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Take Christmas Lunch to the next level with The Salt Chef, Craig Cormack

Chef Patron, Craig Cormack from the SALT Road and SALT@Waterford that he runs with Beau du Toit, shares one of his secret recipes on how to take your Christmas lunch or dinner meal to the next level.

As the salt experts, Craig and Beau, believe in incorporating salt into every aspect of your meal. For this recipe they have used a Himalayan Salt Slab, something many of us have either been given as gifts and not terribly sure what to do with it or have thought about getting but once again were not too sure how to get the most out of it!

Serves 8
For the salmon Gravlax: 
850 gr fresh salmon
2 large blocks Himalayan salt
For the Garnish:
20g capers, deep fried
40g cream cheese
3 thin slices Red onion
10g baby green leaves / Micros
Grissini – very thin slices of bread, toasted
8 lemon wedges

30 ml olive oil for garnish

Pin bone the side of salmon (remove all bones with fish pliers).
Using the Himalayan salt blocks, place the salmon trout sides on the block, then, on top of the trout, place more blocks so as to cure the fish for 1 hour.

Once cured, rinse salmon and slice thinly with a sharp knife to get thin slivers.
Arrange them onto a plate or salt block.

With a dollop of cream cheese, deep fried capers, lemon, grissini and red onion. Lightly sprinkle with baby leaves or micros and olive oil.

When you cook food on a Himalayan salt slab, the moisture from the food draws the salt from the slab, adding rich flavour and trace minerals to the dish. Himalayan Salt Slabs are very versatile – they can be heated up to 250°C and frozen to -20°C, making it an exciting way to serve both hot and cold food. It’s ideal for grilling meat in the oven or braai and can also be used to cure fish like trout.

Important points to remember when using a Himalayan Salt Slab
• Only use a pure Himalayan salt slab.
• They are great for cooking either on the stove, on the braai, or in the oven.
• They are perfect for freezing and serving cold food.
• They are full of all sorts of trace minerals, imparting a rich flavour to food impossible to get with conventional salt.
• Moisture helps to draw salt out of the slab, so make sure food is as dry as it can be before laying it on the slab.
• Do not use additional seasoning, as the slab will add all it needs.
• The longer food is in contact with the slab, the saltier it will be, so wait to plate until the last minute, and cook food quickly.

• To use on a braai: Heat gently on a cool side of the fire for 15 minutes, and gradually move to the centre to heat fully. Cook on the slab on the fire for as long as you like or remove to an insulated surface where it will cook for about 20 minutes.

To use in the oven: Put the slab into a cold oven, and let it preheat with the oven. When the oven is hot and you’re ready to cook, place your food directly onto the slab. Start your temperature at 120 c, for 40 mins, 200 c for 30 mins and then 250 c for 30 mins, the slab should turn a  whitish colour and make a sound like its crackling.

To use on the stove: Heat on a medium flame for about 15 minutes, then turn up the heat for another 15 minutes. Cook directly on the slab for as long you like or remove to an insulated surface to cook for about 20 minutes.

To serve: Freeze overnight, and serve food directly on the slab. Serve at room temperature.

Care Instructions
•Make sure to heat the salt slab slowly, to ensure even heating – heating it too quickly can result in large cracks appearing, reducing the life of the salt slab, possibly resulting in shattering.
•This product is made from natural Himalayan salt, and it will have natural striations and rough edges.
•To clean, remove any solid food pieces and wipe with a cloth, I rinse my blocks when cold under cold water, dry off with a cloth.

•Store dry for best results

For more information, please visit:
Facebook – @TheSaltRoadZA
Instagram – @thesaltroad

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