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30.4.14

CHEF’S SALT


One of the perks of writing a food blog is the virtual contact you make with nice people. László lives hours away and we never met, but from time to time we exchange e mails about food, politics and religion; yes you can do that with likeminded people. László recently sent me three of his treasures, written by famous Hungarian chef Louis Szathmáry. Szathmáry has a handful of Hungarian recipes in the three volumes. As the chef owner of The Bakery, a Chicago restaurant that used to be of international standing, Szathmáry’s books are a goldmine of experience. Szathmáry earned a degree in psychology in Budapest, but then he spent his life cooking for diplomats, aristocrats and famous people in Europe and in North America.


A couple of years ago László sent me photocopies of Szathmáry’s newspaper column, so imagine my delight when he offered me three of his books! From cover to cover these books are jam packed with advice; these are not just recipes. Thank you László! 

What recipe to pick first, and then I thought what would be more unique than the Chef’s Salt? It is to be used instead of salt and I thought it would be a fitting tribute to a generous chef as well as to my foodie friend László. Here it goes, it’s quite simple really and I am eager to try it myself. I am packing it away in a wide mouth mason jar and will use a pinch from it occasionally. No doubt, Chef’s Salt will show up in future recipes. 

1 cup salt 
1 Tbsp Hungarian or Spanish paprika 
1 tsp ground black pepper 
1/4 tsp ground white pepper 
1/4 tsp celery salt 
1/4 tsp garlic salt 

Szathmáry warns: Be careful to use garlic salt and not garlic powder. If you use garlic powder a small pinch will be enough. 

 • Combine ingredients and use instead of salt.

Read more in the Chicago Culinary Museum's Chef's Hall of Fame: Tribute to Louis Szathmáry



8 comments:

  1. Coloured or flavoured salts seem to be one of those fads that come up in cooking periodically. I have regular (iodized) salt and coarse sea salt in my house and am curious what kind you use on a regular basis. I don't buy onion or garlic salt any more, just regular onion or garlic powder, as I'm trying to cut back on the amount of salt I use in my cooking. I also don't use celery salt. In fact, I'm curious what one does with it on a regular basis.

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    1. The same. You wouldn't use onion or garlic salt in addition to regular salt, it would be used instead. I had my jars for years. [salt does not go bad] I bought them when my husband was trying out different recipes for his smoked salmon. Actually I didn't have celery salt at home, I replaced it in the recipe with celery seeds. :-)

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  2. I don't think I have any celery seeds ... I'll check and put it on my list for that long postponed trip to the Bulk Barn. I'm almost out of cinnamon and I like to browse for herbs and spices I've never tried whenever I go there. :) The salt mixture above does look very attractive.

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    1. Meanwhile I got a note from Laszlo. He wrote "I have been using the chef's salt for years, and even my wife seems to prefer it." I am cooking salmon tonight and I will use chef's salt. A good place to start, because I am not a seafood fan. Chef's salt could make the fish more palatable yes? I will let you know how it worked out.

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    2. I used to soak the salmon in oriental cooking wine, which made it more palatable for me. I omitted it last night and lightly sprinkled it with chef's salt for 30 minutes. The salmon was really enjoyable and the flavour it gave to the fish was nearly undetectable and I have a keen sense of flavour. So it changed the salmon for the better, but I can't say it added a distinct flavour to it. I sprinkled some on the carrots and the potatoes too and there again, it did not alter their flavours, but it did enhanced them. I am not even putting the jar up the shelf, I will be using it daily.

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  3. Zsuzsa, I have been making chef's salt for years...maybe not so identical, but similar. I also have a jar of Italian che's salt, keep both kind in the freezer, and it lasts for a long time. Very interesting story about this famous chef...wow! what an honor for you!

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    1. Yes it is Elisabeth, I picked out half a dozen or so recipes to try in the future. I admire the man for adapting to the North American food culture flawlessly and with such ease that I could never muster myself. My tug of war antagonism toward NA food remains and the funny thing is European and Hungarian cuisines were far more receptive than I was. All I have to do is look at the new recipes in Hungarian and this becomes evident. The stugged maintenance of my grandmother's way of cooking is a bit of a hindrance at times. Somebody once called me an Ízőrző, but maybe I am just outdated.

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    2. Oh and I figured you would use chef's salt being a chef and all. :-)

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I began to post recipes for my family and it turned out to be a work in progress. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has over 900 recipes of Hungarian and international recipes. My recipes are organized into a cookbook format. On top of the page click on the cookbook to get access to all my recipes. If I ever figure out how to add a printer friendly gadget I will add it. In the meantime feel free to cut and paste. Happy cooking!

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