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Last week I had the privilege of watching Chef Jimmy Schmidt cook at his restaurant, Morgan’s in the Desert, at the La Quinta Resort and Spa which is just outside Palm Springs.  He filleted a  massive wild salmon that had just been flown in overnight from Alaska, and served it over a quinoa ‘risotto’ with foraged chanterelle mushrooms. One of the things he had on his meticulously organized prep tray was a porcini mushroom salt.  I knew the minute I saw him blasting the dish with that rich dust that I had to go home and try to make some for myself.  I usually don’t use a ton of salt in my cooking, I consciously hold back, not so much for health reasons, but because I think that too much salt just masks the true flavors of food.  A little enhances, but too much masks.  I like the idea of a salt like this one that has more to offer.  In this case, porcini mushrooms are intensely earthy and richly flavored.  They grow wild in Italy, and they aren’t commercially cultivated, so you’ll usually find them in dried form here.  Because they’re dried, they are easily mixed with salt to …


Total time

0 minutes


Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp dried porcini mushrooms
  • ½ cup sea salt or Kosher salt (I used

Method

  1. Put the dried porcini mushrooms into a coffee grinder and grind until finely ground. This won't take long, probably under a minute. Do it in batches if they all won't fit in at once.
  2. Depending on the size of the crystal of the salt you are using, you may want to give some or all of it a quick pulse in the grinder, too, before mixing with the mushrooms. I used Malden salt, which is flaked, and I wanted it to have a slightly more uniform texture so I gave it a quick grind.
  3. Mix the salt with the mushrooms and stir thoroughly. Store in an airtight container.

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