I love having interesting spices/blends in my cupboard. Za’atar is one that I use often on grilled chicken, and pita chips. I always have seasoning blends on hand for rubbing on meats for barbecuing or sprinkling on potatoes to give them some oomph. Adding a little kick to some basic salt seemed like a natural addition to my pantry. Popcorn will never be the same.
I’d read about salt flavoured with hot sauce some time ago and decided to finally try my hand at it. The original recipe wasn’t exactly spicy, though. Not in amounts that didn’t make food too salty. So I played.
When choosing the hot sauce for this, I went with a thicker one. I felt like a thin sauce would dissolve the salt too readily. I also added cayenne. Play with the amount, using your preference and the heat of the sauce as your guide. You could use chipotle or ancho or any other pepper that you like. A teaspoon of smoked paprika will add another dimension, giving you a distinctly different spiced salt.
makes 1/2 cup
- 1/2 cup kosher or coarse sea salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons thick hot sauce
- 1/8 -1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Combine the ingredients thoroughly and spread the salt in a thin layer on a large baking sheet. Leave it to dry for a day or two, stirring a few times. If it’s humid, or you want to speed things up, pop the pan into a 300F oven for an hour or two, giving the salt a stir now and then.
Store in an air tight container for up to 6 months. Use on everything, like, like popcorn, potatoes, caramel sauce or this grilled zucchini.
Grilled Zucchini with Spiced Salt
This is more of a method than a recipe. I started with some small, tender zucchini, halved. If yours are larger, try cutting them into a few thick slices.
Get your grill fairly hot, but not so hot as to burn your veg. Score the flesh in a diamond pattern and brush them all over with oil (try your favourite olive oil). Sprinkle them liberally with your spicy salt and a little black pepper, if you like. Place the slices onto the preheated grill. Keep an eye on them so they get nice grill marks but don’t burn, turning them to cook both sides. You want them to be tender, but still have a little bite. Remove them to a plate & sprinkle with a little lemon or lime juice and some fresh herbs (I used thyme).
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