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       Volume I - January 19, 2007

Not All Kosher Salt is the Same
by Alice Osborne

Kosher salt: a coarse salt that gets its name from its use in the preparation of meat according to Jewish dietary guidelines. It's often thought to be saltier than table salt because the large, flaky crystals dissolve more quickly on the tongue. But the truth is, salt is salt; 1 pound of kosher salt contains just as much sodium chloride as 1 pound of table salt. In fact, because kosher salt weighs less than table salt by volume (when measuring with a spoon), more kosher salt is needed to get the same salty effect.

Chefs like using kosher salt-they feel it provides the cleanest, truest flavor, and it can be used like table salt in most cooking applications. The two most popular brands are made differently and therefore measure differently: If substituting Morton's Kosher Salt for table salt in specific recipes, increase the measurement by 50% (for example, from 1 teaspoon to 1½ teaspoons); if using Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, increase by 100% (from 1 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons).

Kosher salt is used in appetizers, side dishes and main courses. Among its many uses:

Encrusting: Mix Kosher salt with water to form a thick paste for encrusting meat and fish. After baking, the salt crust is discarded, leaving behind delicious and moist meat or fish. Encrust a beef roast, cook slowly for 4 to 5 hours, and you'll have the juiciest piece of meat you've ever tasted.

Brining: Soaking meat in a bath of water and Kosher salt adds flavor and juiciness to meats and seafood. It's a superb way to produce an exceptionally moist, flavorful Thanksgiving turkey.

Rubbing: Spice up the flavor of chicken or steak by using a Kosher salt rub. Mix the salt with other ingredients and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Then, bake, broil or grill the meat to your desired tenderness.

Here's an easy-to-prepare entrée using kosher salt that the entire family will love:

"Southwestern Rub:"

4 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground chili powder
2 tsp dried cilantro leaves
2 tsp dried onion flakes
Combine ingredients in small bowl. Store in airtight container in cool dry place until needed. Preparation time: 15 minutes.

General Rub Cooking:

Chicken or steak -- Sprinkle, then pat on about 1 teaspoon Southwestern Rub on each chicken piece or steak. Use additional Rub for whole bird or roast. Allow to marinate in refrigerator at least 30 minutes. Proceed to bake, broil or grill until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.

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