Intro: Table Salt Cones
Here is a different way to serve salt to your guests with their meal.
Each guest has a small dish with a delicate cone of slightly hardened salt by their plate. When they want some salt, they pinch some off the cone and rub it between their fingers, sprinkling it on their food.
I've experienced this at several of the nicer restaurants in San Francisco, and wanted to try it for myself. Here are the results of my experiments.
Step 1: Materials
You will need:
a cup of Kosher salt - you should use a salt with course grains, but not too heavy
CLEAN paper - this will be in contact with one of your condiments
tape - to hold the paper in a cone shape
cups, spoons for mixing and holding
a microwave - to dry these out
Step 2: Make a Paper Cone
Take a piece of CLEAN paper. (remember, this is food prep work you're doing here) I used a sheet of 3" x 3" notepad (ripped out of the middle of the stack). Put a piece of tape along one edge and roll it into a long cone. Try to keep the pointy end of the cone closed.
Step 3: Wet the Salt
Fill a small cup about 3/4 full of the Kosher salt. Very slowly add a little clean water at time, while mixing throughly with a fork or spoon. You do not want the salt to dissolve (if it does it turns into a cement like substance after cooking).
When the salt begins to look like big fluffy snow flakes you should have enough moisture added.
You may want to experiment with how much moisture you want before making a table full of these. Too little moisture and your cone will fall apart or be too delicate to move, too much and it will turn to stone.
Step 4: Pack the Cone and Cook
Pack the wet salt into the cone firmly with your spoon. Try to make the bottom as flat as possible, You will want them to stand on the one end when they're done.
Stand your cones up in a cup and put them in the microwave for as long as you cook popcorn (2-3 min). This should dry all the moisture out of the salt.
Step 5: Unwrap Your Cone and Serve
Be careful when you pull these out of the microwave, they will be hot. Carefully unwrap the paper from your cone. scrape the bottom (the wide end) flat so that it will stand up straight.
Please each cone on a small flat bottomed dish or plate and serve to your guests.