Test Kitchen Insider: Cooking with Chicharron Salt
Of course, it’s incredible as a sprinkle—on fruit like watermelon, homemade roasted pumpkin seeds, and (of course) fries. But by incorporating Chicharron Salt into a myriad of dishes and drinks, we got to know our little “Chicharronie Homie” on a whole ‘nother level.
Here are a few tips we learned along the way:
Pair it with Something Fresh
While this salt is great all year round, it's ideal for the dog days of summer because it pairs so well with fresh, late-summer produce. A quick pulse with tomatillos, lime, garlic, and cilantro makes a really nice salsa verde to serve with fish, grilled meats, or squash roasted with a dash of Chipotle Chili Powder.
Watermelon season is peak summer. It’s hard to imagine having extra watermelon around, but this Salted Watermelon Slushie is a very worthy alternative to eating it straight out of the rind (which you can also do, sprikled with Chicharron Salt of course). A few small peppery radishes blended with the mix play with the Chicharron Salt to balance out the sweetness of watermelon and citrus.
Pair it with Something Sweet
Salt and caramel is a magical combination, and the maple-bacon trend follows the same concept: a bit of savory, a bit of sweet, and complex flavors that defy an easy flavor label. Chicharron Salt adds depth and a fun (and perhaps surprising) twist into desserts and pastries.
The results of the trial run for our Chicharron Salted Caramel Cookies recipe, disappeared from the Test Kitchen almost immediately. For months after they were introduced, people repeatedly requested them for our monthly birthday treats.
Pair it with Something Savory
Pork and fish may not seem like a natural fit...until you try Chicharron Salt Crusted Trout. It’s easy to judge but try it once and you’ll be sold. The cornmeal makes a deliciously crispy and golden crust that stands up to a spicy, fruity mango-and-jalapeno salsa—if you’re into that sort of thing. The best part of the recipe is that the fish cooks in just a few minutes, so you end up with a super impressive dinner, fast.
If you’ve heard of avocado fries and haven’t tried them, you’re missing out. Avocado Tempura is the perfect snack for that avo-lover in your life, or use them as a filling for vegetarian tacos. Serve them with the aforementioned salsa verde and *insert heart-eye-emoji here*.
Bread making is an almost spiritual experience. Soft Pretzels are a great weekend cooking project. These are outstanding served with Spiced Mustard. If you love bread but don’t have the time to devote to homemade pretzels, try this incredibly easy bagel recipe (you’ll have it memorized after the first time) and top them with Chicharron Salt instead of Brooklyn Everything Bagel Blend (or make two batches and use both...or together!).