Monday, September 28, 2009

Homemade Seasoning Salt

I love seasoning salt - who doesn't? It's like a little taste party in one convenient jar. Most commercial seasoning salts, however, have more sodium than I'd like to consume, and often sugar is involved! How dare sugar involve itself in a salty party. (There are of course lots and lots of seasonings in this world, many of which are delicious, locally made, and healthy - but c'mon: making things yourself is so much more fun!)

One further note: seasoning salt is a personal thing. I like to add spices and herbs by themselves in different proportions for most of my cooking, so i leave those things out of my salt. But you could certainly make themed salts: dill, basil, cumin, curry, whatever you'd like! About anything that's pretty dry will work well with this method. Things you should avoid are seasonings that can clump or spoil in any way. I help to prevent that by adding uncooked rice to my salt jar - this absorbs unwanted moisture and helps the finer grains maintain their individuality in the mingling atmosphere of our salty party - this is not the time for individual ingredients to get too 'friendly' if you know what i mean.

So, without further adieu, this is how i make my own personal seasoning salt.

Coffee Grinders are great! I despise coffee, but my grinder is a wonderful addition to the kitchen and very easy to clean. Just remember to clean it out really well if you plan on grinding coffee in it every again (or just keep two separate grinders.)

Sea salt is a lower sodium salt than 'that other kind of salt' and it has more minerals and good natural things in it. Be sure and find one that is crystallized good and hard: i used to make this with fresher sea salt that was still a bit damp: no good, no good at all. Clump fest.

Mixed peppercorns are great too. You can use just black, but pretty colors also come in yummier flavors. You can find this in the bulk section of most grocery stores that have such sections, or buy them prepackaged.

Garlic and onion powder: i put garlic and onions in almost everything, so they definately have a place in my seasoning salt. These powders are the one ingredient that can get clumpy - so remember to put rice in your jar!

Couldn't be Simpler:
  • fill grinder half full with salt
  • add about 1/2 of the remaining space with peppercorns
  • add about a dozen dried chile pequins, 1 dried cayenne, a teaspoon of cayenne powder - whatever you have on hand that is spicy and dry.
  • about a teaspoon each of garlic and onions powders.
Stick on the lid and grind, pulsing a few times, until evenly ground to a fine fine dust.

BEWARE! Do not open the lid right away, and when you do, do NOT INHALE DEEPLY. This stuff will make you sneeeeeeeze and you wouldn't want to scatter your fresh seasoning salt all over the kitchen during a massive sneeze attack, now would you? no you would not.

So CAREFULLY tip over the grinder, pat pat pat, and remove the lid which also acts as a little dish. Position a funnel over your salt shaker and tap in the salt. You'll have to tap your salt jar a few times to settle the salt down in to make enough room. Stick the holey shake out barrier on the jar, add the lid, and shake shake shake to mix the rice throughought.

VOILA you've got salt! And it's a nice fine salt, so suitable for all types of yummy ventures.


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