Steak Seasoning Mix

I find that many commercial seasoning mixes rely on the use of too much salt, so, with a little experimentation, I have settled on this seasoning mix as my go-to mix for beef; especially, for steak, roast beef, and finger streaks.

Steak Seasoning Mix Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Bay leaf (crushed or ground small)
  • 1 tablespoon dill seed
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon sodium free beef bouillon powder (Optional)
  • 2 tablespoons ground white or black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons paprika (optional)

Steak Seasoning Mix Directions

  • Thoroughly mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Store in a small sealed glass container on a cool dark cabinet or pantry shelf.
  • The mix can safely be stored for three or four months.

Steak Seasoning Mix Cook’s Note

  • White pepper is milder for those people who find the flavor of black pepper to strong.

Related References

Pepper in the kitchen

Ground Pepper
Ground Pepper

Pepper (Piper nigrum)

Along with salt, pepper (Piper nigrum) is on almost every table. Depending on the period of collection and/or processing undergone, the following groups can still be distinguished:

  • Black peppers  – the strongest in flavor, though picked when not quite ripe.
  • Green pepper – picked when still green but not allowed to dry; spicier than black pepper.
  • White pepper – matured when picked; has its outer skin removed, dried and sun bleached before ground; has a milder flavor than black pepper; blends well into white dishes like mashed potatoes.
  • Pink pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius)  – the least pungent. Caution:  This is a different plant and persons with nut allergies should avoid consuming this pepper.

Some common uses of pepper

  • A spice added to various dishes and sauces.
  • Aids digestion.
  • Relieves pain.
  • Alleviates respiratory congestion.

Some helpful pepper cooking tips

  • Use organically grown pepper to cook.
  • Always add pepper at end of cooking to reduce the loss of flavor.
  • To ensure good flavor for your peppercorn, buy them whole and grind yourself.
  • Use peppercorn in venison preparation as it complements its deep flavor.
  • A few peppercorns in the peppercorn shaker adds flavor and prevents clogging.
  • Five turns on your peppercorn shaker are equivalent to one-eighth of a teaspoon pepper.
  • Make for proper ventilation if cooking a recipe with lots of pepper on high heat to avoid irritation.
  • Sprinkling salt and pepper from different heights, make a more evenly distributed seasoning.
  • One-part fresh ground pepper should be mixed with four parts kosher salt in a small bowl for use in seasoning meat so as not to contaminate the salt box.

How to store pepper

  • Store in a tightly sealed glass container in a ventilated, poorly-lit and dry place.
  • Ground peppercorn can be stored with its flavor intact for up to three months, and whole ones almost indefinitely.
  • Opened peppercorn can be refrigerated in a brine; lasts up to one week.

Some top peppercorn brands include Indian tellicherry peppercorn considered the world’s finest, Morton’s Bassett brand, McCormick brand simply organic cayenne pepper etc.

Related References

Salt In the Kitchen

 

Salt In the Kitchen
Salt In the Kitchen

Salt

Salt, a very important ingredient in cooking has two basic ions- sodium and chloride, which easily penetrate food because of their smallness. Its types vary in color, shape, and size as well as in mineral content, texture and taste delivery. It is therefore imperative that one has basic knowledge of salts to enable him to make the right choice for his kitchen.

Basically, three major types of edible salts exist:

  • Unrefined salt – a sea salt with no chemical additives.
  • Refined salt – a rock salt with added folic acid, potassium, chloride and some edible chemicals that prevent caking.
  • Iodized salt – a refined table salt with iodine added to protect against thyroid issues like goiter, slow metabolism etc.

Within these major groups are many different choices:

  • Kosher salt: large-grained with a clean, bright taste and no additives except for its Morton brand which has an anti-caking agent. Its flavor and large grain make for easy pinching – a quality that helps control the quantity of salt that is added to food.
  • Table salt: fine-grained with added chemicals; made in factories.
  • Sea salt: usually appear in either large or fine crystal; made by evaporating sea water.
  • Flavor salt: a sea salt to which flavors have been added.
  • Grey salt: a hand-harvested sea salt that is naturally high in trace elements such as iron, calcium, and magnesium.
  • Hawaiian salt: a sea salt that is harvested from the waters off Hawaiian coastlines.

Some common ways of using salt

  • Balances brain fluids.
  • Preserves food.
  • Cleans dishwares and ovens.

Salting tips

Salt once added cannot be subtracted. Stock/sauce left to simmer for long gets increasingly more salty as it reduces. There is, therefore, need to apply utmost caution viz:

  • When making sauce or gravy, be very light-handed with salt until you taste at the end.
  • When cooking pasta, add plenty of salt to the water. This draws out the flavor making the pasta taste like the sea.
  • Brine meat to help it retain moisture while letting the liquid infuse; gives a more tender and favorable meat.
  • Pre-salt cuts of meat to tenderize tougher ones. The meat is more palatable.
  • Salt meat like chicken and lamb 24 hours before cooking; comes out tastiest.
  • Salt meat like pork just before cooking. This way, the salt does not draw out juices thereby making the surface wet and difficult to brown.
  • Add salt to water when blanching vegetable to add flavor.
  • Watery vegetables like eggplants which are prone to bitterness should be disgorged { slice or grate them; sprinkle a thin layer of salt on one side; allow to stand for 10 – 15 minutes}. If the vegetable is sliced, flip over and salt the other side too. Drain away and/or blot out any excess liquid or salt. This takes care of the bitterness.
  • Salt vegetables before roasting so as to enhance its flavor and play down the bitterness.
  • Salt steamed vegetable with the smallest bit of salt after steaming. This way, its inherent sweetness, and flavor is drawn out.
  • Salt grains and legumes when nearly cooked, as early salting toughens them.
  • In sautéing mushrooms, salt at the end. These guards against the possibility of drawing out water thereby inhibiting the desired brown, crispy surface.

Some salt brands and their one teaspoon equivalence of table salt:

  • Maldon sea salt –  2 teaspoons (3.5grams)
  • La Baleine. – 1 teaspoon (7.25grams)
  • Morton coarse kosher salt –  25 teaspoons (5.8grams)
  • Fleur de sel –  25 teaspoons (5.9grams)

How best to store salt?

Storage life for salt is indefinite so long as it is not contaminated. Although it is not perishable but serves better if served fresh, it should be stored as it is, away from rodents, dirt and toxic substances using waterproof, air-tight containers.

If it absorbs water from the atmosphere, it should be dried and crushed again.

Salts that have been flavored with herb, if exposed to air, can diminish in flavor. Such salts should be opened only when needed.

Iodized salt may, with time, turn yellow. It is still harmless and may still be used.

Common salts used in the kitchen

  • Table salt is best for brining and bulk seasoning because the fine and tiny crystals dissolve easily and penetrate deeply into the food.
  • Coarse sea salt with chunky crystals is perfect for red meat as it creates a crust on the meat.
  • Finer kosher salt does well as finishing salt. It is also excellent when cooking whole fish or game bird in a salt crust.
  • Morton’s sea salt with its fine delicate flakes is very good for roasts.
  • The finer version of La Belaine brand is an excellent choice for baking as it dissolves in very little liquids.
  • Iodized salt is great for people that don’t have sea food in their diet and may be iodine-deficient.
  • Red Hawaiian salt is excellent on pork.
  • Fleur de sel is added as a finishing salt to many different dishes like salads, fish, meat, desserts, fruits, and vegetables at the absolute last second, serving to give the dish that little extra pop just before it is consumed.

Related References