Synopses & Reviews
A precious pink mineral mined from ancient hills in Pakistan’s Punjab province has arrived on the American cooking scene as an exciting and enticing new form of cooking. Himalayan salt blocks, for years the stuff of Iron Chef
panache, are today available at specialty retail stores around the world. And the market is growing. This is the first book to address this subject, along with 70 recipes designed for using this unique cooking tool.
Salt blocks are a big deal, and they are getting bigger. They bring an otherworldly beauty to the kitchen. Luminous crystals shot through with hues of rose, garnet and ice offer a template for preparing food that is as arrestingly visual as it it tantalizingly beautiful. Salt expert, Mark Bitterman outlines the ancient practice of cooking on salt blocks, while providing simple, modern recipes. The introduction provides a thorough manual on everything you need to know to buy, use, heat, maintain, and clean salt blocks with confidence. 70 recipes are divided by 5 techniques: Serving, Curing, Warming, Cooking, and Chilling. Salt blocks are not only beautiful, but will appeal to people interested in grilling, baking, general cooking, curing, and notably, entertaining.
About 500,000 salt blocks come into the country every year. Author Mark Bitterman's company, The Meadow, sells over 70,000 blocks per year. Some are sold in bulk to hospitality businesses, but most are going directly to consumers. Here is the first book to comprehensively describe and photographically show how to use these blocks.
"Mark Bitterman knows more about salt than anyone else on the planet. If you've ever wondered what to do with those handsome slabs of Himalayan salt you see at cookware shops, Salt Block Cooking will inspire you with wildly innovative uses you've never dreamed of, from cocktails to candy, from curing to grilling, and from ceviche to pizza. Along the way, you'll learn the half-billion-year history of the only food that starts as a rock." Steven Raichlen, author of the Barbecue! Bible series and host of Primal Grill on PBS
"Cooking on salt blocks will blow your mind, jump-start your creative process, make your food taste better, delight your friends, and cut down on the time you spend cleaning pots and pans. And what better guide for your new experience than Mark Bitterman, a man who has forgotten more about salt cookery than I will ever learn." Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel
"Salt Block Cooking is an essential guide to working with salt blocks. It opens readers' eyes to possibilities never imagined before and gives a unique perspective on a completely new and interactive way to cook. Mr. Bitterman has changed the way I cook every day. He made me understand that salt is the most essential part of the seasoning process and is just as important as the ingredient itself. I encourage you to follow Mr. Bitterman's lead and I promise you will never think about salt in the same way again." Vitaly Paley, chef/owner of Paley's Place Bistro and Bar, Imperial, and Portland Penny Diner; coauthor of The Paley's Place Cookbook
A precious mineral mined from ancient hills deep in Asia has stormed the American cooking scene. With crystals of rose, garnet, and ice, Himalayan salt blocks offer a vessel for preparing food as stunningly visual as it is staggeringly tasty. Guided only by a hunger for flavor and an obsession with the awesome power of salt, award-winning author Mark Bitterman pioneers uncharted culinary terrain with Salt Block Cooking
, which provides simple, modern recipes that illustrate salt block grilling, baking, serving, and more.
Everyone who loves the excitement and pleasure of discovering new cooking techniques will enjoy this guide to cooking and entertaining with salt blocks. The introduction is your salt block owner's manual, with everything you need to know to purchase, use, and maintain salt blocks with confidence. The chapters that follow divide seventy recipes into six techniques: serving, warming, curing, cooking, chilling, and of course, drinking. You'll find recipes ranging from a minty watermelon and feta salad to salt-tinged walnut scones, beef fajitas served tableside, salt-cured candied strawberries, and salt-frozen Parmesan ice cream!
About the Author
Mark Bitterman is the author of the James Beard Award-winning book, Salted
. He is the leading expert in culinary salt, and has led the charge into the culinary adventure of cooking on salt blocks. As owner of the speciality store, The Meadow, with locations in Portland, OR and New York City, he is one of the largest importers, retailers, and wholesale distributors of salt blocks. He lectures at culinary schools such as the French Culinary Institute, the Institute of Culinary Education, and Le Cordon Bleu and has been recognized as a Local Food Hero by Cooking Light,
and a Tastemaker by Food & Wine
. He has been featured in the New York Times
, The Atlantic
, Rachel Ray
, Wine Spectator
, and on The Splendid Table
, All Things Considered, CBS News, ABC News, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN
Andrew Schloss, who frequently develops recipes for The Meadow’s various communications and activities, contributes his expertise to the development of the recipes for the book. Schloss is the author of sixteen cookbooks including: Mastering the Grill (a New York Times best-seller) and The Science of Good Food (winner of an IACP Cookbook Award, a James Beard finalist, nominated by Le Cordon Bleu Food Media Awards as Best Food Book in the World), both co-authored with David Joachim. His latest books are Fire it Up (also with Joachim) and Homemade Sodas. He is the culinary force behind Cookulus, the first interactive cookbook app.