Watch out if you decide to dip your toe into the world of making your own seasoning salt. You may start with just a modest notion of copying some of the best-selling stuff in shakers in the supermarket aisle, but a whole universe of possibilities awaits that's well beyond that. You may find yourself experimenting like a mad scientist with spectacular, gourmet combinations of flavorings. As long as you have enough small plates and jars for your growing collection of what are also called finishing salts and flavoring salts, you can embark on a delightful odyssey of salt creations.
Things You'll Need
- Coffee grinder
Base your seasoned salt ideally on sel gris, the coarse, grey sea salt collected in France, recommends Eric Gowers, a cooking instructor known as the Breakaway Cook for his pursuit of simplicity. Sel gris, which lacks the iodine flavor of table salt, has a pleasant flavor and texture of its own. Alternatives include kosher salt, Maldon salt and fleur de sel. Sel gris excels, though, for its high moisture content, which pulls flavorings to the surface of its crystals.
Mix a small batch of seasoned salt by placing 2 to 4 tablespoons of sel gris or a similar coarse salt and about 1 teaspoon of powdered ingredients in a coffee grinder. If your flavorings are not yet pulverized, first grind them by themselves without the salt; add the salt in a second step. Citrus and similar moist ingredients may also need a preliminary oven-drying step. You can also mix higher amounts, with a ratio of 1-to-6 to 1-to-12 of flavoring to salt.
Pulse the flavorings and salt briefly while shaking the grinder, just enough to mix the ingredients, for about 3 seconds or about 3 seconds each if you grind the ingredients separately.
Create a basic seasoning salt for burgers and everyday fare by pulsing garlic and onion flakes and dried parsley, in equal portions, along with smaller proportions of coarsely ground pepper and poppy seeds, with a pinch of hot red pepper flakes, along with your major ingredient -- your sel gris or coarse salt. Alternatively, keep the texture of this seasoning blend closer to coarse supermarket versions by mixing the ingredients with your fingers.
Go gourmet by making tiny batches of seasoned salt matched to specific dishes. Add smoked paprika to sel gris to top broiled steaks, Gowers suggests, or dried lavender buds for tomatoes. A pinch of saffron combines with salt for a potato or soup seasoning. Gowers mixes an oven-dried tangerine slice -- 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours -- to make a seasoning for roast chicken or salad, which can be a go-to kitchen seasoning salt. Matcha green tea added to salt works well with sauteed onions.