Pink Himalayan salt mined in Pakistan has caught the fancy of chefs, who have been using grains of it for seasoning, hunks of it for decorative accents and slabs of it for serving. Many food shops sell it in fine and coarse crystals.
Now, quartz-like slabs of it that can be used for cooking at home are being sold.
The thick 8-by-11-inch piece of solid salt can be placed directly on a stove burner and heated gradually; it will not melt. Lightly brushed with butter or oil, it will fry eggs that come away with quite enough salt. The same goes for jumbo shrimp, fish steaks or fillets, thin slices of beef and Portobelo mushroom caps. The slab can go in the oven or on a grill and can also be chilled or even frozen to use for serving sushi or other seafood. It will retain the cold for an hour or more.
Scrub it with a stiff brush or plastic scouring pad after use and rinse it quickly. It must be thoroughly dried overnight before heating again; water will degrade the surface.
The slabs are $40 at Sur La Table stores and surlatable.com. Slabs in a variety of sizes are also sold at saltworks.us.