Friday, December 24, 2010

Himalayan Salt Plate

I got this Himalayan salt plate from Nance for Christmas.. It's about a 9X13" slab and heavy (about 12lbs)! This is a really versatile product. It can be placed in the freezer and used for serving chilled foods or heated in the oven for serving hot foods. It can be used on a grill or stove top or in the oven.
Tonight I thought I'd try it to roast my rack of lamb. I wasn't quite sure about just placing the slab on the rack in the oven, wouldn't the juices of the roast run all over? I ended up placing it on a cookie sheet. I put it into a cold oven and preheated it as the oven preheated.
When the oven got to temperature I place both racks of lamb onto the salt slab. It's nice that the slab is large, I wasn't sure I would be able to get both racks on there but there was plenty of room. I roasted the rack of lamb as you normally would to the desired doneness. It looks good!
I removed the lamb to another tray to rest and left the salt slab in the oven to cool, only because I didn't have room to take it out at the time. I think with the slab being hot to begin with it cooks the meat a little faster. I guess it gave it a little extra salt flavor, but not much. It said that the more moisture the food has the the more salt flavor it would pick up. Plus, it the meat wasn't laying flat against the slab so that probably made a difference. I don't think it did a whole lot as far as added flavor but it was just kind of a fun and different cooking technique.
Now the problem... is this going to clean off ? I scraped off some of the crusted on bits but will I be able to get the lamb fat off? It said to clean with a scrub brush or scouring pad (no soap) but not to put under or submerge in water. It can also be wiped off with a damp cloth and put on a rack to dry completely. I guess since salt is a natural antimicrobial bacteria won't grow on it. The other problem is that the salt plate holds heat for a long time it can't be cleaned right away. I think it will be tomorrow before I can really try cleaning it. On the flip side if your serving hot food on it it will keep the food hot for several hours. I just went to check on the slab. It is still warm but cool enough to handle. It's been about 3 hours since I took it out of the oven so like I said it does hold the heat for quite a while.
I cleaned the slab..used a damp scrub side of a sponge and then wiped it with a damp paper towel.
I place the slab on another paper towel to absorb the fat drippings from the lamb then wiped it with a damp paper towel. I didn't want to scrub too much since you're wearing away the salt as you scrub. I guess it looks pretty good. I'll have to see if it still smells lambie tomorrow. Not sure what your supposed to do about the grease. It doesn't feel greasy but...

As you use the slab it will wear away eventually. It says when it gets to the point that it's too small or thin to use break up whatever is left of the slab and use it in a grinder or in the bath. So, save any little pieces of salt that chips off . Multi functional. I think I want another one to use for serving on.
I will have to use it a few more times before I know if it's worth cooking on. Like I said it's fun and a good conversation piece but does it do any thing special for the food? I think maybe I'll try a steak next time. I think my problem is that we like our meat so rare that it doesn't have time to absorb any saltiness. What if I put the steaks on the slab in the frige a day or two before cooking? Maybe I'll try grilling vegetables and see how that turns out. It will be fun to experiment.
p.s.~ does anyone have any idea about storage? Do I wrap it up, leave it as is? I still don't know where I'm even putting this thing. I put it back in it's original box with paper towels around it. I was going to wrap it in plastic wrap but I'm still worried the grease will get rancid.. Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's cool! I've never even heard of a salt slab. Neat gift idea ;-)

Jen Smith

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