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These amazing recipes (below) were developed by the award-winning cookbook author, Damon Lee Fowler. Bookmark this page and visit often as we will be adding new recipes every week.

Also, be sure to check out three of Damon Lee Fowler’s most popular cookbooks. All are available for sale at the Salt Table shops and online. And, all three are autographed.

 

Essential of Southern Cooking  •  Savannah’s Chef’s Table  •  Ham

 

Damon Lee Fowler (left) recently held a booksigning at The Salt Table shops in Savannah and Pooler Georgia. Carol and Dave are very proud to host such a prolific and notable cookbook author. His books are available in the shops and online. These books are also autographed by Damon.

About the Author: Damon Lee Fowler is a culinary historian, cooking teacher and food writer. A nationally recognized authority on Southern cooking, he is the author of nine cookbooks, including Classical Southern Cooking, Beans, Greens, & Sweet Georgia Peaches, Savannah Chef’s Table, Essentials of Southern Cooking and, most recently, Ham: A Savor the South Cookbook. He has written historical commentary on a number of historical cookbooks and was editor and recipe developer for Dining At Monticello for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. He is the featured food writer for the Savannah Morning News and has written for such national publications as Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Garden & Gun, Relish and Local Palate. He lives, eats, and writes in Savannah, Georgia.

 

Basic Sauté of Beef with Spanish Moss, Southern Italian, All ‘Round Good Grinder Blend, Cobblestone Blend, or Savannah Sizzle

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Spanish Moss, Southern Italian, All ‘Round Good Grinder Blend, Cobblestone Blend, or Savannah Sizzle

This simple, intimate sauté for two has all the flavor of a hearty, slow-cooked beef stew takes in just minutes from start to finish. The Salt Table’s seasoning blends make it especially quick and easy, and the flavor can be varied simply by changing the blend. Savannah Spanish Moss Blend lends a rich, autumnal flavor to the beef, but River Street Cobblestone Blend, Southern Italian Blend and All Round Good Grinder Blend would also be great.

For a spicy finish, try substituting Savannah Sizzle Seasoning Blend.

Serves 2

 

Ingredients:

  • 10-12 ounces beef sirloin, sirloin tip, or filet tips
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt Table Spanish Moss Blend, River Street Cobblestone Blend or All Round Good Grinder Blend
  • 1 medium shallot, trimmed, split lengthwise, peeled, and minced
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

How to make it:

  1. Trim any fat and gristle from the beef and cut it into uniform 1-inch cubes. Wrap in paper towels and thoroughly pat dry.
  2. Film the pan with olive oil and put it over medium high heat. When hot, add the beef and sauté until it’s browned and done to your taste, about 3-4 minutes for medium rare. For medium-well to well done, adjust heat to medium to keep outside from browning too much and sauté 2-3 minutes longer. Remove it from the pan.
  3. Add the shallot and sauté until golden, about 2 minutes, then deglaze pan with beef broth (¼ cup for 1 serving, ½ cup for 2). Bring to boil, stirring and scraping, and boil until reduced by 2/3. Add any accumulated juice from meat, stir, and turn off heat. Return beef to pan, add optional herbs, toss to coat, and serve.

To make it with a red wine déglacé: Allow ½ cup pinot noir or cabernet. After the shallot is golden, deglaze the pan with wine, bring to boil, then add broth and boil, stirring and scraping pan, until it’s reduced and syrupy. Add any accumulated juice from the meat, let it heat through, and turn off the heat. If you want it enriched, whisk in from 1 to 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (cut into chunks). Whisk in the herbs, return the beef to the pan, toss to coat it, and serve.

 

Southern Italian Grinder Blend

Savannah Spanish Moss Blend

Savannah River Street Cobblestone Blend (and Recipe)

#1 Salt Table All Round Good Grinder Blend is the best all purpose seasoning blend

Savannah Sizzle Seasoning & Rub

Whiskey Cheese Spread with Salt Table Leek, Chive, & Onion Dip and Seasoning Blend

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Leek, Chive, & Onion Dip and Seasoning Blend

Potted cheese, a blend of grated cheese, butter, whiskey, is an old way of keeping cheese in the house in the days before refrigeration. Modern recipes often call for chives and/or minced green onions, which do add flavor but shorten the shelf life. Salt Table’s Leek, Chive, and Onion Dip and Seasoning Blend lends the same fresh flavor without adding an element that will spoil quickly, which means it will keep for weeks, well-covered in the refrigerator.Ingred

 

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces (½ pound) well-aged cheddar such as Kerrygold Reserve Irish cheddar or Cabot Seriously Sharp cheddar, grated
  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) salted European-style butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon prepared English or Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup Bourbon or Irish whiskey
  • 1 tablespoon (or more, to taste) Salt Table Leek, Chive, & Onion Seasoning and Dip Blend
  • Crackers or melba toast rounds, for serving

How to make it:

  1. Combine the cheese, butter, and mustard in bowl of food processor and process until smooth. Or combine in mixing bowl and whip with electric mixer at medium-high speed until smooth.
  2. Whip in the whiskey a tablespoon at a time. Then season well with Leek, Chive, and Onion Blend. Transfer it to crock, cover, and let sit at least 1 hour.
  3. Taste and adjust the Seasoning Blend and let sit at least 30 minutes to allow the seasoning to meld. If not serving within another hour, cover and refrigerate until needed. Let warm to room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving as a spread with crackers or toast rounds.

Leek, Chive & Onion Seasoning and Dip Blend is an Award winning Blend!

Beef Vegetable Stew with Salt Table Seasoning Blends: River Street Cobblestone Blend, Savannah Spanish Moss Blend, and All Round Good Grinder

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Seasoning Blends: River Street Cobblestone Blend, Savannah Spanish Moss Blend, and All Round Good Grinder

This is a versatile recipe that varies simply by changing the Salt Table Seasoning and liquid. River Street Cobblestone Blend, Savannah Spanish Moss Blend, and All Round Good Grinder all pair well with it, but Savannah Sizzlin’ Blend gives it a heartier, spicier flavor that’s perfect for fall and winter.

You’ll need at least a 3-1/2-to-4-quart slow cooker for this.

 

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2½ pounds boneless beef chuck roast
  • Salt Table Seasoning Blend: River Street Cobblestone Blend, Savannah Spanish Moss Blend, or All Round Good Grinder
  • 5 small yellow onions
  • 2-3 tablespoons canola, olive, or other vegetable oil
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 14-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes with their juice
  • 5-6 medium carrots, washed, peeled, and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 4 ribs celery, washed, strung, and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 3-4 tablespoons minced flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

How to make it:

  1. Trim and cut the beef into 1½-inch cubes. Dry well with paper towels. Trim, split lengthwise, peel, and cut 1 onion into small dice. Quarter the remaining onions.
  2. Film the bottom of a heavy skillet with oil and put it over medium heat. When it’s hot but not smoking, lightly season the meat with the Seasoning Blend of your choice and put enough in the skillet to fill it without crowding (you may have to do this in batches). Raise the heat to medium high and brown it well on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the beef to a 3½-quart slow cooker.
  3. Add the diced onion to skillet and sauté until golden, about 3-4 minutes. Deglaze the pan with broth, stirring and scraping the bottom to release any cooking residue, add the tomato paste, and stir until dissolved and smooth. Add this to the slow cooker with a few dashes of Worcestershire. Add the tomatoes, then the carrots and celery around the edges and scatter the quartered onions over the tomatoes. Season liberally with Seasoning Blend. Cover and set the slow cooker to high.
  4. Cook on high 1 hour. Scrub the potatoes under cold running water and if desired, peel; cut into 1-inch chunks. Spread them over the top of the food in the cooker, sprinkle on more Seasoning Blend, cover, and cook until bubbling again, about half an hour. Change the setting to low and cook 5-6 hours, or leave on high and cook about 4 hours longer, or until the beef is fork tender.
  5. To serve, stir in 2 tablespoons parsley, then ladle the stew into individual bowls or soup plates and sprinkle each with a little more parsley. Serve with crusty bread.

Savannah River Street Cobblestone Blend (and Recipe)

#1 Salt Table All Round Good Grinder Blend is the best all purpose seasoning blend

Savannah Spanish Moss Blend

 

 

Chicken and Vegetable Stew with Salt Table River Street Cobblestone Blend

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table River Street Cobblestone Blend

Slow-cooker stews are a great way to meet that fall craving for heartier flavors without overheating us in our still-warm kitchens. The Salt Table’s seasoning blends, particularly River Street Cobblestone blend, are a fine shortcut to great flavor in those stews. Other great blends for this stew are Savannah Spanish Moss Blend, Southern Italian Blend, and, of course, All Round Good Grinder Blend.

You’ll need a 3½-quart slow cooker for this.

 

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 1 pound with 1 pound boneless, skinned chicken thighs
  • Salt Table River Street Cobblestone Blend
  • 2-3 tablespoons canola, olive, or other vegetable oil
  • ½ cup dry white vermouth
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced large
  • 1 14-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 3 medium ribs celery, washed, strung, and cut in 1-inch lengths
  • 5 medium carrots, washed, peeled, and cut in 1-inch lengths
  • 3 large red-skinned or gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3-4 tablespoons minced flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

How to make it:

  1. Trim and cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Season it well with Cobblestone Blend. Film a heavy skillet with oil and warm it over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the chicken and brown it on all sides, about 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a 3½-quart slow cooker. Deglaze the skillet with vermouth, stirring and scraping to get up any cooking residue, and pour it over the chicken.
  2. Scatter the onion over the chicken and add the tomatoes on top of them. Add the carrots and celery around edges and the potatoes to the center. Pour in the broth and season liberally with Cobblestone Blend.
  3. Cover and cook on high 1 hour, then low for 5-6 hours longer or cook the entire time on high for 4-5 hours, or until the chicken and vegetables are tender.
  4. Just before serving, stir in 2 tablespoons of parsley and ladle the stew into individual soup plates or bowls. Sprinkle each serving with a little more parsley and serve with crusty bread.

Savannah River Street Cobblestone Blend (and Recipe)

Damon’s Pasta and Bean Soup with Salt Table Southern Italian Blend

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Salt Table Southern Italian Blend

This is my own version of “pasta e fagioli,” a perennially popular thick Italian soup. The seasoning is simple and easy with Salt Table’s Southern Italian Blend, but it would also be good made with River Street Cobblestone or Savannah Spanish Moss Blends.

 

 

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • Salt Table’s Southern Italian Blend, River Street Cobblestone Blend, or Savannah Spanish Moss Blend
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large rib celery, strung and chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 cups homemade meat broth or 2 cups beef broth, 2 cups chicken broth, and 2 cups water
  • 4 cups cooked cranberry or pinto beans, drained
  • 8 ounces ditalini or small elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

How to Make it:

  1. Put the oil in a large (at least 4 quart) heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. When it’s hot but not smoking, add the beef and brown it lightly, crumbling with fork or spatula. Remove the beef with a slotted spoon and season it liberally with Southern Italian Blend. Add the onion to the pan and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes, then add the celery and carrot and sauté until they’re softened and the onion is pale gold, about 4 minutes more.
  2. Return the meat to the pot and stir in the tomato paste and broth. Raise the heat and bring it to simmer, then adjust the heat and simmer gently 20 minutes. Raise the heat once more and add the beans, season well with Southern Italian blend, and bring back to simmer. Adjust heat and simmer 10-15 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the seasoning blend, adding slightly more than you think it will need since the pasta will somewhat dilute the seasoning.
  3. Stir in the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, using the package directions as rough guide for time. Stir in the parsley and serve with cheese passed separately.

 

Southern Italian Grinder Blend

Bourbon Cinnamon Pecan Squares with The Salt Table’s Cinnamon Sugar

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table’s Cinnamon Sugar

Adapted from Damon Lee Fowler’s cookbook Essentials of Southern Cooking, these are perfect for tailgate parties. Kissing cousin to that old Southern favorite, those bite-sized pecan pie tartlets known as tassies, these get a nice lift from the Salt Table’s Cinnamon Sugar and since they don’t have to be shaped into individual tartlets are a snap to make.

Makes 2 dozen

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole pecan halves
  • 10 ounces (about 2 cups) Southern soft wheat or all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 2 tablespoons extra-fine white cornmeal
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Salt
  • 10 ounces (1¼ cups or 2½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup (tightly packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Salt Table Cinnamon Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon

How to make it:

  1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375° F. Spread pecans on baking sheet and toast in center of oven until beginning to color, about 8 minutes. Let cool and roughly chop. Reduce oven temperature to 350° F.
  2. Sift together 2 cups flour, cornmeal, ½ cup sugar and small pinch salt. Add 8 ounces (1 cup, or 2 sticks) butter and work into flour until smooth. You may do first part of this step in food processor fitted with steel blade. Put in flour, meal, sugar, and salt and pulse several times to sift. Add butter and process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Turn out into mixing bowl and finish blending by hand. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Press the dough into a 9-by-13-inch pan in a uniform layer over the bottom and about ½-inch up the sides. Lightly prick it with fork and bake in center of oven 20 minutes, or lightly browned, then remove and let cool slightly.
  4. Melt the remaining butter, let cool slightly, and beat it together with the eggs, remaining ½ cup sugar, brown sugar, Salt Table Cinnamon Sugar, and a small pinch salt. Stir in the bourbon and pecans. Sift in remaining tablespoon of flour and stir until smooth. Spread this evenly over the crust and bake until golden and set, about 25 minutes. Cool it in the pan on a wire cooling rack before cutting into 24 squares.

Cinnamon Sugar

Lemon-Marinated Shrimp a la Grecque with Salt Table’s Savannah Sunshine Lemon & Pepper Blend

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table’s Savannah Sunshine Lemon & Pepper Blend

A different take on pickled shrimp, this classic dish is called Greek-style in French cooking because it contains two Greek staples, lemon and oregano. It’s especially easy with The Salt Table’s Savannah Sunshine Lemon & Pepper Blend.

Serve it from one container or, as I’ve done, inspired by great Savannah Bonnie Gaster, in canning jars for neat individual servings.

Serves 6

 

Ingredients:

  • 1½ pounds large or medium shrimp, peeled
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or more, as needed)
  • Salt Table Savannah Sunshine Lemon & Pepper Blend
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or more, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced oregano
  • Saltine crackers or baguettes, for serving

How to Make it:

  1. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and toss until just curled and pink but not quite done, less than 1½-to-2 minutes.
  2. Season well with Savannah Sunshine Lemon & Pepper Blend and toss until the shrimp are just barely cooked through, about ½ to 1 minute longer. Remove it from the heat, add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, and toss well. Transfer the shrimp to a glass bowl. Let sit until cooled slightly, add remaining oil and herbs, and toss. Taste and adjust oil, seasonings, and lemon juice. Let cool completely, cover, and refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight.
  3. The shrimp can be served directly from the container. To serve it in individual jars, divide the shrimp among 6 wide-mouth half-pint canning jars. Spoon the sauce evenly over them, and refrigerate or keep on ice until just before serving.

 

Savannah Sunshine Flaky Lemon & Peppercorn Grinder Blend

 

Grill-Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Salt Table Savannah Grillin’ Blend

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Savannah Grillin’ Blend

Beef Tenderloin is a luxury cut, but it feeds a crowd with almost no waste so it’s actually great for tailgate parties and other fall gatherings. It’s also not the most flavorful cut of beef, but The Salt Table’s Savannah Grillin’ Blend and hardwood charcoal really give it a flavor boost.

 

Serves About 8-10

 

Ingredients:

  • 3-3½ pounds center-cut beef tenderloin, trimmed
  • Olive or vegetable oil
  • Salt Table Savannah Grillin’ Blend
  • Fresh Horseradish Sauce (recipe follows)

How to make it:

  1. Wipe beef dry. Rub all sides generously with Savannah Grillin’ Blend (you’ll need at least 2 tablespoons). If you’re not cooking on the grill, skip to step 3.
  2. Prepare a grill with hardwood coals or preheat a gas grill. Spread the coals only on one side or turn off the burner on one side if using gas. Put the beef over the coals or direct heat, cover, and sear on all sides, allowing about 3-4 minutes per side. Move it to indirect heat (side without coals), cover, and cook to the desired internal temperature (115-125° F. for rare to medium rare, 130-140° for medium), about 20-25 minutes longer. Remove it from the grill to a platter or rimmed sheet pan, cover, and let stand 15 minutes. Skip to step 4.
  3. Alternatively, Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 550° F. Roast 15 minutes and turn off oven. Do not open the oven door. Let it remain in the oven 45 minutes. It should be medium rare. If oven is quick cooling type (with a fan), instead of turning it off, reduce the oven temperature to 350° and roast to desired internal temperature (130 degrees in the thickest part for medium-rare, 140 for medium), about 20-25 minutes longer. Remove it from oven to a platter or rimmed baking sheet, cover, and let it rest 15 minutes.
  4. To serve, carve the beef into thin slices and serve warm or at room temperature with horseradish sauce, either in sandwiches or as a main dish.

 

Fresh Horseradish Sauce

This is a simple and lovely English-style cream horseradish sauce that’s beautiful on beef, lamb, or cold roast pork. It’s also nice as a dipping sauce for shrimp. To really give it kick, substitute The Salt Table’s Ghost Pepper or Sriracha Pepper Sea Salt for the Himalayan salt called for here.

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup prepared horseradish, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Pinch sugar
  • Salt Table Fine Pink Himalayan Salt

How to make it:

  1. Lightly whip cream until holding soft peaks.
  2. Fold in horseradish, vinegar, mustard, sugar, and salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

 

Savannah Grillin’ Blend, chosen “Taste of State”

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork – Grillin Blend

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Savannah Grillin’ Blend

When you’re craving pulled pork and can’t slow-smoke it over hardwood coals, a slow-cooker and The Salt Table’s award winning Savannah Grillin’ Blend produces satisfying pulled pork with a touch of that great traditional pit-cooked flavor.

Serves 8-12

  • 4-5 pounds bone-in pork shoulder (Boston Butt)
  • The Salt Table Savannah Grillin’ Blend Rub
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced
  • Sandwich buns or small rolls such as Hawaiian Rolls if serving as sliders
  • About 2-2½ cups ounce bottle favorite barbecue sauce, for serving*

 

    1. Remove any skin from pork and trim excess fat. Generously rub with Savannah Grillin’ Blend on all sides (you’ll need at least 1/3 cup). Cover bottom of slow cooker crock with onion. Put in pork, cover, and set cooker on high. Cook 1 hour on high and turn to low setting. Cook 5-6 hours longer or until pork reaches internal temperature of 190° F.
    2. Turn off the slow cooker and carefully remove the pork to platter. Let it cool enough to handle, then remove and discard the bones and any excess fat. Shred meat the meat with a fork and transfer it to a storage container. Strain the liquid left in slow cooker, skim off fat, and drizzle a little of it over the pork. Gently toss, let cool completely, cover and refrigerate.
    3. Bring the remaining cooking liquid to a boil over medium heat and cook until it’s reduced by half. Cool, cover, and if made more than a few hours ahead, refrigerate it.
    4. Let the pork sit at room temperature at 30 minutes before serving. If you want to serve it warm, put it and the reduced cooking liquid in a covered skillet and warm it through, tossing often, over medium heat. If you’re serving it at room temperature, just before serving, bring the reduced cooking liquid to a simmer, pour it over the pork, and toss to mix. Whether warm or at room temperature, serve it on buns, letting guests add sauce to suit their own tastes.

* Insert some of those wonderful Georgia Grown BBQ sauces here!

 

Savannah Grillin’ Blend, chosen “Taste of State”

Perfect Pan-Broiled Steak, Déglacé Sauce, and Herb Butter

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Savannah Style Hickory Smoked Beef Rub and Southern Herb Garden Blends

Summer may be the season for grilling steaks outdoors, but in Savannah, when the heat and humidity of mid-summer are at their peak, it’s often too uncomfortable outside to even think of standing over a hot grill. That’s when pan-broiling becomes the perfect answer, especially with The Salt Table’s Hickory Smoked Beef Rub lending that great hickory-wood-grilled flavor. If you’d prefer a less smoky flavor, use Savannah Summer Salt Seasoning Blend instead.

Yes, you’ll need a pan and a hot oven to finish the steaks, but the process goes quickly and indoor temperatures are usually much more bearable.

 

Seven Secrets to Perfect Pan-Broiled Steaks:

  • The steaks should be at least 1-inch thick but less than 2 inches thick. They need to be thick enough so as not to overcook at the center before the outer surface is sufficiently caramelized, but not so thick that the outside chars before the center is done.
  • You need a heavy-bottomed pan that isn’t much larger than the steaks. If it’s too large, the fat rolls out to the edges and burns, making for an unpleasant smoky experience. My preference is well-seasoned cast iron.
  • Have the meat at room temperature. I know what’s being said about having them really cold so that the center stays rare, but unless you like them “blue-rare” (a barely warm 90 degrees at the center), for pan-broiling, cold meat is not going to cook evenly.
  • Make sure the surface is dry: wrap the steaks well in a couple of layers of paper towels for a few minutes and blot them well before adding them to the pan.
  • Season them before they’re cooked. You want to give the seasonings a chance to sink into the meat. Conventional wisdom used to hold that salt drew the moisture out of the steaks, but in pan-broiling, they’re cooked before that really starts to happen.
  • Have the oven heated and ready to finish the steak. This will you achieve a more even level of doneness while minimizing the amount of smoke in the kitchen.
  • Have the rest of the meal ready: once the steaks have rested, they won’t wait while you fiddle with something else, and déglacé sauce won’t hold.

The first turn.

Searing the second side

 

Checking the second side sear.

 

The fully seared steak ready for the oven.

 

Checking temperature for doneness.

 

Temperature Chart for Levels of Doneness:

Keep in mind that the internal temperature will climb another 5 degrees while it’s resting, so take it when the thermometer is reading 5 degrees lower than given here for the preferred level of doneness.

  • “Rare” (warm, soft, deep red center):                                110-120 degrees F
  • “Medium rare” (warm, medium-firm, red center:               125-130 degrees F
  • “Medium” (warm, firm red center):                                     130-135 degrees F
  • “Medium well” (hot pink-red center):                                  140-145 degrees F

Note: The optional sauce here is a Déglacé (pronounced Day-glah-SAY), which is really just French for “pan-gravy” but doesn’t it sound much classier in French?

Serves 2

 

Ingredients:  For the Steaks:

  • 1 1-1/4-inch-thick strip steak (about 1 pound) or 2 1-1/4-inch-thick trimmed rib or tenderloin steaks
  • Salt Table Savannah Style Hickory Smoked Beef Rub
  • About 1 tablespoons unsalted butter

Ingredients: For the Déglacé, if making:

  • 1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
  • ½ cup dry white vermouth
  • 2-3 tablespoons beef broth
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter chilled and cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley

For Finishing without Déglacé:

 

How to Make: Southern Herb Garden Butter (recipe follows), for steak served whole on the plate

  1. Be sure the steaks are room temperature, and have all the side dishes ready. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 450-500 degrees F. Wrap the steaks well with paper towels and gently press to blot them, then put a well-seasoned 10-inch cast iron pan over medium heat. Leave it to heat for 4 minutes (set a timer).
  2. While the pan heats, unwrap the steaks and rub liberally with Hickory Smoked Beef Rub. Let them sit until the pan is hot. Add 2 small pats of butter (about half a tablespoon each) to the pan. They will immediately start to sizzle; lay the steaks over the butter and raise the heat to medium-high. Let them sear until they are well-browned. If they seem to be sticking to the pan, let them sear until they naturally release. This should be no more than 2 minutes.
  3. Turn and sear on the second side for another 1½-to-2 minutes, then transfer the pan to the oven. Cook until they are done to your taste, about 1-to-1½-minutes for very rare, 2 minutes for medium rare, 2½-to-3 for medium. If you like them well-done you’re on your own. The exact timing will depend on the thickness of the steak, so if it’s thicker it may need a minute more.
  4. Remove the pan from oven and transfer the steaks to a plate or small platter. Let them rest 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, divide whatever side dishes you’re serving with the steaks between two warm dinner plates and make the Déglacé Sauce (see step 5) if you’re having it. If you’re finishing them with Southern Herb Garden Butter, turn off the heat and skip to step 6.
  5. To finish them with Déglacé, while the streaks are resting, return the pan to medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté until it’s golden. Pour in the wine and broth, stirring and scraping to loosen the cooking residue. Raise the heat to high and boil until the liquids are reduced and almost syrupy, then quickly remove it from the heat and swirl or whisk in a tablespoon of butter until it’s emulsified into the liquid. Gradually add the remaining butter in the same way. Swirl in the parsley. If you’ve made a strip steak, slice it crosswise into an even number of slices. Quickly transfer the steak to the prepared dinner plates, pour the sauce over it, and serve immediately.
  6. To finish individual steaks with herb butter, transfer the steaks to the prepared plates and top each with a generous 1-to-1½ tablespoon-sized slice of it and serve immediately.

 

Southern Herb Garden Butter

Classic Maître d’Hôtel and other herbed butters usually involve several ingredients, but with The Salt Table’s Southern Herb Garden Blend, the seasonings are already a balanced blend. This makes a nice presentation on a whole steak, but really doesn’t work on steak that’s served sliced. This not only can be made ahead, it should be made at least 3-4 hours ahead to give the seasoning time to fully reconstitute and flavor the butter.

Other good seasoning choices are Southern Spring Blend, Leek, Chive and Onion Seasoning Blend, Shamrock Dust, and of course All Round Good Grinder Blend.

Makes about 8 tablespoons, serving 4-8

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, preferably European, softened
  • About 1 tablespoon of Salt Table Southern Herb Garden Blend, or to taste
  • About 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

How to make Southern Herb Garden Butter:

  1. Lightly cream the butter with a wooden spoon. Season it well with Southern Herb Garden, add the lemon juice, to taste, and blend well. Taste and adjust the Herb Garden Blend as needed. This can be done in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
  2. Spoon the seasoned butter onto one end of a square of wax paper. Roll it up in the paper into a 1-inch-diameter cylinder and fold the ends. Chill until firm. To serve, slice it into 1/2-to-1-1/2-tablespoon rounds as needed. It will keep for up to 2 weeks, well-wrapped and refrigerated. Use it to top warm steaks, fish, lamb chops, or vegetables.

 

* New! Savannah Style Hickory Smoked Beef Rub

Southern Herb Garden Grinder Blend