A couple weeks ago, I was delighted to be invited to a Himalayan Salt Block Cooking Class at The Meadow, an artisan salt shop on Mississippi Avenue. I’ve been wanting to check out The Meadow for quite some time as my husband and I fancy ourselves foodies and I was glad to finally have the opportunity to do so.

The Meadow is five years old and was started as a flower and salt shop by Mark Bitterman and his wife. Shortly after opening, the couple added wine and chocolate to their offerings. It’s hard not to be charmed by the shop (or by the entire wall of fancy chocolate bars).

Bitterman started by simply slicing up some green apples and fresh mozzarella cheese. He placed these on a pink salt block (we learned the color comes from magnesium) and let them sit for a couple minutes. When it was finally time to taste, both the apple and the cheese have the perfect hint of salt to them.

Next, another salt block was warmed on a small camp stove (you can use your real gas stove or grill at home). Bitterman sliced flank steak and placed on the now hot salt block. After a couple minutes, he turned the pieces and another couple minutes later, the steak was ready to taste. And, wow. Just by cooking the steak on the salt block, it finishes perfectly seasoned. One of my very favorite things to eat is a well cooked egg, so I was very excited to see that even an egg can be cooked on a salt block. While the egg was cooking, we chatted about other proteins that can be cooked on a salt block like bacon, duck breast and scallops. Finally, the egg was done! Bitterman sprinkled truffle salt over the top, sliced it and let us taste it. Amazing!

For the grand finale, we learned how to prepare chocolate fondue in a salt bowl. Because chocolate is so dense, it won’t pick up the flavor of the salt, but heavy cream will. The bowl was heated to about 130 degrees and then chocolate pieces and heavy cream were added. After a bit of stirring, we were served what was perhaps the most delightful chocolate fondue I have tasted. Fondue that’s prepared in a salt bowl will stay liquid for hours – so this is a great dish to serve at a party.

If you’d like to learn how chill and grill with a Himalayan salt block, be sure to stop by The Meadow. They have all the supplies to get you started, as well as copies of the James Beard Award winning book “Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes.” And, if you’d like to see more pictures from my class, you can see them over on our Flickr page.

FTC Disclosure: I did not pay for the activity mentioned in this blog post, but my thoughts are my own.

about author Rhiannon West Chamberlain

Rhiannon is a native Oregonian who grew up exploring the nooks and crannies of the Oregon Coast and daydreaming in Powell’s City of Books. She now lives in NE Portland with her husband and her new baby boy and looks forward to teaching him to love Oregon as much as she does. Rhiannon attended both the University of Oregon and Portland State University, where she studied Journalism and Mass Media. She claims to ‘bleed green’ and happily cheers for both the Ducks and the Vikings every chance she gets. In her free time, Rhiannon enjoys sipping Oregon Pinot, finding new restaurants, bargain hunting and trying new recipes – sometimes successfully. She has a child-like enthusiasm for trying new things and rediscovering old ones – such as skee-ball, mini golf, and big slides.

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  1. gorillabuns says…

    how cool! i didn’t have a clue about this kind of cooking process!

    Written on July 12th, 2011 / Flag this Comment
  2. PinkieBling says…

    Amazing! I just read or heard about The Meadow the other day – I can’t remember where. I had no idea about this method of cooking, though.

    Written on July 12th, 2011 / Flag this Comment
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