“A flavored salt is one of the simplest and most basic ways of finishing a dish–-it’s so easy and tasty, yet hardly anyone does it”– Jamie Oliver
If you’ve finished vacuuming the drapes and alphabetizing the spice rack, you might want to try making some seasoned salt. Just kidding. The question is: Should you be trying to compete with Mrs. Dash, or McCormick, or Lawry, or Penzy in creating flavored salts? The answer from British celebrity chef and restaurateur, Jamie Oliver, is a resounding: Yes!
The blend of table salt, herbs, spices and other flavorings—sometimes MSG, as in Accent—is used to give zip to the things we love: meat, roasted vegetables, eggs, soups, chips, fast-food. Chefs often concoct their own blends, that they rely on for seasoning dishes. Home cooks are following suit.
I’ve kept Paula Deen’s classic blend by my stove for years. The simple recipe is shown below. I’ve also included a 7-ingredient knock off of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, that you can make from ingredients you likely have on your spice rack.
Paula Deen’s Seasoned Salt
- 1 cup salt
- 1/4 cup pepper
- 1/4 garlic powder—though I add some onion powder to it as well.
DIY Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
- 2 Tbs. salt
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 tsp. each of turmeric, onion powder, garlic powder and cornstarch
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Pour blend into a spice bottle with shaker top. Makes 1/4 cup.
Other DIY Salt Flavorings
It’s easy to make a blend that suit your family’s taste. What’s more, you can put your concoctions in cute little glass jars with labels for your kitchen or for gifts. Below are several salt flavorings that are fun to play with. Other salt blends on the Internet are far more exotic; I leave you to pursue them on your own.
Porcini Salt: Using a spice grinder, pulse dried 4 oz. porcini mushrooms until finely ground and combine with 1 cup sea salt. (Country Living)
Bacon Parmesan Salt: In food processor pulse until blended: 1 cup iodized salt; 1/4 cup cooked bacon bits; 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese. (The Cookie Rookie)
Ranch House Salt: Mix 2 Tbs. buffalo wing sauce; 1 Tbs. dry Ranch seasoning; 1 cup sea salt. Pulse all ingredients in food processor. Spread on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 170 degrees for 2 hours, flipping salt every half hour. Pulse again in food processor to fine consistency. (The Cookie Rookie)
House Blend: 1/4 cup kosher salt; 4 tsp. black pepper; 1 tsp. paprika; 1 tsp. garlic powder’ 1/2 tsp. onion powder; 1/2 tsp. ground red pepper. Stir together all ingredients and keep in airtight container. (allrecipes)
Taco Seasoning Mix: 2 tsp. chili powder; 1 tsp garlic powder; 1 tsp. cornstarch; 1 tsp. ground cumin; 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper; 3/4 tsp kosher salt. Combine all ingredients and use to season taco meat mixture. (southernfood)
There is one seasoning that I keep on hand, that’s technically not a salt: Penzey’s Sunny Paris. It’s one of their most popular salt-free seasonings. Great for Cornish hens, chicken, eggs, vegetables, and veal. You can sprinkle it over salads, potatoes, or rice, or mix 1 tablespoon with 1 cup yogurt for use as a dip or dressing. The blend is a combination of purple shallots, chives, green peppercorn, dill weed, basil, tarragon, chervil and bay leaf. Can’t go wrong there.
America’s Test Kitchen suggested using a small Krups Fast-Touch Coffee Grinder (about $20 at Macy’s and Amazon) for grinding spices, though they caution not to use it for both coffee and spice grinding, because of the crossover of flavors. But a food processor or blender works well, too.