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Spicy Cheese Straws

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table’s Sriracha Sea Salt

This venerable Southern classic is a standard for any hostess worth her iced tea. The best cheese for these is an old, super-sharp cheddar, the kind that will practically take the roof off your mouth. If you can’t get such wonders, mixing in a bit of Parmigiano-Reggiano gives it just the right kick. Most recipes call for both salt and cayenne: Since The Salt Table’s Sriracha Sea Salt is both in one, the seasoning is a little easier, a welcome thing with our busy holiday schedules!

Makes about 10 dozen

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 ounces (¾ pound) well-aged, extra-sharp cheddar, grated
  • 4 ounces (¼ pound) Parmigiano Reggiano (no substitutes), finely grated
  • ¼ pound (½ cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons The Salt Table Sriracha Sea Salt or to taste
  • 10 ounces (about 2 cups) Southern soft wheat flour or all-purpose flour

HOW TO MAKE IT:

  1. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade or with a mixer, cream the cheese and butter until fluffy and smooth.
  2. Add the Sriracha Sea Salt, and flour and process or work it into a smooth dough. Taste and adjust the salt to suit you. Gather it into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and chill at least half an hour or up to 1 hour, but don’t let it get completely hard. If you make it ahead to bake later, let it soften at room temperature for about half an hour, so that it’s still cool but pliable.
  3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 325° F. Put the dough into a cookie press fitted with the star die and press it out onto an un-greased baking sheet into narrow 2½-inch straws, leaving about ½ inch between. Or lightly flour a work surface and roll it out a little less than ¼ inch thick. Cut with a knife or a zigzag pastry wheel into ½-inch by 2½-inch strips, or with small cookie cutters into decorative shapes, laying them on the baking sheet as you go.
  4. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, being careful not to let them brown on top. The bottoms should be golden but the tops and sides should not color. Cool on the pan before transferring them to an airtight storage container.

Sriracha Sea Salt

Adapted from Essentials of Southern Cooking by Damon Lee Fowler especially for The Salt Table’s Sriracha Sea Salt, by permission of the author.

Fresh Fish Tacos

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Savannah Summer Salt Seasoning, Chipotle Chili Powder, and Fine Himalayan Pink Salt

Fish Tacos have long been a specialty of the Mexican resorts on the Baja Peninsula, and in recent years have become a summer favorite in The United States, especially in the balmy, humid South. Savannah Summer Seasoning Salt gives them a nice southern zip.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 3 limes
  • 1 medium clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or oregano
  • Salt Table Chipotle Chili Powder
  • Salt Table Fine Himalayan Pink Salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 1½ pounds firm, white-fleshed fish fillets such as cod, halibut, grouper, or snapper cut 1-inch thick
  • Salt Table Savannah Summer Salt Blend, to taste
  • 8 large flour tortillas
  • 1 large, ripe tomato, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 1-1½ cups shredded Romaine or Iceberg lettuce
  • ½ medium Vidalia Sweet Onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into bite-sized dice

HOW TO MAKE

  1. To make the lime cream, blend together the mayonnaise and sour cream or yogurt. With a microplane grater, grate the zest from 1 lime into the sauce then grate half the garlic clove into it. Set aside the other half of the clove for another use. Blend in 1 tablespoon of lime juice and 1 tablespoon of cilantro or oregano. Season it to taste with chipotle powder and pink salt (if needed). Taste and adjust lime juice. Let stand 15 minutes, then taste and adjust seasonings.
  2. Cut remaining limes into wedges. Cut the fish into bite-sized cubes. Sprinkle it generously with about a tablespoon (or to taste) of Summer Salt and gently toss to coat. Warm the oil in a large non-stick or seasoned iron skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the fish and raise heat to medium-high. Sauté, gently tossing occasionally, until the fish is just cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Remove it from the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, warm a griddle or a large non-stick pan over medium-low heat. When the fish is ready, lay a tortilla on the griddle and let it get hot, turning it once (about half a minute) and remove it to serving plate. Spoon 1/8 of the fish down center and top it with tomato, lettuce, onion, and avocado. Lightly sprinkle with Summer Salt, drizzle with a spoonful of lime cream, and sprinkle on a little of the remaining chopped cilantro.
  4. There are two options for presenting them: you may simply leave them open-faced and let your guests roll them up themselves, or roll them first as follows: 1/4 of tortilla at the bottom over edge of filling, then fold the left side all way over. Roll the taco over on itself to fully wrap the tortilla around its filling in a neat package. Serve immediately with lime wedges on the side.

Brown Chipotle Powder

Savannah Summer Salt

Fresh Beef Tacos

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table’s Summer Salt Blend

Taste-Tested and enthusiastically approved by my grandchildren. Our granddaughter likes them finished with a drizzle of ranch dressing, but you could add sour cream, and/or any salsa that you like, but keep the dressings spare or the excess will just ooze out and drip all over you.

 

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck, preferably from grass-fed cattle
  • About 2 teaspoons Salt Table’s Savannah Summer Salt, or to taste
  • About 2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
  • ¼ cup tomato catsup or chili sauce, optional
  • 8 large whole wheat flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 large, ripe tomato, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 1-1½ cups shredded Romaine or Iceberg Lettuce
  • ½ medium Vidalia Sweet Onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Thinly sliced fresh hot Jalapeno peppers, optional
  • Ranch dressing, sour cream, and/or salsa of your choice, for serving, optional
  1. Warm the oil in a 10-inch skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Crumble in the beef, raise the heat to medium-high, and sauté, tossing or stirring occasionally, until it has lost its raw, red color and is beginning to brown. Season well with Summer Salt and chili powder to taste and lower the heat to medium low. If you’d like a sauce to bind the meat, add the optional catsup or chili sauce. Let it simmer about 2-3 minutes longer, or until the beef is just cooked through (and if you’ve added catsup, it’s reduced and thickened). Remove it from the heat.
  2. Warm a griddle or large non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Lay a tortilla in the pan. Let it get hot, turning it once, and remove it from the pan to a serving plate. Spoon 1/8 of the beef down its center and top with a sprinkling of cheese, then the tomato, lettuce, onion, and jalapeno peppers. Lightly sprinkle with Summer Salt and, if you like, drizzle a little dressing or sour cream over it, or add a spoonful or two of salsa (or offer these for each diner to add to taste).
  3. Fold a quarter of the tortilla at the top and bottom over the edge of the filling and then fold the left side all the way over them. Roll the taco over the filling into a neat package. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and fillings and serve immediately.

Savannah Summer Salt

Creamy Clam Dip


Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table Tybee Island Coastal Grinder Blend

The Tybee Island Coast Grinder Blend is one of Carol’s award-winning blends and best selling blends for seafood of all types. This recipe features this versatile blend for the perfect appetizer. Serve it with crackers and chips and enjoy it at any picnic or backyard party.

Makes about 2 cups

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 8-ounce block cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons or to taste freshly-ground Tybee Island Coastal Grinder Blend
  • 1 6½-ounce can minced clams, drained but juice reserved
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot sauce such as Tabasco or Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • 1 lemon cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
    Sturdy “scoop” style corn chips or ruffled potato chips

HOW TO MAKE:

  1. Whip together the cream cheese and sour cream with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Blend in 2 teaspoons Tybee Blend and 3 tablespoons of reserved clam juice. Blend in several dashes of Worcestershire and hot sauce and a teaspoon of lemon juice, and fold in the parsley. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so to allow the flavors to blend.
  2. Taste and adjust the Tybee Blend, Worcestershire, hot sauce, lemon juice, and clam juice. It can be served right away, but will be better if chilled for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. If you’ve chilled it, let it sit at room temperature at least 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley if liked and serve with “scoop” corn chips or ruffled potato chips.

Award Winner! Tybee Island Coastal Grinder Blend