So here is something interesting. I picked up the new book from Michael Mina the other day. Actually it arrived in the mail as most of our books do. I opened the book and just began thumbing through the pages as I like to do with new books. It gives me a quick glance at the book and either entices me to read further or set it aside for when my new book supply dwindles.
Here is the rub. As I turned the pages my head began to spin. The book is organized in trios, an approach Mina takes to dishes at his eponymous restaurant. The book has a lot going on. At first I became daunted by the organization and complexity of the recipes. Mind you I have not sat down and begun reading the book, I am just turning pages. This is just my first reaction. And I paused. I came across a recipe for ginger salt. In the book, Mina minces candied ginger and blends it with Hawaiian pink salt. I found that to be quite clever and it sparked a number of ideas.
What if instead of mincing candied ginger and blending it with salt, we soak the candied ginger in a salt solution, drain it, mince it and dehydrate it? We will then have a sweet and salty ginger salt similar in texture to sel gris. That excites me. In fact, we could then extrapolate further and try soaking other dried fruits in the salt solution, adding some sweetener if necessary and then mincing and drying again. We could make apple salt, apricot salt, strawberry salt, pineapple salt, the list goes on like the imagination. And then, what if we used something like miso instead of salt in the solution? Imagine the possibilities.
So, I will go back and sit down with the book and take the time to delve into the writing and recipes. If I am able to gain such a profound (at least for me) inspiration from just tripping over a recipe for a seasoning I can only imagine what other ideas will be inspired and unlocked from really paying attention.