Salt has received a bad rep which it really doesn’t deserve. There are many salt uses that make food taste better and cleanup easier. It has only been our overuse that has lead us to think salt is bad for us. It isn’t. As a matter of fact, we need to have some salt in our diet. Salt has belonged in the kitchen for centuries and still plays an important role in the kitchen of today.
All salt, from old-fashioned table salt to the latest gourmet salts, contain the same amount of sodium. The big difference in the salts is the texture.
25 Salt Uses for Better Cooking and Easier Cleanup:
- Great Tip # 1. Pour salt into a small muslin bag and tie closed. When you want to fry foods, first rub the pan with this salt bag and food won’t stick. This works well for fish, potato patties, and pancakes.
- Great Tip # 2. Add salt at the end of the cooking time – last 5 minutes or so – and you will need only about 1/2 of what you would otherwise use.
- Apples, freshening. Refresh tired looking apples by placing them in a bowl of cold, slightly salted water for a little while and they will plump up nice and smooth again.
- Breadboards, cleaning. Soak a dishcloth in a strong saltwater solution. Wash the breadboard with warm, soapy water. Wring out the dishcloth and use it to rub the breadboard on both sides.
- Cake, frosting. Add a pinch of salt to frosting and it won’t turn sugary.
- Cheese, preventing mold. Soak a napkin in a cup of water to which a Tbsp. of salt has been added. Wring out and wrap the moist napkin around the cheese, then store the cheese in the refrigerator.
- Coffee percolator, removing bitterness. Brew up a pot of coffee using salt in place of coffee grounds. Use the same proportion salt as you would normally use for coffee.
- Cream, whipping. Cream will whip up faster and higher if you first add a pinch of salt to the cream before whipping.
- Drains, kitchen sink. Keep drains running clear by a once-a-week cleaning with a solution of 1 Tbsp. salt, 1 Tbsp. baking soda and ¼ cup vinegar. Pour this down the drain, leave it to work for a few minutes then follow up with a kettle of boiling water.
- Eggs, freshness. To test an egg for freshness, add a scant Tbsp. salt to a cup of cold water. Carefully place the egg in the water. A fresh egg will sink to bottom of the cup. An older egg will float – the higher it floats the older it is. If it bobs on the surface throw it out.
- Eggs, hardboiled. A teaspoon salt added to the cooking water before adding the eggs will make it easier to peel the hardboiled eggs.
- Eggs for omelets. Add a pinch of salt to eggs when beating for omelets and they will cook up smooth and firm.
- Eggs, poached. To keep the whites from spreading, add ½ tsp. salt and 1 tsp. vinegar to the water before adding your eggs.
- Eggs, spills. If you happen to drop an egg, cover it with salt. This makes it much easier to clean up the mess with a paper towel.
- Fruit, browning. Cut peeled fruit – apples, pears and peaches into a bowl of lightly salted water. Remove the fruit when done – don’t keep them sitting in the water.
- Fruit, stains. As soon as the stain happens, remove the garment, sprinkle the stain with salt, leave it sit for an hour then throw it in the wash.
- Greens, boiling. Do not add salt to the greens until the very end of cooking and they’ll keep their colour better. (No salt at all is even better.)
- Greens, washing. Wash fresh kale, lettuce, spinach and other greens in cold salted water. This easily removes the dirt and undesirables.
- Milk, making it last. Keep milk better tasting and fresh longer by adding just a pinch of salt to the milk container when it is first opened. This also applies to cream.
- Milk, burned on pan. Wet the pan and sprinkle with salt. Leave for a little bit, then scrub the pan. Rinse and wash in warm water. This will also remove the burnt milk smell.
- Pans, cast iron. Cast iron pans can be kept clean by boiling saltwater in them. When done, dry them with paper towel, then rub in a very thin layer of lard or shortening.
- Potatoes, boiled. Improve the texture of potatoes by boiling them without salt, when done, drain them, add the salt, return to heat and shake pan over the heat to get rid of leftover moisture. You’ll also need way less salt this way.
- Poultry, flavour. Before roasting rub salt all over the poultry, inside and out and under the skin. This will greatly enhance the flavour.
- Salad, crisp. Sprinkle salt on the salad to keep it crisp for hours – great idea for when you need to prepare things ahead of time.
- Wine stains. Spilling red wine on a tablecloth (or favourite shirt) need not be a disaster. Pour white wine(or water) on the stain to dilute the stain, then pour salt on it, leave for an hour or so and finally throw the item in the wash.
Have fun applying these salt uses to enhance your cooking and especially for easier cleanup.
Talk to you again next week,
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