all ingredients until blended. Store in an airtight container away from heat and light.
Spices like toasted ground cumin seeds, five spice powder, smoked chipotle powder, and smoked paprika are strong enough so the lightest sprinkle will lend flavor to a homemade gourmet salt. Use your favorite blends and mix them into salt to achieve a flavor combination you will enjoy.
- Chili powder blend
- Five spice powder
- Ground dried chili peppers (ancho, smoked Serrano, chipotle)
- Italian seasoning blend
- Turmeric and black pepper
To Make: Start with 1/4 cup of fine salt and add your spices 1/2 teaspoon at a time, tasting between additions, until you find the flavor depth you love. To test-taste, I usually butter a piece of bread (use unsalted butter), cut it into 4ths, and sprinkle a small amount of the seasoned salt on one of the pieces. I usually have my flavor by the third or fourth piece.
Use on: As a finishing or table salt, these really pack a wonderful punch to anything you may be serving. Just as you would season with salt and pepper, use your spicy salts in the same way. Remember, a little will go a long way!
Freshly dried and ground herbs like rosemary and sage are great choices for a finishing salt. You’d have to use a higher concentration of mild herbs like dried basil, oregano, coriander and bay leaves, which can otherwise be overwhelmed by the salt, but the sky is the limit as far as using your herbs and herb blends.
To Make: When using dried herbs for your finishing salts, the best method is wetting sea salt before mixing with dried herbs. The moisture in the salt rehydrates the dried herbs or spices and brings them to life, with a little time.
If you are using fresh herbs, just strip the leaves, put into the blender with coarse salt or rock salt, and blend for a few minutes. Dry in your dehydrator at its lowest setting or air dry on a loosely covered tray for a few days.
Use on: As a finishing or table salt, these really pack a wonderful punch to anything you may be serving. Just as you would season with salt and pepper, use your herb salts in the same way. When adding to your cooking, it is best to season with most Herb Salts the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Printable Instructions can be found here, Other Salt Blend Flavors-Instructions.
Other Salt Blend Recipes:
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