Monday, December 6, 2010

I is for Iron Foodie Ingredient Sampling, part 2

Ideally I'd've talked about this _before_ posting my Iron Foodie entry recipe, but, well, Tech Week interfered. Consider this a prequel. : )

The Marx Foods Box of Mystery contained two ingredients that, in my opinion, needed a platform for useful/accurate tasting:

- Smoked Salt
- Tellicherry Peppercorns

(Of course you _can_ eat pepper and salt plain, but they don't tend to taste very good that way.)

What I did:

1) I equipped myself with a couple of steaks. Salt and pepper are the only things I like to put on a steak (credit to Alton Brown's I'm Just Here for the Food for this preference), so I figured this would make the differences between basic salt and pepper and the gourmet versions pretty apparent.

Salts on the left, peppers on the right. Grinder with the special pepper indicated by the purty pink ribbon.

2) I salted and peppered each side of the steaks and let them sit for 20 minutes while the broiler preheated.

Regular pepper on the left steak, Tellicherry on the right. Smoked salt across the top, regular table salt across the bottom.

3) I put the steaks in the broiler, 5 minutes per side.

4) I let the steaks rest as long as I could bear (seven minutes in this case) and served with sides of my choice (tots! brussels sprouts!)

How Did it Go?
- The Smoked Salt has a really, really strong scent before you cook it, which, to be honest, worried me a bit. It seemed that it could easily be overpowering. Fortunately, this was not the case. Cooking mellowed it out a little, while letting it keep the smokey edge. It worked really well with steak, and I bet would be good with lamb as well.

- The Tellicherry Peppercorns seemed to be both more and less subtle than your average black table pepper. The pepper taste was gentler, but the heat level was cranked up. *Full disclosure: I did go ahead and eat one of each type of peppercorn, just to confirm this impression. Whew. It confirmed both that opinion, plus my notion that eating pepper plain is just not a good idea.

If you'd like to see what I wound up doing with these ingredients, click here to see my Iron Foodie recipe: Toasted Ravioli.

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