June 20, 2014 at 12:25 PM ET
For the latest installment of our "Imagine That in Your Kitchen" food trends series, we're paying homage to an an ingredient that's often overlooked: salt!
Sarah Sproule fell in love with salt, creating her own signature salt blends for her Manhattan company, Urban Sproule. Watch as she shows us how to take chicken wings, desserts and even margaritas to the next level with simple salt blends you can make at home. The best part? There's no wrong way to make your own blend, and it's a perfect way to make use of leftover herbs and wine — and a little bit goes a long way. Get the recipes below.
Red wine salt
Bring wine to boil in a medium sauce pot and then lower to a simmer and reduce to about 1/4 cup. Turn off the flame and let the wine cool and the pepper and thyme infuse into the reduced wine. When the wine is cool, pour through a strainer. This will be enough reduced wine to infuse over a pound of salt! For smaller quantities mix one cup of good quality sea salt with 1/2 TBSP red wine reduction stir together so that the salt is richly colored with the wine. Spread the salt out on a cutting board or lined sheet pan and let air dry over night! Your salt will be ready for use the next day! Use on steak, chocolate, strawberries etc.
Grind the fresh jalapeno in a spice grinder or food processor. Stir the ground jalapeno into 1 cup of sea salt. Incorporate well and use the back of your spoon to crush the pepper into the sea salt, releasing more of the spicy jalapeno oils into the sea salt. Spread the salt out on a cutting board or lined sheet pan and let air dry over night! Use this salt on the rim of margaritas any time of year.
Have leftover herbs? Here's a quick way to use them in a salt rub — great on fish or meat.