My schedule lately hasn't allowed much culinary exploration, so I went a little nerdy on ya.
I know, ... what a surprise ...
The ribs on Katies plate are flavored with Kosher salt and other seasonings, but if I could only have one, I would keep the salt and lose the others.
I am a late comer to the world of Kosher salt, which is merely a coarse, large grained salt. I had to buy some last year when we made the amazing Dinosaur Barbeque Pickles. After the pickle making, it sat there in it's box, awaiting the next batch of picklemakingmadness, when I happened to catch Bobby Flay cooking steaks on some foodnerd network.
He liked Kosher salt, thyme, and black pepper on his steak.
I tried it and now, Kosher salt and coarse black pepper are all I need on my steak. I'll save the thyme for gumbos and chowder.
Next to the ribs on Katie's plate is a pile of our family recipe, Selmo's salad. The dressing is a family heirloom, with some neat history, and contains no salt.
Instead, you salt the salad just before dressing it. In fact, the word "salad" literally means "salted greens".
Here too, salt is essential, although, I use regular table salt, since I want the salt to dissolve.
I can't tell you how many times someone has said to me, " I tried to make that Selmo salad dressing at home, but it doesn't taste as good as yours."
To which I always reply, "Did you salt the salad first? "
"Well, no, ...mumble, mew,mew whimper ... it seemed like a lot ...whine, whine ..."
"Ya gotta salt the salad ... WELL! Now, GET OUT OF MY SIGHT, YOU RECIPE DOUBTER!"
Salt is amazing stuff when you think about it ... combine a poisonous green gas (Cl) that would corrode your lungs in a single inhalation, with a highly reactive metal (Na) that explodes on contact with water, and you get a harmless seasoning (NaCl) to sprinkle on your popcorn.
Chemistry is wonderful!
...Yes, salt is harmless.
It's not the salt in your food America, it's the AMOUNT of salt in your food. Quit eating at fastfood restaurants and you won't have a salt problem. They dump it in and call it flavor.
Case in point ...
As a teenager, I remember working at the Maryland Fried Chicken restaurant in Crescent Beach , south of St. Augustine. We marinated the chicken pieces overnite in a "SECRET" blend of spices.
The SECRET seasoning mix was surprisingly uniform and white. It was salt, with very little else.
Did the chicken taste good?
Did a single chicken breast have a days worth of sodium in it?
Point is, if you stay out of certain restaurants and avoid processed ready made foods, you can afford to sprinkle some salt on your steak or your fresh salad and not worry about your blood pressure shooting up to danger levels.
In fact, salt is a necessary nutrient,
Katie's plate of food is not the only salty thing in the top picture. My baby girl contains about 7 tablespoons of salt in her perky little self. This would be in the form of sodium ions and chlorine ions dissolved in her blood and cytoplasm.
Perhaps the second best use of salt, besides making sweet people like Katie possible, is the recipe for seawater, 35 parts salt to 1000 parts water.
No salt, no Gulf of Florida ... and that, would be a very sad thing.