Well, it’s time to write my first blog post and I know exactly what I am going to write about!
Last month I stumbled upon a facebook group called “Food in Jars“. It sounded interesting to me so I requested to join the group and browsed through a few posts to see what it was all about. I learned that this group is a community of like-minded people who are passionate about food, canning and aren’t afraid to be challenged.
The page admin, Marisa, started the year by creating monthly challenges, called Mastery Challenges, for its members. Each month she will post a topic or style of preserving and challenge us to step outside our box and try something new. I loved this idea as I have done my fair share of canning and preserving but there is still a lot I have to learn. I only joined this group mid February so I missed January’s challenge, but I couldn’t wait to get started with February’s challenge!
February Mastery Challenge – Salt Preserving
Now, there were many suggestions to help get us started for this challenge. Salt preserved citrus, salt preserved herbs, gravlax, cured egg yolks, sauerkraut, infused salts, etc. and of course we are welcome to try anything else that we could preserve with salt. I chose to try the salt preserved egg yolks and infused salts.
I followed a recipe for both of these loosely. For the egg yolks I used about a 3-1 ratio of kosher salt to sugar. I mixed both in a bowl then cover the bottom of a pan or casserole dish with half of the mixture. I separated the yolks from the whites (I chose to use only 4 egg yolks because I wasn’t sure how they would turn out), gently placed the egg yolks in the salt/sugar mixture, then carefully cover them with the rest of the salt/sugar. I covered the tray with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge for 4 days. This is what step 1 looked like…
I don’t know about you but I absolutely love the colour of these yolks!
Next step, I removed the tray from the fridge and rinsed the salt off the yolks. At this point, since they have been curing for 4 days, the yolks are solid but still a little soft. After rinsing them off I put them on a rack on a baking sheet and put them in the oven at its lowest temperature (mine went as low as 225F) for about 1.5-2 hours, or until the yolks were completely dehydrated. Another option was to use a food dehydrator instead of the oven, but the oven method was quicker and I am impatient!
The final result…
…beautifully, salty, grateable egg yolks! They have a very smooth, melt in your mouth texture and are perfect grated on top of salads, in soups and they even trick your eye enough to appear to be a cheese replacement for those of us who are lactose intolerant!
My second choice for salt preserving was infused salts. I chose to make chili lime sea salt.
Easily enough, I just grated the zest of a few limes, put them on a cookie sheet and dried them out in the oven at a low temperature, about 250F. I mixed that with some chili seasoning and fine grain sea salt. After mixing it all and tasting it I realized I started with wayyy too much salt and not nearly enough lime and seasoning. I took a small portion of the flavoured salt I had started, maybe about 1/2 a cup and added the juice of a couple limes and some more chili seasoning, spread it out on a cookie sheet and put it back in the oven until dry. When I took it out I mixed it around with a fork to break up any chunks that may have formed and put it into a mason jar for storage.
I love using this seasoning when I make homemade potato wedges, which is usually a weekly request from my girlfriend. How does that saying go…happy wife, happy life? 🙂
Here is the end result of the chili lime sea salt…
Well, this post was much longer than I had anticipated but I hope this has inspired you to try your own methods of salt preserving!
Thanks for reading,
Stay hungry, stay HAPPY!