The Art of Darkness

Homemade Seasoning Salt

July 28th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Seasoned SaltIf you’ve ever found yourself in need of a last-minute hostess gift, look no further than homemade seasoning salts (which are also worth making for your own use). They are cheap, easy to make, endlessly customizable, have a long shelf life, and can be made in bulk. You can even make ’em gothy, which means they’re a fun idea for a party (or wedding) favor, or as part of a gift for your favorite gloomy cook.

A quick word on salt: Some recipes suggest using flake salt like Maldon or even fleur de sel, but since you’re usually running it through a blender or food processor it seems silly to waste money on flakes that you’re going to whirl into oblivion. Your best bet is probably kosher salt. Don’t use table salt, since it usually contains anti-clumping agents.

If you want to get fancy, look into black lava salt; sea salt that’s been blended with activated charcoal. You can get it on Amazon or in bulk at places like Mountain Rose Herbs. It’s usually used as a finishing salt, but it’d be fun to use in some of these recipes too. It’d also be very attractive layered with other seasoned salt in a tall skinny jar.

There are a zillion different recipes out on the intartubes, but here are a few to get you started:

Vampire-Repelling Garlic Salt

1 C kosher salt
1/4 C peeled garlic cloves

Heat oven to 180F (if your oven doesn’t go that low, just use its lowest setting and adjust bake time accordingly). Combine the garlic and salt in a food processor and process until the garlic is pulverized and the mixture has a consistency of moist sand; 30 seconds. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the salt mixture out evenly. Bake until dry, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Return to food processor and pulse several times to break up clumps.

Variations:

Make garlic-pepper salt by adding 1/4 C freshly ground black pepper to the food processor along with the baked salt.

For roasted garlic salt, drizzle the peeled cloves with about 1 tsp olive oil, then wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 400F for 30-40 minutes until nicely browned. Pulse the roasted garlic with about 1/4 C of salt until it forms a paste, then add the rest of the salt 1/4 C at a time, pulsing until combined after each addition. (Roasted garlic is sticky and this helps keep it from gumming up the processor.) Proceed as above, but start checking for doneness after 30 minutes; roasting removes some of the moisture from the garlic so it won’t take as long to get crispy.


Toadstool Salt

1 oz dried mushrooms: Shiitake, porcini, morel, or other mushrooms with a fairly assertive flavor are best
1 C kosher salt

Pulse the mushrooms in a food processor until finely chopped, then add salt and process to the consistency of cornmeal.


“Bloody Good” Hibiscus Salt

1 C dried hibiscus flowers (flor de jamaica)
1/2 C kosher salt

Dried hibiscus can be found at well-stocked grocery stores (often in the “Hispanic foods” section) or ordered online. If the dried blossoms are pliable they may be too moist to grind cleanly, so dry them in a 200F oven for about 15 minutes.

Grind the blossoms to a powder in a blender or food processor, then add the salt and pulse a few times to blend.

This salt has a fruity, sourish flavor that’s great with fish dishes and also looks fantastic rimming a margarita glass.

All of these salts will keep for several months if stored airtight in a cool, dry place. To give as a gift, pack in small jars and add a handwritten (or computer-printed if you’re feeling ambitious) label.

Incidentally, I’ve run into several recipes which suggest using powdered freeze-dried fruit such as raspberries (3/4 C salt, 1/4 C raspberry powder, and 1 T ground pink peppercorns). You can buy the fruit in some health food stores and online, but there’s an easy homemade method at Cupcake Project. This leads me to wonder about drying slices of sweet potato or pumpkin and grinding it with salt and a bit of chili powder. You should wind up with a bright orange, spicy salt that would be great in soups and would also look mighty Halloweeny.

(Image from AllRecipes)

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 1 Comment »

One Response

  1. cookie Says:

    Re: black lava salt. Wow that stuff’s expensive! Activated charcoal can be had at any good pharmacy for a song and a little goes a long way. Cheaper still would be to buy a box of “char tabs” charcoal capsules for gas and indigestion,just open the drab purple caps and pour into your mix but be aware that ANY form of activated charcoal is going to blacken whatever it comes in contact with; food fingers teeth etc.. It is quite harmless however and tends to bind with poisons, especially organic poisons and it is used by doctors during stomach pumps to absorb leftover toxins. It is also an old folk remedy for teeth absesses as it absorbs bacteria.
    P.S. Almost every time the subject of activated charcoal comes up someone asks if they can just grate some BBQ briquets? NO NO NO!!! NOT the same. NO.

Leave a Reply