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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

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)

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

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

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

One of many Recipes by Damon Lee Fowler for Georgia Wine Tasting Room at the Salt Table - a Savannah based brand of all natural specialty foods

Christmas Strata with Ham and Mushrooms

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table’s Savannah Spanish Moss or All ‘Round Good Grinder Blend

A Holiday breakfast or brunch standard, a strata is really nothing more than a savory bread pudding. It also makes a lovely supper dish for any chilly evening throughout the year. The Salt Table’s Savannah Spanish Moss Blend makes seasoning it a snap. Another perfect match for it is the ever-popular All ‘Round Good Grinder Blend, which is delightful with ham and eggs.  You can add a little chopped fresh oregano to freshen the flavors, but it really doesn’t need it.

Serves 6 to 8

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 9 slices firm, home-style white bread
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ medium red bell pepper, stems, core and membranes removed, diced
  • ½ medium green bell pepper, stems, core and membranes removed, diced
  • 8 ounces brown (crimini or baby bella) mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 cup sliced green onions, both white and green parts
  • 1½ cups diced cooked ham
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar, Gruyere, or Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • The Salt Table Savannah Spanish Moss Blend or All Round Good Grinder Blend
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole milk

HOW TO MAKE IT:

  1. Cut the bread into large dice (some cut enough for the top layer into decorative shapes with a cookie cutter). Butter a 9×13-inch casserole and put in half the bread.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the peppers and sauté 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and raise the heat to medium high. Sauté until they’re opaque, about 3 minutes, then add the green onions and ham and toss until hot, about a minute. Turn off the heat.
  3. Scatter the ham, pepper, mushrooms, and green onions mixture over the bread in the casserole dish. Season well with Spanish Moss Blend. Sprinkle half of both cheeses evenly over it and top with the remaining bread.
  4. Whisk together the eggs and milk and 2 teaspoons (or to taste) Spanish Moss Blend. Pour this over the entire casserole, cover with plastic wrap, and let it sit until the bread has fully absorbed the custard, about 30 minutes, or refrigerate it overnight. Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Uncover the strata and bake until it’s almost set, about 30-35 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake until golden and firm at the center, about 15-20 minutes longer. Let it rest 10 minutes before cutting.

Savannah Spanish Moss Blend

This recipe is also good with All Round Good Grinder Blend

Schweineschnitzel (Pork Tenderloin Schnitzel)

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Halle & Savannah Blend

The classic schnitzel is made with veal, but cutlets made from pork tenderloin (or even chicken boned breasts) take handsomely to the technique at a fraction of the cost of veal, and for my money, the pork has far more flavor.

Salt Table’s Halle & Savannah Blend is ideal for schnitzel, but classic All ‘Round Good Grinder Blend and Southern Italian Blend are also great for them.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pork tenderloin, about 1-to-1¼ pounds, or 4 large veal scaloppine or chicken breast cutlets (see notes)
  • Salt Table Halle & Savannah Blend
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • About 1 cup Panko or dry bread crumbs
  • About ½ cup flour, spread on a plate
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten in a soup plate
  • About 1 cup clarified butter or 4 tablespoons unsalted butter and ¾ cup 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. Generously grind the seasoning blend over both sides. If using veal or chicken cutlets instead, lightly pound them out to a uniform thinness just under ¼-inch and season as for the tenderloin.
  2. Season the crumbs with several grindings of Seasoning Blend and spread them on a plate or wide, shallow bowl. Have the flour spread on a plate and the egg in a wide, shallow bowl.
  3. Dust the cutlets 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 it 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.
  4. 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.

Note: chicken cutlets are a boned and skinned breast half split horizontally into two equal pieces.

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

This recipes also works well with All ‘Round Good Grinder Blend, or Southern Italian Blend in a mill

Slow-Cooker Pork Stew Provencal with Mushrooms

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

with Salt Table’s Wild Porcini Mushroom Salt, Peppercorn Medley and Herbes de Provence

The Salt Table’s Wild Porcini Mushroom Salt infuses this stew with deep mushroom flavor without the trouble of reconstituting dried porcini mushrooms and straining their soaking liquid to remove the sand. The Salt Table’s Herbes de Provence provides nicely balanced Provencal flavor without having a host of different condiments and herbs.

 

Serves 6

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3½ pounds boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), trimmed well and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt Table Wild Porcini Mushroom Salt
  • Salt Table Peppercorn Medley in a mill
  • 1 tablespoon Salt Table Herbes de Provence
  • 1 large yellow onion, trimmed, split lengthwise, peeled, and diced small
  • 1 large or 2 medium cloves garlic, lightly crushed, peeled, and minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • About 1-to-1½ cups beef broth
  • 1 recipe Sautéed Mushrooms with Porcini Salt (recipe follows)
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced flat-leaf parsley

HOW TO MAKE:

  1. Wrap the pork in several layers of paper towels and pat dry. Put the oil and butter in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add enough pork to the pan to fill it without crowding and brown it well on all sides. Remove it to the slow cooker, and repeat with the remaining meat. When all the meat is browned, season it well with Porcini Salt and Pepper Medley and sprinkle the Herbes de Provence evenly over it.
  2. Adjust the heat to medium, spoon off all but 2-3 tablespoons of the fat from the pan and add the onion. Sauté until softened and golden brown at the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and toss until fragrant, about half a minute longer. Sprinkle in the flour and stir until smooth and bubbly. Slowly add the wine, stirring constantly, and bring it to a simmer, then stir in 1 cup of the broth. Bring it back to a simmer, stirring constantly, and cook until it’s lightly thickened, then pour it evenly over the pork in the slow cooker.
  3. Add enough broth to barely cover the meat, cover the cooker, and turn the setting to high. Let it heat until it’s bubbly, about 30 minutes, then reduce the setting to low and cook until the pork is fork tender, about 4-6 hours.
  4. The stew can be prepared to this point up to four days ahead. Let it cool completely, transfer it to a storage container, cover tightly, and refrigerate. Reheat it gently in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat, thinning the sauce, if it’s too thick, with a few spoonfuls of water.
  5. Prepare the Sautéed Mushrooms, immediately fold them into the stew, and serve hot, garnished with parsley and accompanied by crusty bread.

Sautéed Mushrooms

Serves 4 as a side dish

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound small brown (crimini) mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Salt Table Wild Porcini Mushroom Salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced flat leaf parsley, optional (for garnishing if used as a side dish)

HOW TO MAKE:

  1. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a dry paper towel and thickly slice them. Put the oil and butter in a deep skillet or sauté pan and turn on the heat to medium. When the butter is melted and the fat is quite hot, add the mushrooms, rapidly tossing. Raise the heat to medium high.
  2. Sauté, tossing often, until the mushrooms are beginning to color on the edges. Season well with Porcini Salt, toss, and cook half a minute longer. Turn off the heat. Taste and correct the salt. If serving as a separate side dish, sprinkle with parsley and serve hot. If using in Pork Provencal, immediately add it to the stew.

 

Wild Porcini Mushroom Sea Salt

Peppercorn Medley

Herbs de Provence