It’s a Friday in July. The odds are that today or tomorrow or Sunday, you’ll buy summer corn, sweetening with each week of additional sun. And then you’ll grill or boil or broil or microwave those ears for one or more weekend meals.
Salt and butter will be consumed with that corn. Here’s a way to get both butter and salty flavor, combined, with a tangy benefit: make Caper Butter to spread on your corn. Capers are the pickled berries of a bush that grows wild around the perimeter of the Mediterranean, actually down into the Sahara and as far East as Iran. Capers are a staple, employed extensively and quite differently in the different Mediterranean cuisines.
Capers can, actually, be used wonderfully on their own. In many Mediterranean dishes though, you’ll often find capers used alongside chopped fresh oregano or other herbs, spices of all kinds, onion aplenty, citrus juices of all varieties, pepper and chiles of all shapes and sizes. When making this butter, then, you really have unlimited options. I’ve indicated a good, basic combination that Suzen and I have used, one that that will make your corn even more sumptuous.
Feel free to chop up your favorite additional flavors and add into the butter mixture.
Caper Butter for Your Weekend Corn
Yield: ½ cup
- 1 stick [½ cup] butter, softened
- 2-4 tablespoons capers, depending on your pucker factor
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, optional
- Pinch of freshly chopped oregano, optional
In a metal bowl, add all the ingredients and gradually mix with a wooden spoon.
When thoroughly mixed, roll the butter into a log wrapped with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm. Use within a week.
Source: Brian O’Rourke
Photo Information Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/5.6for 1/60th second at ISO‑1250
Yes, ten years ago you could not spell chipotle or easily find them in many stores. Now, every dish seems to contain it. Chipotle overload? Perhaps. It is time to be selective, and this recipe is just that. Chipotle is combined with cheddar cheese and paprika. The resulting biscuits are warm, not hot, to the taste and have a lovely reddish brown color.
To complement the warmth, we served these biscuits with honey butter. Why bother to make honey butter? Why not just put butter on the biscuits and then top with honey from the bottle?
Oh, you did not read my recent post about the book Taste. When you taste food, there is the sense of taste involved and the sense of smell and the sense of texture or feel. Honey butter integrates the honey texture into the butter and mutes the sweetness. If you simply pour honey on a biscuit and bite, your tongue is unavoidably saturated with the honey sweetness and the velvet texture of the flowing honey dominates the signals going to your brain.
If, on the other hand, you make this honey butter, the experience is very different. You will, for example, use less honey than if you were pouring it on directly. The sweetness level is lower, so the biscuit flavor is not lost. Try this butter just once and you’ll be a fan.
These two recipes are from the same author, Gale Gand, and two books, Lunch and Brunch. Lunch is new, Brunch is a few years old. Both would be tasteful additions to your kitchen bookshelf.
Chipotle and Cheddar Biscuits
Yield: 12 2-inch biscuits
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for your work surface
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons smoked or regular paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground chipotle
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh scallions
- ½ cup [1 stick] cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 cup buttermilk
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, sugar, paprika, chipotle, ½ cup of the cheddar, and the scallions. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds to combine and blend in the spices. Add the butter and continue to mix on low speed to break down the butter, mixing just until just combined. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead it slightly to bring it together, if necessary. Roll out the dough to ¾-inch thickness and cut out 2-inch-diameter circles with a cookie or biscuit cutter. Place the circles on the lined baking sheet. Press the dough scraps together, roll them out again and cut out as many biscuits as you can. Repeat until you’ve used all the dough. Evenly distribute the remaining12 cup cheddar over the tops of the biscuits.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the biscuits are puffed up and golden brown on top.
The biscuits keep in an airtight container for up to 1 day at room temperature or up to four days in the refrigerator. If refrigerating, reheat them in a 350-degree toaster oven for about 5 minutes before serving.
Source: Lunch by Gale Gand
Yield: ½ cup
- ½ cup [1 stick] unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tablespoons honey
In a bowl, beat the butter with a wooden spoon. Then mix in the salt and honey. Pack the honey butter into ramekins, and serve at room temperature; or warm it in a small saucepan over low heat (or in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time) until melted, and serve hot.
Source: Brunch by Gale Gand
Photo Information [top picture]: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/5.6 for 1/16th second at ISO-3200