Salting is one of the more ingrained habits in cooking, and according to Bitterman, all habits need to be questioned. He challenges you to think creatively about salting, promising that by understanding and mastering the principles behind it—and becoming familiar with the primary types of artisanal salts available—you will be better equipped to get the best results for your individual cooking style and personal taste. Whether he’s detailing the glistening staccato crunch of fleur de sel harvested from millennia-old Celtic saltmaking settlements in France or the brooding sizzle of forgotten rock salts transported by the Tauregs across the Sahara, Bitterman’s mission is to encourage us to explore the dazzling world of salt beyond the iodized curtain.
Mark Bitterman is a man truly possessed by salt. As “selmelier” at The Meadow, the internationally recognized artisan-product boutique, Bitterman explains the promise and allure of salt to thousands of visitors from across the country who flock to his showstopping collection. “Salt can be a revelation,” he urges, “no food is more potent, more nutritionally essential, more universal, or more ancient. No other food displays salt’s crystalline beauty, is as varied, or as storied.”
Winner – 2011 James Beard Cookbook Award – Reference & Scholarship Category
IACP Cookbook Award Finalist in two categories
Valentina Rice has scoured the country to find the most talented producers making the most innovative food. These renowned artisans share their signature recipes for this wholly original and accessible cookbook.
This collection of over 80 recipes will see you through every occasion, from a decadent French Breakfast to an exotic Indian Feast. Learn to make the fluffiest of scones from a master baker or the creamiest of croquetas from Spanish aristocracy. Valentina introduces you to this talented community of makers in this extraordinary collection of flavorful menus.
This is the definitive text on Himalayan salt blocks, written by the man who wrote the definitive text on salt. Enough with salting your food—now it’s time to food your salt!
“Mark Bitterman knows more about salt than anyone else on the planet. If you’ve ever wondered what to do with those handsome slabs of Himalayan salt you see at cookware shops, Salt Block Cooking will inspire you with wildly innovative uses you’ve never dreamed of, from cocktails to candy, from curing to grilling, and from ceviche to pizza. Along the way, you’ll learn the half-billion-year history of the only food that starts as a rock.” ––Steven Raichlen, author of the Barbecue! Bible series and host of Primal Grill on PBS
“Cooking on salt blocks will blow your mind, jump-start your creative process, make your food taste better, delight your friends, and cut down on the time you spend cleaning pots and pans. And what better guide for your new experience than Mark Bitterman, a man who has forgotten more about salt cookery than I will ever learn.” ––Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel
“Salt Block Cooking is an essential guide to working with salt blocks. It opens readers’ eyes to possibilities never imagined before and gives a unique perspective on a completely new and interactive way to cook. Mr. Bitterman has changed the way I cook every day. He made me understand that salt is the most essential part of the seasoning process and is just as important as the ingredient itself. I encourage you to follow Mr. Bitterman’s lead and I promise you will never think about salt in the same way again.” ––Vitaly Paley, chef/owner of Paley's Place Bistro and Bar, Imperial, and Portland Penny Diner; coauther of The Paley's Place CookbookA precious mineral mined from ancient hills deep in Asia has stormed the American cooking scene. With crystals of rose, garnet, and ice, Himalayan salt blocks offer a vessel for preparing food as stunningly visual as it is staggeringly tasty. Guided only by a hunger for flavor and an obsession with the awesome power of salt, award-winning author Mark Bitterman pioneers uncharted culinary terrain with Salt Block Cooking, which provides simple, modern recipes that illustrate salt block grilling, baking, serving, and more.
Everyone who loves the excitement and pleasure of discovering new cooking techniques will enjoy this guide to cooking and entertaining with salt blocks. The introduction is your salt block owner’s manual, with everything you need to know to purchase, use, and maintain salt blocks with confidence. The chapters that follow divide seventy recipes into six techniques: serving, warming, curing, cooking, chilling, and of course, drinking. You’ll find recipes ranging from a minty watermelon and feta salad to salt-tinged walnut scones, beef fajitas served tableside, salt-cured candied strawberries, and salt-frozen Parmesan ice cream!
Amanda Hesser, co-founder and CEO of Food52 and former New York Times food columnist, brings her signature voice and expertise to this compendium of influential and delicious recipes from chefs, home cooks, and food writers. Devoted Times subscribers will find the many treasured recipes they have cooked for years—Plum Torte, David Eyre's Pancake, Pamela Sherrid's Summer Pasta—as well as favorites from the early Craig Claiborne New York Times Cookbook and a host of other classics—from 1940s Caesar salad and 1960s flourless chocolate cake to today's fava bean salad and no-knead bread.
Hesser has cooked and updated every one of the 1,000-plus recipes here. Her chapter introductions showcase the history of American cooking, and her witty and fascinating headnotes share what makes each recipe special. The Essential New York Times Cookbook is for people who grew up in the kitchen with Claiborne, for curious cooks who want to serve a nineteenth-century raspberry granita to their friends, and for the new cook who needs a book that explains everything from how to roll out dough to how to slow-roast fish—a volume that will serve as a lifelong companion.