Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Salt Crust Cooking
Ok- now for the fun stuff. :) One of our favorite tried and true techniques, Salt Crust Cooking. We use this technique a lot in the wood fired oven, and especially at parties.
This is a wonderful old technique that yields excellent results when cooking seafood. The concept is simple and easy, especially with a Wildwood wood fired oven. If you don't have our Soapstone Cookware yet this is your cue. We use the soapstone lasagna pan for this technique because of it's ability to retain heat. You'll only need a few items for this recipe: your chosen seafood, a box of Kosher salt, olive oil, herbs (thyme or oregano are both great); and a lemon. Head-on prawns, trout and lobster are all excellent seafood choices.
First, heat your oven to between 450-700 degrees. Meanwhile, place herbs and lemon slices inside your fish. The fish skin should be scaled and the gills an fins removed. Rub fish liberally with olive oil. Next you'll create the salt crust: first pour a thick layer of salt on the bottom of the cookware, then place the seafood inside, and lastly cover with a final layer of salt. Now that everything is ready, throw it in the oven!
Different seafoods will cook at different times. As a rule of thumb- wait until the seafood has stopped steaming profusely. Prawns don't take very long to cook- about 9 minutes. A 1.5 lb. lobster takes about 1-14 minutes, and the fish will take about 14-20 minutes. After your fish is finished cooking, crack the salt layer and take your fish out. Carefully dust all remnants of salt off, and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. The end result is seafood in its truest form, the taste is fresh from the ocean.
If you're looking for some carbs to go with your fish, we've had success pairing this rice dish with red snapper. Check it out, let us know what you think.