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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.

 

Southern Herb Garden Baked Beans

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Hostess City Southern Hospitality Blend

This old summer cookout favorite gets a fresh lift by using a blend of four kinds of beans that are subtly enhanced by The Salt Table’s Hostess City Southern Hospitality Blend. They go together quickly and can bake while you’re getting the grill ready.

Other blends that would work well here include The Salt Table’s Southern Spring Blend, Southern Italian Blend, and, of course, All ‘Round Good Grinder Blend.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 28-ounce can baked beans with sauce
  • 1 15-16-ounce can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 15-16-ounce can red beans or red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 15-16-ounce can black beans, drained
  • 3 extra-thick-cut slices applewood smoked bacon (or 6 slices regular bacon), diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, trimmed, split lengthwise, peeled, and diced
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • Large pinch dry mustard, optional
  • Salt Table Hostess City Southern Hospitality Blend

How to make it:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 350° F. Put the baked beans with their sauce, pintos, red, and black beans into a 9-inch square or 2½ quart casserole and gently toss to mix.
  2. But the bacon in a 9-inch skillet over medium heat and sauté until it is browned and its fat is rendered. Spoon off all but a tablespoon of the fat, add the onion, and sauté until the onion is softened and golden. Turn off the heat and transfer the bacon and onions to the casserole.
  3. Add the ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard, if using and season liberally with Salt Table’s Hostess City Southern Hospitality Blend. Gently but thoroughly mix, level the top with the back of the spoon, taste and adjust the seasoning blend, and bake until bubbly to the center and lightly crusted over on top, about 1 hour.

 

* NEW! Hostess City Southern Hospitality Blend

Southern Herb Garden Grinder Blend

Southern Italian Grinder Blend

* NEW! Southern Springtime Salt and Herb Grinder Blend

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

Ground Beef and Macaroni Casserole

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Southern Spring Blend or Southern Herb Blend

A weeknight supper workhorse, this casserole is usually made with a cream of mushroom soup, but the flavors are so much fresher and better with a homemade sauce. The Salt Table’s Southern Spring Blend makes seasoning it a snap so the sauce goes together almost as quickly as opening that can. Other perfect blend combinations are All ‘Round Good Grinder Blend, Southern Herb Garden Blend, Southern Italian Blend, and River Street Cobblestone Blend.

Change it up by adding celery and or peas to it or by changing the cheese to Gruyere or Swiss.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • About 1 tablespoon canola, olive, or vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced small
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced small
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose or instant-blending flour
  • 1½ cups beef broth
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • Salt Table Southern Spring Blend
  • 8 ounces (½ of a 1 pound box) elbow macaroni
  • 1½ cups (about 5½ ounces) shredded extra-sharp cheddar

How to Make it:

  1. Put 3 quarts of water on to boil in a large pot over high heat. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 350° F.
  2. Meanwhile, film a large skillet with oil and heat over medium heat. Crumble in the beef and brown (in batches if necessary to keep from crowding meat), about 2-3 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and season it lightly with Southern Spring Blend. Add the onion to the pan and sauté until softened about 2 minutes. Add the carrot and sauté 2 minutes longer.
  3. Whisk in the flour, blending until smooth, then slowly whisk in the broth and milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until it’s bubbly and thick. Season to taste with Southern Spring Blend, adjust heat to slow simmer, and cook 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Fold in the beef, let it come back to a simmer, and turn off the heat.
  4. When the water is boiling, stir in a small handful of salt and macaroni. Cook until softened but still not done (about half the time recommended on the box) . Meanwhile, butter a rectangular 2-quart casserole dish. Drain and add the macaroni to the casserole.
  5. Add the beef and sauce mixture and 1 cup of the cheese. Gently toss to mix and level with spatula. Sprinkle remaining cheese evenly over top. Bake until bubbly at the center and the cheese is lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Let it rest 10 minutes before serving.

 

Add the beef and sauce mixture and 1 cup of the cheese. Gently toss to mix and level with spatula. Sprinkle remaining cheese evenly over top. Bake until bubbly at the center and the cheese is lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Let it rest 10 minutes before serving.

* NEW! Southern Springtime Salt and Herb Grinder Blend

Southern Herb Garden Grinder Blend

Southern Italian Grinder Blend

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

Savannah River Street Cobblestone Blend (and Recipe)

Italian White Bean Salad

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Southern Italian Blend or Southern Herb Garden Blend

 

Southern Italian Blend is a perfect pairing with white beans, whether they’re served hot or cold and whether the beans are cannellini, (Italian white kidney beans), Great Northern, or even Navy beans. It’s a great side dish on its own with almost any grilled food.

My favorite easy summer lunch is to mix this with two well-drained six-ounce cans of solid light tuna packed in olive oil. I offer lemon wedges on the side for that.

Other appropriate Salt Table blends for seasoning this salad would be Southern Herb Garden and All ‘Round Good Grinder Blend.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked, drained cannellini (white kidney beans), or canned cannellini
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 heaped tablespoons nonpareil capers, drained
  • 12-16 brine-cured black olives, pitted and sliced (do not use canned)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • The Salt Table Southern Italian Blend or Southern Herb Garden Blend
  • Romaine lettuce leaves, optional

How to make it:

  1. If you’re using canned beans, drain and rinse them well. In a mixing bowl, toss together the beans, onion, capers, olives, and 1 tablespoon parsley. Season well with Southern Italian blend, to taste, sprinkle with enough oil to lightly coat the beans and gently toss until they’re evenly coated. Sprinkle lightly with vinegar, to taste, toss, and let stand 30 minutes.
  2. Taste and adjust the vinegar, oil, and seasoning blend, gently toss, and if liked serve the salad over lettuce leaves. Sprinkle the remaining parsley over the salad just before serving.

Southern Italian Grinder Blend

Southern Herb Garden Grinder Blend

Ground Beef and Potato Casserole

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

The Salt Table’s Hostess City Southern Hospitality Blend

This is based on the taste memories of the frugal casseroles my mother would invent in an effort to get her picky child (me) to actually eat budget-friendly hamburger meat. She would have loved having Hostess City Southern Hospitality Blend to simplify the seasonings. It’s a perfect mate for beef and potatoes. Other great Salt Table blends for this are Southern Herb Garden, All Round Good Grinder Blend, Southern Italian, and River Street Cobblestone Blends.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2½ pounds russet potatoes (about 3 large)
  • Salt Table Fine Sea Salt
  • Canola, olive, or other vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground beef (preferably chuck)
  • Salt Table Hostess City Southern Hospitality Blend
  • 2 tablespoons butter or drippings from browning meat (see step 2)
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced small
  • 1 medium clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons instant-blending or all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk, warmed to room temperature
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1½ cups coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar

How to make it:

  1. Peel and slice the potatoes ¼-inch thick. Put them into a 2½-3-quart saucepan, cover with water, add a large pinch of Sea Salt, and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to a steady simmer and cook until the potatoes are barely tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and let cool enough to handle.
  2. Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 350° F. Film a large skillet with about 1 tablespoon of oil and put it over medium heat. When it’s hot, raise the heat to medium high and crumble in enough beef to cover the bottom without crowding. Brown it lightly and transfer it with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Season lightly with Hostess City Southern Hospitality Blend. Repeat with the remaining beef. Drain off the fat, then put 2 tablespoons of butter or return 2 tablespoons of the drippings to the pan. (Let the remaining drippings cool and discard them.)
  3. Adjust the heat to medium, add the onion, and sauté until softened and golden, about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and stir until fragrant. Sprinkle in the flour and stir until bubbly and smooth. Slowly whisk in the milk and broth and it bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring, until thickened and adjust the heat to a simmer. Season well with Hostess City Southern Hospitality Blend Blend, stir, and simmer 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning and turn off heat.
  4. Smear the bottom of a rectangular 2-quart casserole with a little sauce. Cover it with a layer of potatoes and scatter 1/3 of the meat over them. Sprinkle on 1/3 of the cheese and spoon 1/3 of the sauce over. Add a second layer of potatoes, another 1/3 of the meat, 1/3 of the cheese, and 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat once more with the remaining potatoes, meat, and sauce, then sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the top.
  5. Bake in the center of the oven until bubbly to the center and the topping cheese is lightly browned. Let it rest 10 minutes before serving.

* NEW! Hostess City Southern Hospitality Blend

Savannah River Street Cobblestone Blend (and Recipe)

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

Southern Italian Grinder Blend

Southern Herb Garden Grinder Blend

 

Baked Beef Enchiladas

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Taco Seasoning

This Salt Table’s Taco Seasoning doesn’t have to be limited to tacos. It simplifies red chili sauce the making red chili sauce, which is the base for all kinds of Tex-Mex and Mexican dishes. Don’t want to go to the trouble of rolling up individual enchiladas? Simply layer the beef and bean mixture and cheese blend with corn tortillas that have been cut in half, just as you would make lasagna.

Serves 4

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1½ pounds ground beef
  • Salt Table Taco Seasoning
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup (or to taste) diced canned green chilies, drained
  • Red Chili Sauce (recipe follows)
  • 2 cups (1 15½ ounce can) pinto or black beans, drained
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican quesadilla or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar
  • Sliced green onions and chopped cilantro for garnish, optional

How to make it:

  1. Put the oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot but not smoking add enough beef to cover bottom without crowding and stir until lightly browned. Remove and repeat with remaining beef. Season it very lightly with The Salt Table Taco Seasoning.
  2. Spoon off all but a tablespoon of fat from the pan and add the onion. Sauté, stirring, until translucent and softened, but not colored. Return the meat to pan, add the chilies, 2 cups of sauce, and the beans. Stir well and simmer 20-30 minutes.
  3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 350° F. Rub a 9×13-inch casserole with oil. Spoon some of the meat mixture down center of a tortilla, sprinkle with both cheeses, roll up, and put it into casserole, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining meat, cheese, and tortillas, reserving ½ cup cheese for topping.
  4. Knap the enchiladas lightly with Red Chili Sauce, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and bake until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle with sliced green onions and cilantro if liked before serving. Pass the remaining sauce passed separately.

 

Red Chili Sauce

You can make this sauce using only The Salt Table’s Taco Seasoning, but a little extra cumin and added oregano really make the flavor pop.

Makes 4 cups

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
  • About 2 tablespoons Salt Table Taco Seasoning (to taste)
  • ¼-½ teaspoon ground cumin (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican oregano
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) tomato paste
  • Sugar

How to make it:

  1. Over medium heat, whisk together flour and oil in heavy-bottomed saucepan. Whisk in the Taco Seasoning, cumin, and oregano and whisk until bubbly, smooth, and fragrant.
  2. Slowly whisk in the broth, bring to a simmer, whisking constantly, and whisk in tomato paste. Add a teaspoon of sugar, adjust heat to slow simmer, and simmer 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the Taco Seasoning and sugar and simmer 2-3 minutes longer. Can be made several days ahead. Let cool, cover, and refrigerate until needed.

Taco Seasoning

Schnitzel (Breaded Cutlets of Veal or Chicken)

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Halle & Savannah Blend

Refined schnitzel is made with veal, but schwein (pork) schnitzel, made from the loin or tenderloin, is a fraction of the cost of veal, and for my money, far more flavorful. You may also use boneless chicken breast cutlets. The Salt Table’s Halle & Savannah Blend, made with Germany’s own Halle salt, is the perfect seasoning for this classic dish.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pork tenderloin, about 1-to-1¼ pounds, or 4 large veal scaloppine or boneless chicken breast
  • The Salt Table Halle & Savannah Blend in the Grinder 
  • About ½ cup flour, spread on a plate
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten in a soup plate
  • About 1 cup Panko or dry bread crumbs, generously seasoned with several grindings of Halle & Savannah Blen and spread on a soup plate
  • About 1 cup clarified butter or 4 tablespoons unsalted butter and olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges

How to make it:

  1. Trim the tenderloin, removing the silver-skin and fat. Cut the thickest part of the center crosswise into 4 equal rounds 1¼-inches thick. Set aside the ends for another use. Put the 4 center cuts round side up on a sheet of plastic wrap spread over a sturdy work surface. Lay a second sheet of wrap over them and lightly pound them out to a little less than ¼-inch thick. If using veal, lightly pound them out to a uniform thinness of less than ¼-inch. If using chicken, split them in half horizontally before pounding them out, taking care not to be too vigorous with the pounding. Generously grind the seasoning blend over both sides of the cutlets.
  2. Dust them with flour, coating both sides, and gently shake off the excess. One at a time, dip them in the egg, coating both sides and allowing the excess egg to flow back into the bowl, then lay the cutlet on the crumbs, turning and patting to coat both sides. Put the breaded cutlets on a clean, dry plate or wire cooling rack and them let stand 30 minutes to allow the breading to set. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat it to 200° F. or the warm setting.
  3. Over medium heat, melt enough clarified butter (or the unsalted butter and enough oil) to cover the bottom of heavy-bottomed skillet by at about ¼-inch. When it’s hot, raise the heat to medium-high and put in enough cutlets to fill the pan without crowding. Fry until the bottoms are golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Turn and brown the second side, about 2 minutes longer. Remove them from the pan to a wire cooling rack and keep warm in the oven while the remaining cutlets fry. Serve hot with lemon.

SALZ (salt) from Halle, Germany (Savannah’s Sister City)

#1 Overall – Salt Table All Round Good Grinder Blend – Best all-purpose seasoning blend

Valhalla Potato Salad

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Halle & Savannh Blend

Hot German potato salad is always a crowd-pleaser, so why wouldn’t it please the Gods in the great hall of Valhalla? The Salt Table’s Halle & Savannh Blend is fashioned with Germany’s Halle salt, is the perfect mate with this classic salad’s traditional sweet-sour bacon vinaigrette.

Serves 6

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 medium waxy potatoes, about 2½-2¾-pounds
  • 3 strips extra-thick-cut bacon, diced small
  • 1 medium yellow onion, trimmed, split lengthwise, peeled, and diced
  • 1 large rib celery, diced
  • ¼ cup diced dill or sweet cucumber pickle
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • About 1 rounded teaspoon sugar
  • The Salt Table Wagner Blend

How to make it:

  1. Scrub the potatoes and put them in a large, heavy-bottomed pot with enough water to cover them by an inch. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Adjust the heat to a steady simmer and cook until the potatoes are just tender and can be easily pierced with a sharp knife. Drain, cover, and let them stand a few minutes. Uncover and let them cool enough to handle, then peel and slice them ¼-inch thick. Cut large slices in half.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until it’s browned and its fat is rendered, about 5-6 minutes. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes, then add the celery and pickle. Deglaze the pan with ½ cup water, stirring and scraping to loosen any cooking residue, and let it boil until it is reduced by half. Stir in the vinegar and sugar. Bring it to a simmer and season well with Halle & Savannh Blend. Turn off the heat.
  3. Add the potatoes to the pan and gently toss to coat them with the hot vinaigrette. Taste and adjust the Wagner Blend and sugar as needed. Can be served hot, warm, or at room temperature.

SALZ (salt) from Halle, Germany (Savannah’s Sister City)

#1 Overall – Salt Table All Round Good Grinder Blend – Best all-purpose seasoning blend

 

Fire Steaks Brünhilde

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Halle & Savannah Blend

At the end of the second ring opera, Wotan punishes his daughter Brünhilde by putting her on a rock surrounded by a magic impenetrable fire. Well, what else can a girl do at that point but grill a steak on that fire and nap until Siegfried shows up to rescuer her?

Fortunately, the Salt Table’s Halle & Savannah Blend makes a great steak rub.

When is it done? Don’t try to rely on touch: use a meat thermometer that you know to be accurate. Here’s a quick reference guide of internal temperatures.

Serves 4

“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

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 strip, filet, or rib steaks, or 1 sirloin, not less than 1¼ and up to-2-inches thick
  • Olive oil
  • The Salt Table Wagner Blend
  • 2-4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

How to make it:

  1. Wrap meat in several layers of paper towel. Let sit 5 minutes. Unwrap and rub lightly with olive oil and generously with Halle & Savannah Blend. Set aside while getting the grill ready.
  2. Prepare a regular grill with lump hardwood charcoal (not briquettes) and let them burn to a medium-hot fire. If using a gas grill, preheat it for 10-15 minutes. If using hardwood coals, spread them in an even layer over half the grill. Set grill rack 4-to- 6 inches above heat (depending on how hot coals are).
  3. Lightly brush the steaks with more oil. Sear them over direct heat, about 2 minutes per side for 1¼-inch thick steaks, about 3 per side for steaks that are a full 2-inches thick. Move them to the side without coals or turn off the gas flame, cover, and cook to desired doneness (see the chart above), about 2-3 minutes longer.

SALZ (salt) from Halle, Germany (Savannah’s Sister City)

#1 Overall – Salt Table All Round Good Grinder Blend – Best all-purpose seasoning blend

Carmen’s Mountain Hideout Stuffed Mushroom Tapas

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Carmen Blend 

Stuffed vegetables are a popular tapas in modern Spain, but Carmen’s compatriots in her mountain hideout would love them because they can be eaten right out of the hand. The Salt Table’s Carmen Blend is the perfect seasoning for mushrooms and ham.

Serves 8-12 as an appetizer

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 24 medium cremini (brown) mushrooms
  • About 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic, crushed, peeled, and minced
  • 2 ounces (½ cup) minced Serrano, prosciutto, or country ham
  • 1 cup fine stale (not dry) bread crumbs
  • Salt Table Carmen Blend
  • Dry sherry

How to make it:

  1. Brush away any dirt that may be clinging to the mushrooms with a clean, dry cloth or soft brush. Remove the stems and chop them fine. Set both stems and whole caps aside.
  2. Put 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the garlic in a medium skillet over medium heat. Sauté, tossing often, until fragrant and golden. Add the chopped mushroom stems and sauté until opaque and glossy, about 3 minutes. Add the ham, toss until it loses its raw red color, and turn off the heat.
  3. Add the crumbs, toss until well mixed, and season well with Carmen Blend. Moisten well with a sprinkling of sherry and a little more olive oil. Toss well, taste, and adjust the sherry and Carmen Blend.
  4. Lightly rub a large baking dish with olive oil. Sprinkle the inside of each mushroom cap lightly with Carmen Blend, and divide the stuffing among them, mounding it up in the center. Put mushrooms into the prepared dish. They can be made several hours ahead to this point. Cover with damp paper towels.
  5. About 45 minutes before serving, position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 375° F. Drizzle the mushrooms with more olive oil, and bake until the lightly browned and the caps are tender, about 20 minutes. Serve at once; stuffed mushrooms don’t reheat very well.

Carmen Blend, One of Three Opera Blends

Spicy Meatballs Carmen & Romesco Sauce Carmen (two recipes)

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Carmen Blend 

A terrific tapas (the Spanish “small bites” served in bars and sidewalk cafés), these are also a fine main dish and so easy to season using The Salt Table’s Carmen Blend. Serve in individual dishes or in a chafing dish, letting guests help themselves. As Carmen would say, “Prends garde à toi!”—they’re addictive!

(See Romesco Sauce Recipe below)

Serves 8-10

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound ground beef, preferably chuck, or ½ pound ground beef and ½ pound lean ground pork
  • ½ medium yellow onion, trimmed, split lengthwise, peeled, and finely chopped
  • 1 cup soft breadcrumbs
  • 1 rounded tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • About 2 teaspoons The Salt Table Carmen Blend
  • Olive or vegetable oil, for frying
  • About 1 cup beef broth
  • Romesco Sauce Carmen (recipe follows)

 

How to make Spicy Meatballs with Carmen Blend

  1. Combine the meat, onion, crumbs, and parsley and season with Carmen Blend. To taste for seasoning, pinch off a small bit, shape it into a flat cake and cook it through in a small pan with a few drops of olive oil, about 2 minutes per side. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Wet your hands and lightly roll into 24 even balls, laying them on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Film the bottom of a large, seasoned iron skillet or nonstick pan with olive oil and turn on the heat to medium. When the oil is hot, add enough meatballs to fill the pan without crowding and brown them well on all sides. Transfer them to a platter and repeat with the remaining meatballs. Alternatively, you may brown them in the oven on a large, rimmed, non-stick baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 425° F., rub the baking sheet with oil, and space the meatballs on it about an inch apart. Bake 10 minutes, then carefully turn the meatballs and bake 6-8 minute longer.
  3. Spoon off any excess fat and return the meatballs to the pan (if you’ve browned them in the oven, transfer them to large pan that will hold them in 1 layer. Add enough broth to almost half-cover them. Bring to a boil, adjust the heat to a slow simmer, loosely cover, and simmer until cooked through, about 30 minutes, turning occasionally. The liquid should reduce and mostly evaporated, but don’t let it dry up completely. Add water (not broth) by spoonfuls as needed.
  4. Remove the lid and if the liquid isn’t mostly evaporated, raise the heat and let it evaporate. Stir in the Romesco and let it warm through. Serve in small tapas dishes or bowls. They can be made ahead: transfer to a storage container, cover, and refrigerate. When ready to serve them, gently reheat in a large skillet over medium-low heat.
  5. (See how to make Romesco Blend below)

Romesco Sauce with Carmen Blend:

There are many variations of Romesco sauce. This one is based on one of the Catalan versions. This can be a separate recipe and is a good dip for vegetables or sturdy corn chips.

Makes about 2½ cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole raw almonds
  • 1 medium red bell pepper or the equivalent of roasted red bell peppers from a jar, rinsed
  • 3 large cloves garlic, lightly crushed, peeled, and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • The Salt Table Carmen Blend
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

How to Make Spicy Meatballs with Carmen Blend:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350° F. Spread the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven until lightly colored at the center. Meanwhile, if using a fresh pepper, roast it over an open flame or in the oven at 400° F. until the skin blisters and blackens. Peel, seed, and cut it into uniform chunks.
  2. Process the almonds in a food processor fitted with the steel blade until finely ground. Add the roasted pepper, garlic, and tomato paste, and process until puréed. Add the vinegar and a generous teaspoon of Carmen Blend. Process until smooth. With the motor running, gradually add the oil in a thin, steady stream. Taste and adjust the Carmen Blend and pulse to blend. The sauce can be made ahead. It will keep, covered

Carmen Blend, One of Three Opera Blends