How to Salt Food Properly

Here is a great article from Serious Eats on seasoning your food properly.

Almost every home cook I know has proudly declared, “I hardly use any salt in my cooking.” But when I ask them what makes restaurant cuisine taste so good, they all agree: it’s the salt.

If you think about it, we all blame salt.  “It’s too salty”. “It’s too bland”. “The salt is gonna kill ya’” So, how do we know enough is enough?

The trick: Season along all stages of the cooking process (not just the end) and continue to taste, taste, taste as you go.

That sounds easy enough.  Did you know certain ingredients make salt saltier?

To avoid overdoing it: Keep in mind that saltiness can change as food sits or shifts in temperature (as in the case of preparing something in advance and storing it in the fridge), or can concentrate as liquids reduce. It also tends to be absorbed or counteracted by adding dairy—keep this in mind when finishing a soup with heavy cream or a sauce with butter.

And if you’ve already overdone the salt?

If you’ve ovedone it: You can add a splash of cream or a dab of unsalted butter at the end. Starch, too, can have absorbing powers. Julia Child wrote that if you grate raw potatoes into a dish, let them simmer for 7 to 8 minutes, then strain, “they’ll have absorbed quite a bit of the excess salt.”

And one final unique tip:

practice salting food at a height of about 10 or 12 inches above it. The distance gives a better sense of just how much salt you’re trickling, and the granules will spread more evenly over the food’s surface.

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