I have some big news and it's exciting! Starting this Sunday, this blog will also be run as a brand new column in the San Francisco Chronicle's Sunday edition (print and digital) and will be called A Brown Kitchen! There will be tasty things to cook and eat and lots of photos accompanying each and every recipe. A Brown Table is not shutting down, in fact, it's just the opposite, a lot more of my food will be coming your way! Never in my wildest dreams did I think that something like this would happen all through writing, cooking and photographing my food in this food blog! As always thank you for your support over the years! XOXO
What does one do with some 20 lbs of cherries and I think this might be a solution to a lot of those problems I encounter when I buy or get greedy picking way too many fruit at farms? Provided you can get someone to pit the cherries for you (insert spouse or kids here for said task), you do a whole lotta crazy stuff besides cooking dishes and desserts with them. You can and should also make this cherry salt.
It's an easy recipe, fresh cherry bits with Maldon salt flakes. As my friend Jenny says, it goes great with cherry flavored margaritas but you can use it season food too. I considered using cherry juice but the extra texture of the fruit embedded in the salt makes thing a lot more fun!
Note: I didn't provide any tips this time as I normally do, since there's not much to really look out for except one thing, check the pan occasionally to avoid burning. A little browning is good to get some complex flavors of caramelization but beyond that it is the easiest seasoning to prepare.
cherry infused salt (loosely adapted from Batch: Joel MacCharles and Dana Harrison)
yields: 1 cup
1 1/2 cups freshly pitted and chopped cherries (I used Bing cherries)
1 cup maldon salt flakes
1. Place the cherry juice and salt flakes in a medium sized bowl. Fold to combine. Wrap the bowl with clingfilm and place in refrigerator overnight.
2. The next day transfer the entire mixture into a oven-safe ceramic dish (a baking dish will work). Spread the mixture with the liquid in an even layer. Place the dish in a preheated oven at 325F on lower two-third's shelf and allow to dehydrate for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Check every 20 minutes to make sure the cherries aren't burning and the mixture is dehydrating. The juice will evaporate and large salt crystals will form. Some of the sugars in the cherry juice will caramelize a little and brown. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Once cooled transfer to an airtight container for storage. The salt should be good for about two months of stored properly.