This recipe courtesy of Salt Block Cooking by Mark Bitterman
• 1 (9- to 10-inch) square salt block
• ¼ cup fresh lime juice • ¼ cup Thai fish sauce • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil • 1 garlic clove, minced • 1 hot chile pepper, such as bird chile, habanero, cayenne, or Scotch bonnet, stem and seeds removed, minced • ¼ cup finely shredded carrot • 1 ¼ pounds large, wild-caught sea scallops (about 16) • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt Block Asparagus Rolled In Pancetta With Mostarda Dipping Sauce
Put yourself in a Fiat convertible en route to a salumeria off in the countryside outside of Bologna. A woman with a lead foot and hair like spun sugar is shouting in Italian about salt and pig, and you are shielding your face from the wind-whipped frenzy of her hair. You tilt your head back and look straight up at the sky, and the music from the radio and the sun wrap you up and lift you away. Later that night, drinking a cold beer on a crowded piazza, you open your bag and wrap fresh figs and raw string beans and Parmesan cheese chunks in cured pork, all slathered in the revelation that is mustard oil–infused fruit preserves. I am there with her now. Fry your bacon-wrapped asparagus on a salt block and dip it in homemade mostarda, and you won’t even wish you were there with us.
• 1 (8 to 10-inch) square or (9-inch) round salt block
• 2 tablespoons bitter orange marmalade • 2 tablespoons mustard oil (available in Indian groceries) • Juice of ½ orange (2 to 3 tablespoons) • 1 tablespoon chopped kalamata olives • 1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives • 1 pound green asparagus spears (36 pencil-thin, 24 crayon-thick, or 12 very thick) • 12 pieces thinly sliced pancetta (3 ounces) • 2 tablespoons olive oil • Freshly ground black pepper
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