Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Culinary Throw Down Ala La Diva:

With our judge extraordinaire Moi.

Curious about the different varieties of salt? This will, hopefully, put those questions to rest.

Table Salt has been refined with anti-caking agents, making it easy to pour (even when it rains). [please note imbedded subliminal advertising]

Sea Salt comes from, you guessed it, the ocean. Contrary to popular belief, sea salt is no more nutritious or salty than other varieties.

Coarse Salt has crystals of differing grain shapes, such as flakes and cubes. These dissolve at different speeds.

Kosher Salt, the choice of most professional chefs, is inexpensive, lacks additives and its lakes dissolve quickly.

There are also tons of specialty salts.

What follows are a few simple recipes that make up a dinner, using most of the above.

Rosemary Garlic Bread:

Slice a course loaf of rosemary bread in 1/2 to ¾ inch thick slices
Cover with thinly sliced Gruyère cheese.
Sprinkle with coarse salt and minced garlic
Toast to taste

Homemade chicken noodle soup:
2 chicken breasts
2 quarts of chicken stock
2 chopped carrot
1 chopped celery stalk
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp. dried parsley
Sea salt to taste
1 tsp. basil
8 oz. egg noodles
Place all ingredients (except noodles) in 5-quart Dutch oven. Bring to boil, simmer until chicken is very tender. Remove chicken breast, allow to cool, tear in bite size pieces, return to pot. Add egg noodles, cook 15 minutes or until noodles are tender. Serve hot.

Garden salad:
Romaine lettuce
Cherry tomatoes
Sliced cucumber
Sliced mushroom
Kosher salt to taste
Ground black pepper
The dressing was raspberry vinaigrette

I realize this is kind of a stretch for our topic salt. But honestly, the coarse salt on the bread makes this meal. When dunked into the soup it is very tasty. It is best served with a glass of Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon.

I apologize for the quality the photograph, unfortunately the meal had been consumed before I checked the picture.

After dinner try a pinch of table salt in your coffee, you may find it interesting.


LaDivaCucina said...

Very interesting Karl! YUM gruyere on garlic bread! OMG, that sounds divine! Actually, I'm surprised you were the first to consider using salt on bread cuz one of the first things I thought of were those lovely giant pretzels loaded with salt! I also LOVE traditional SALT bagels! YUM!

I can only imagine how good that toast tasted with the home made soup! Great job Karl and thanks for participating!

TROLL Y2K said...

Yeppers, that's a meal. The toast sounds especially good. We ate my meal before I realized the photos sucked too. Stuff happens.

moi said...

Another excellent entry from Karl! Full meal, even, and a hearty, bone warming one at that. I think I commented elsewhere that with these Throw Downs, I won't have to crack a cookbook for a year!

Buzz Kill said...

The bread is simple genius. I can imagine the taste in my head. And this is starting to become soup weather, so that's timely. So what if your photo looks like a still from the Zapruder film - I got the picture. Nice job.

Karl said...

La Diva: The combination with the bread really is very good. Plain bagels with coarse salt and cheddar are one of my favorite breakfasts.

Dunking the bread is the highlight of the meal. Thank you and your welcome.

Troll: There are times that I think I have all this technology down and then I look at that picture and think a five year old could do better.

Moi: Thank you. There's an idea we could publish the throw down cookbook.

Buzz Kill: Thanks. Give it a try you won't be disappointed.

If Zapruder realized what he was filming, at the time. He did a darn good job of keeping on subject.

Aunty Belle said...

Howdy do Karl,
I truly liked the simplicity of yore menu / salt theme. It showcases the "ordinary" goodness of salt. iffin' it's cold whar' ya is, that homemade soup is a welcome treat!

moi said...

Good morning Karl! Drop on by Moi's Blob when you get a chance for the recap and the winner!

Boxer said...

Guess what I'm making next week for my family Christmas Dinner?

Your recipe, that's what.

Karl said...

Aunty Belle: It isn't good warm you up meal on a cold day.

Moi: I'm on my way.

Boxer: Wow, I'm honored!

Allison said...

YUM for chicken noodle soup! I contemplated something like that too. Nicely done!

Karl said...

Allison: Thank you!

Aunty Belle: My last comment to you should have read; It is a good warm you up meal on a cold day. I think I need a proof reader.

rage said...

Karl you are quite the salt connoisseur!

Well done!