“Preserving Food with Salt” by Jan Hendrik Van Der Westhuizen

Preserving food with salt

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Salty tip of the week

Whole roasted chicken or turkey can dry out easily. By rubbing salt (a dry brine) into the cavity of the bird before cooking it helps to keep the meat moist. Rubbing salt on the skin helps the skin to crisp up.

How does the salt do this?

When applied to the surface of meats it draws water to the surface and then dissolves into that water creating a brine. That brine is then reabsorbed back into the meat which takes at least half an hour. Proteins are changed by the salt allowing them to retain more of their juices. The juicier or more marbled the meat is the better it responds to the salt.

If the meat is already dry placing the meat in a wet brine overnight may be necessary. A  brine needs a minimum of 12 hours to be effective.

Basic brine recipe: 4 tablespoons (60ml) of salt to 4 cups (1000ml) of water.

Of course, other seasonings can be added to a brine.

The 2017 James Beard Award Winners: A Reading List

Longreads

The growth of food writing has evolved with the explosion of all the food-watching that accompanied programs like Top Chef and Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and we’re way past the days of Craig Claiborne or Ruth Reichl reveling about an up-and-coming chef in an out-of-the-way corner of a yet-to-be-gentrified-neighborhood somewhere.

The James Beard awards—otherwise known as the Oscars of food—were announced earlier this week, and befitting the honor’s nearly 30-year history, let’s toast sparkling rosé and caviar-topped amuse-bouches to the best food writing published in 2016 (here is the full list of winners).

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Salty Tip of the Week

Salt prevents fruits from browning.

Instead of using lemon or vinegar to stop peeled apples from browning, try placing them in lightly salted water.

Salt helps to shell nuts.

Pecans and walnuts soaked in salt water for 2-3 before shelling makes it so much easier to reveal the meat.

Remember, salt is the key to making all foods taste good.

Spicy Soup with Dumplings

This soup recipe is the result of Spicy Thai Soup meets Chinese Dumpling Soup. I have tweaked it countless times and I probably will continue to do so, but for now it is ready to be published as a “finished” unfinished-painting.

What I do know, is that it warms both body and soul.

Wayne's Spicy Soup with dumplings
 

MEAL: Dinner or Lunch  COURSE: Main
PREP TIME: 30 mins
COOK TIME: 60 mins
TOTAL TIME: 90 mins
SERVES: 6

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup of onion, medium diced
1/2 cup of celery, medium diced
1 cup of carrots, Julienne cut strips
2 tbsp. fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 tbsp. fresh garlic, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp. fresh jalapeño chilies include half of the seeds, finely chopped (2tbsp. = moderately spicy)
1 stalk of lemongrass, crushed
1 cup of cilantro, stems included, roughly chopped
1 lime, the juice, and zest
4 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled and medium diced
1 can 796 ml whole tomatoes, medium diced
1 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp. canola oil
4 tbsp. Thai fish sauce
2 tbsp. soy sauce
12 cups /3 L chicken stock

36 wonton dumplings: I used ready made wontons. Please feel free to make your own, but this doubles prep time.

DIRECTIONS:
-In a large pot (I used a Dutch Oven #28 /6.7 L) heat the oil, and sauté the onions for 2 min or until translucent, then add the celery and carrots.
-Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until carrots are soft, for about 5 minutes.
-Season with salt and pepper.
-Add the garlic, ginger, and chilies. Cook for uncovered for 3 minutes,  still on medium.
-Add all of the tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes.
-Now add the Chicken stock, fish sauce and soy sauce and bring to a  boil. When it boils, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30  minutes.
-Add the wontons, simmer till they pop up to the surface.
-Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste.

-Turn off the heat, add the chopped cilantro, let the soup stand for 5  minutes and serve.

(This soup is intended as a single course meal, but a green papaya salad as a starter or side would make for an ample meal).

Salty tip of the Week

Add some salt to the water when boiling eggs to prevent the shells from cracking.

When poaching eggs salt the water adequately, and add a couple of tablespoons of vinegar to the water. Swirl the water and using a spoon drop the egg in the center which helps to keep the white together and they set faster.

Salty Tip of the Week

Salt spilled from blue-glass salt shaker.

Salt is essential to life and also to good health. The recommendation is that we consume a minimum of 500 mg/day of sodium to maintain good health. Salt and Good Health.

The maximum is 2300mg/day of sodium.

It is recommended that people over the age of one year eat between 1000-1500 mg sodium per day which is the Adequate Intake (AI) and people aged 14 and over should not eat more than 2300 mg sodium per day. This is referred to the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL). A sodium intake above 2300 mg per day is likely to pose a health risk. Health Canada