Because of the diverse nature of the many different restaurants and chefs Brian Henry has worked under he is highly proficient at a wide range of cuisines.

Brian’s cooking is seasonal, inventive and smart, but in no way unapproachable or fussy. When he is coaxed out of the kitchen and starts talking about food, his passion and knowledge are instantly recognizable.

"Chef Brian Henry cooked a series of delicious appetizers for us as we sat around a table in the kitchen". Thanks

Tony Aspler, Wine writer

“Chef Brian Henry puts one hundred percent of his energy into going all the way.”

Birgit Moenke, Editor Stir Media Read More Reviews

Gastronomically yours,

Salt of the Earth

 

Humans are hard wired to crave salt as it not only quenches one of our basic tastes; saltiness but we physically require salt to help regulate our body’s water content and central nervous system’s function.

 The significance of salt is paramount to our survival and as a result of this; salt has in earlier times driven the global economy.  Even today we still use the word salary which originated from the Latin word “salarium” for the price paid to the Roman army soldier’s to purchase of salt.

 Salt is a mineral that consists of chemical compounds; primarily sodium and chloride. It is found and used the world over. Salt occurs naturally throughout the world and is harvested through conventional mining methods or through the injection of water which dissolves the salt and the brine solution can be pumped to the surface where the salt is collected. These methods are used to gather salt left behind from ancient dried up oceans beneath the earth’s surface or it is also harvested via evaporation from the earth’s seawater. It is estimated that one cubic kilometer of seawater holds 26 million metric tons of salt.
 The raw salt is acquired through multiple stages of evaporation,  re-crystallization and then kiln dried. At this stage raw sea salt is quite bitter and requires refining to remove the magnesium and calcium compounds, to improve palatability.
 Table salt is pure refined salt, with about 98% sodium chloride combined with anti-caking agents so it flows freely. Iodized salt is table salt mixed with a minuscule amount of potassium iodide to help combat iodine deficiencies in humans. Kosher salt is a coarse grained salt with no added ingredients just pure sodium chloride.

Salt is salt but some are marketed and reputed for their different flavors and nutritional content that vary due to the addition of other ingredients. Fleur de sel, is harvested from the surface of evaporating salt pans, throughout France giving it a unique flavor. Black salt is harvested in volcanic regions and contains volcanic ash and Korean bamboo salt is prepared by roasting salt inside bamboo trees.
 Locally salt was discovered in Goderich, Ontario 300 meters below Goderich Harbour by an oil exploration drilling team in 1866. This was the first discovery of a salt bed in North America and has led to the creation of the world’s largest salt mine known as the Sifto Salt Mine; producers of Sift salt. This mine extends five km under Lake Huron and is situated on the cusp of what was once a large sea that covered North America over 400 million years ago.

Incorporating this locally produced ingredient into our diets may seem all too easy to do. I recommend approaching salt as a gourmet ingredient and tweaking it to improve its flavoring qualities. This is easily done by smoking your salt in this week’s recipe for smoked salt.

Smoked salt is easy to make and it keeps well in a sealed jar. Use it to season your foods as you would with regular salt.

 

Gourmet Smoked Salt

 

Ingredients:

2 cups of large crystal kosher salt

2 cups of mesquite wood chips soaked in water for an hour and drained

1 disposable aluminum pan

Method:

Set up your barbeque so that it is running around 350f for indirect grilling where one side is hot and the other not. Evenly distribute the salt on the aluminum pan and place it on the grill away from the heat.  Add the wood chips to the coals or place the wood chips into a smoker box and start smoking with the lid closed. Smoke the salt for at least an hour.

Let the salt cool down, and store it in a sealable jar.

 

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