We’re at the tipping point of the year when the hot humid summer is over and cooler days and evenings are beckoning. Technically this means we should be getting outside and enjoying the fresh air and Dubai winter, after all we’ve being waiting for this since April!
But it seems Netflix have different plans for me in the form of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, a four-part series that I binge watched last weekend.
At the heart of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, is chef and food writer Samin Nosrat who explores the four essential elements to good cooking. Each episode covers one of the elements above with Samin traveling to Italy, Japan, Yucatán and back to Berkeley, California to round off her travels.
Samin is an Iranian-American chef and food writer whose and this mini series literally left me drooling. I haven’t come across Samin before so thanks Netflix for a superb introduction!
The four elements
Without giving too much away, I really want you to watch this yourself here’s some of my takeaways:
Samin uses way more salt than I would imagine using, and now I understand the reasons why. So far my salt experiences have been confined to flavored and smoked salt, time to experiment some more!
I’ve never been a fan of the ‘low fat’ approach. So this is one area that I’m fully on board with! Not only does fat add flavour, it also adds texture and Samin cleverly explains how.
Samin gets a big yay from me for exploring the use of acid (and spice) in food to balance dishes. She explores using different kinds of fruit as one of the sources of acid, and also gives easy to find alternatives in her recipe book if you can’t source everything.
Heat transforms food and Samin cleverly demonstrates some great techniques to make cooking flavourful and tasty! The buttermilk roast chicken literally left me drooling. Whilst cooking traditional dish of Persian rice with her mum added a sense of nostalgia and tradition.
Learn to use all of your senses—including common sense—to determine which level and source of heat to use – Samin Nosrat
Culinary Travel experiences
In each episode Samin also gets to meet some amazing people who are passionate about cooking and ingredients. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is as much about them sharing their knowledge and passion with her as it is about Samin enjoying learning from them.
Want to get your Salt Fat Acid Heat Fix?
Salt Fat Acid Heat was released on Netflix in October 2018
Check out the Salt Fat Acid Heat website which includes quite a few recipes from the series. The buttermilk chicken is on my list, I just need to source a good chicken to do justice to her recipe.
Read the Book
Salt Fat Acid Heat is also a book which is on my Christmas wish list. It looks stunning and at over 400 pages long is going to be a big read. My only reservation is that I love pouring over cookbooks for the photos of the dishes as well as the recipes. I’m not sure how many photos are in the book as yet. But her style seems to be using illustrations instead of photos. Of course, that doesn’t distract from the recipes and stories behind the dishes and ingredients, just my visual pleasure!
And finally, Samin if you are reading this, Can we be friends?
Samin is the sort of Chef that you want to be your best friend, well I do anyways! Her energy, enthusiasm and zest for all things food related makes you want to travel and explore with her. Even better to cook with her and share the table with her and her friends. I’m not a professional chef but her recipes and passion really resonate with me and make me want to get in my kitchen and cook!
What I love about her style is that it’s passionate and indulgent but with an explanation of why. She doesn’t shy away from using plenty of everything her recipes. There’s no shying away from fat, it’s what makes food taste good! She doesn’t shy away from salt or acid, using both liberally and explaining why you should too! And as for heat, use your common sense she says and yes, you should!