Favorite Dishes of 2021!
Mariani Family Chefs Inspire!

Spring Food Stuff, Salt & Pantry Cleaning

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I hope this finds you well and you are getting a taste of Spring where you are. Here in Charleston, Spring has sprung with warm weather! Softshell Crabs, asparagus, strawberries, and a plethora of other Spring ingredients are abundant in local farmer's markets. Here are links to a couple of previous posts from last Spring, to save me from repeating them! Spring in the Lowcountry 2021 

Soft shell Crabs!

 

Pantry Cleaning? You might ask. Recently, I realized recently that my spices and salt collections were becoming a little out of hand. Let's start with Salts. Every Chef worth their salt, knows the importance of salt.

Salt, perhaps and, is the single most important ingredient in the kitchen. This goes for not only Chefs in fancy restaurants or any food service operation, but also for the home cook. Salt can frankly make or break any dish. Used incorrectly, too much or too little and the dish is off. If it is over salted (too much), it can blow the effort of cooking in its entirety. Under salting (not enough), it is easier to fix by simply adding more salt. However, if not corrected the dish will underwhelm the person on the receiving end. Cooking at home or, in a professional kitchen, I prefer to use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt for cooking because of its clean nature. I most often use Maldon Coarse Sea Salt as a finishing salt for many dishes because it has just the right amount of salinity to not overwhelm, and flake feel that can easily be ground with the fingers while sprinkling on a dish. Both are available in the sidebar market on this blog.

Pantry Purge. Spices once hulled, ground, or rubbed begin to diminish in potency and quality. Fresher is better in the case of most things' food; spices are no exception. As I pulled them all from the pantry to sort through, consolidate and toss odd containers along with ones I felt were too old, I had a thought! Why not blend most of these random spices and create a "random rub" rather than discard in the trash? With the caveat, if it smells bad, rancid, or musty, it would be tossed. Otherwise, all were fair game. I am pleased to announce the experiment is a success! I used random rub on steaks prior to grilling and they were delicious. Consolidating random spices into a singular rub yielded a pint full after grinding and blending. I will be trying on other proteins and vegetables prior to cooking.

Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts regarding random rubs, spring cooking and other ingredients. Now get busy! 

Happy Spring Cooking & Pantry Purging. 🔥🌴

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