Along with the shitake kombu rub, he’s currently dialing in other recipes such as smoked varieties he gets to test when they turn the restaurant’s smokers on for bacon, tuna belly, and a variety of fish.
“With The Salty Shoreman I want to be food oriented if you will. Crab boil spice, Jersey shore, New England—geographical spice blends but all revolving around the ocean,” he says.
His research process consisted of the usual: trial and error following online reading, Youtube, and a documentary or two.
“I saw there are other companies out there that do it: Maldon, Jacobson Salt Co. out in Oregon. There are a couple other ones. You know, Morton’s owns the salt world, but that’s a shitty salt world. Iodized table salt—American salt that everyone is used to. And everyone’s into the black salt, the Himalayan salt, the red salt, the fused salt—they add interesting notes to dishes and definitely have an effect,” he says.
“For cooks—l don’t know why or how—the standard is red diamond kosher, at least everywhere I’ve ever cooked. It’s wiggled its way into being the standard for every recipe book. Nobody’s writing recipes for Morton’s iodized salt. Everybody’s writing recipes for red diamond kosher. Even if you’re using Morton’s Kosher, it’s weird, it feels weird in your hand. A cup of Morton’s kosher definitely weighs differently than a cup of Red Diamond Kosher. It’s funny, I never thought about it until right this second—it’s interesting and I’m wondering why Red Diamond is the standard and how it got to be that way.”
He pauses and adds, “at the end of the day, the sea salt is just amazing.”
And the whole coarse to mining the sea started with the very bread I was watching him prep for dinner service.
“We churn the butter [to go with it] in house. That’ the whole [three-way] combo that started it all,” Miller says.
“Like anything else, you go through phases of obsession. This winter, I got really into bread making. Learning about it,” his dough cutter regular thumbing into the metal prep table.
“It was how to cheat at it because [at the time] I was in a house with an electric oven which makes for horrible conditions to bake bread in. But I got it right through reading and research, using my own yeast, and then getting the salt to where I was super happy with it.”
I talk about the experience of eating the combo of sourdough, creamy house churned butter, and sea salt all night long with red wine the previous night.
“And the sea salt, it doesn’t taste like regular sea salt; it has a funk or something to it,” Miller says.
“I’m not able to describe it because I’m not too sure what it is. I thinks it’s just an umami, ocean funk, like you just hopped out of the ocean, licked your lips kind of flavor. And then good bread man—those three things are just incredible.”
I mention that Eric Ripert claimed that very combination, along with red wine, for his proposed last meal in the book, “My Last Supper”.
“You add cheese and I’m right there with him,” Miller laughs.
CONTINUE READING >