: January 2011

by Cesar Delgadillo

Pink Himalayan Salt PlatesI recently received two pink Himalayan salt plates for Christmas. They are, after reading Mark Bitterman's salt tome, Salted, exactly what I wanted.The plates are carved from boulders of Himalayan salt rock quarried from mine shafts in Pakistan. The salt rocks' color ranges from cherry blossom pink to duck breast burgundy. Fissures naturally run through the stone create lightning-like cracks of white color, making the plates even more visually engaging.

The plates have a number of uses which vary based on their temperature and can be used as a serving platter, a curing stone, or a cooking surface. When the plates are cold they can give chocolate or butterscotch ice cream a perfect hint of salt that balances the sweet. At room temperature, I use the plates to cure crepe paper thin slices of sirloin beef. The salt imbues them with a pleasant, minerally flavor and effectively cooks the beef. A splash of lemon juice and a flurry of parsley pleasantly finish the dish creating a delightfully old-world appetizer. Fish such as yellowtail or salmon also cure well on the plates. Plus, unlike soy sauce, whose salty flavor can easily overpower fish, the salt plates offer a salt flavor that carefully heightens the flavor of the fish.

Lastly, the plates can easily be heated for cooking purposes as well. Bacon and eggs, flank steak, duck breasts, and even dinner rolls cooked on the plates pick up a delicate saltiness that gives food dimension.

Salt plates can easily be purchased online at stores such as The Meadow.

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