Salt Slab Cooking
Salt’s crystal lattice has a fairly high specific energy (energy per unit of mass), so it will tend to hold any temperature you bring it to for a good while. Also, due to its lack of porosity or moisture (.026%), the salt Slabs can be safely heated or chilled to virtually any extreme.
Two other considerations come into play when working with Himalayan Salt Slabs. Their lack of porosity means that the surface area touches your food is minimal. Compared to, say, ground up salt or naturally evaporated salt crystals, these large blocks of salt will impart only a very moderate saltiness. Second, the high quantity of trace minerals (1.2% sulfur, .4% calcium, .35% potassium, .16% magnesium, and 80 other trace minerals) impart a more mild and full taste to the salt, providing another level of flavor complexity to your food.
Himalyan Salt Slab Cooking Techniques
a) Arrange thinly sliced Carpaccio or sashimi on a cool Salt Slab and serve. Watch as the food literally salt-cures while at the table, gently cooking the edges and bringing on just a smidge of mineral-rich saltiness.
b) Place a Salt Slab in an oven or BBQ. Wait 30 minutes, then remove the tile with a kitchen glove. Set on heat resistant mat at the table, and saute fish, meats, and veggies. While cooking, your food will take on a light saltiness. Note that Himalayan Salt Slabs will often hold heat long enough for repeated grillings before needing to reheat, but that batches will be successively saltier.
c) For an out-doorsy variation on the above, place a Salt Slab on the backyard grill, and grill a fennel-and-lemon stuffed monkfish, a lime-and-ginger marinated flank steak, or a balsamic and garlic rubbed Portobello mushroom.
d) Freeze a Himalayan Salt Slab for two hours. Remove, and plate up scoops of ice cream or sorbet. More fun yet, warm lightly whipped sweet heavy cream, egg, honey, and aged bitters, and refrigerate. Remove the Salt Slab from freezer, pour mixture on it, slowly lufting with spatula, for a salt-tinged ice custard you will not soon forget.
e) Getting back to basics, just use it as a serving platter for butter, cheeses, dried meats, or your daily dose of pickled ginger and wasabe. When used as a plate for moist food such as apple slices and mozzarella, the food acquires an enhanced salt and mineral flavouring.
Caring for your Himalayan Salt Plate
After each use, wash your Himalayan Salt Slab with warm water and a soft brush or green scrubby, and tamp dry with a paper towel before setting on a drying rack. This will remove a very thin layer of the salt and make it ready for use again. Treated with care, a large Salt Slab will provide years of service! In addition, the powerful antimicrobial properties of the salt insure that it is always proper and ready for future use, with no need for detergents.