Kosher or sea salt? How to choose the right salt for each dish

(ARA) – Sometimes it’s all you can do to get dinner on the table after a busy day, much less come up with new ideas to make everyday foods flavorful and interesting. Yet two of the best-kept secrets of top chefs – kosher salt and sea salt – are ready to help you on a moment’s notice, anytime. Each type of salt has a different way of adding extra life to everyday foods.

That’s the advice of Alton Brown, a professionally trained chef and the award-winning host of popular television shows, whose love for cooking with kosher and sea salt is second only to his love for food. In addition to being an expert educator, entertainer and eater, Brown is a longtime kosher and sea salt enthusiast and the host of Salt101.com, a fun, interactive primer on the proper use of his favorite salts.

According to Brown, kosher and sea salts are must-have ingredients for creating flavorful foods and memorable meals. “The ability to use salt is critical to good cooking. It allows you to turn up the volume on certain flavors, fine tune others and create culinary harmony,” he says.

But cooking with kosher and sea salt doesn’t have to be complicated to create great taste. “Seasoning with salt is best done throughout the cooking process,” says Brown. “That doesn’t mean more salting; it just means smart salting.”

Great flavor, precise measuring

Kosher salt allows you to create restaurant-style flavors in the foods you prepare at home. You can use it bring out the flavor in everything from main dishes to dessert. In fact, using kosher salt, is “easy as apple pie … which by the way is better with a little kosher salt on it,” says Brown.

“As salt dissolves in the mouth, it winds its way into your taste buds and electrically stimulates the many taste receptors found there. If the right amount is used, the result is an amplification of flavors. My favorite is Diamond Crystal kosher salt because it is born as a pyramid-shaped crystal. It’s ideal for cooking because its multifaceted crystals offer exceptional texture and precise measuring and control,” Brown says.

To watch an easy demonstration on mastering the perfect “pinch” of kosher salt to use in cooking, visit Salt101.com.

Authentic, all-natural flavor

The use of sea salt in prepared and premium quality foods is another trend influencing the way people cook with salt. Use this salt at home to recreate the distinctive sea salt taste as found in gourmet foods.

“Sea salt’s flavor is pure, clean, unadulterated, but what makes it the perfect finishing touch is its unique texture, which manages to be coarse and delicate, crunchy and melt-on-your tongue at the same time. Personally, I like Diamond Crystal 100 Percent California Sea Salt because it’s completely all-natural with no additives,” Brown says.

Alton Brown’s tips for cooking with kosher salt and sea salt

Use these easy tips from Alton Brown to spice up your everyday meals:

* “Tossing a russet potato in a bit of oil and plenty of kosher salt before baking, unwrapped of course, will produce what I feel certain is the best baked potato on earth,” Brown says.

* Cooking dry pasta in a gallon of boiling water seasoned with a tablespoon of kosher salt will produce a better-tasting final dish than if you salt after cooking.

* “By themselves, most radishes are, how shall I say … boring, undimensional, all sharp and no play.” Brown says. “But bring a bit of sea salt to the party and radishes bloom … flavor-wise.”

* Vegetables sauteed with a few pinches of kosher salt will have a better texture than unsalted and they won’t require as much salt at the table.

* “The last thing I add to fruit salad is indeed sea salt … a mere pinch can bring out the natural sugars and help to underline the complex, aromatic compounds,” Brown says.

For more information call (888) 385-SALT, or visit www.Salt101.com.