Suzi's Blog

Savory Butters

Yes, that’s a graph up there. A recipe graph. Have you ever looked through a “single topic” cookbook and gotten a little overwhelmed or curious. Suzen found a book called Flavored Butters by Offerico Maoz. He’s an Israeli chef and his tidy, interesting little book has nearly 70 flavored butters in several categories:

  • Savory
  • Spicy
  • Nut and Seed
  • Seafood
  • Sweet Butters and Buttercreams
  • Butter Sauces

The book simply tempts you to open the refrigerator and get to work. But, at the same time, you can get lost. Just looking at the savory butters, I found myself going back and forth, trying to remember what ingredients were used where. And, I wondered, what combinations could I make if I just had an overview of all the possible ingredients that Offerico used. I’m not saying I want to better Offerico, I just want to leverage off the launching platform he provides.

So, in the middle of the graph above there is the word “savory” which is the root for the recipes his savory section. Follow a line out, and you get a word or phrase that labels one of his recipes. Go out from that recipe naml, and you get to all the ingredients for that flavored butter.

No, I did not put “butter” in as an ingredient anywhere because it occurs anywhere. And, salt is a universal ingredient. You’ll definitely want to make these flavored butters beginning with unsalted butter; the salted butter in your grocery store can have a little salt in it or a lot. You need to be in control.

Suzen and I will be blogging some of these savory butters, as well as ones in the other categories. There you’ll see his proportions for the ingredients. But, look, this is flavored butter territory. You can let your imagination power just what ingredients you want to use and how much of each.

For example, there’s a recipe for Sun-Dried Tomato Butter that has, besides the butter, just two ingredients: thyme and sun-dried tomatoes. Look around the edge of the graph here and see what other ingredients have been used. Maybe you’d want to add some cilantro, or scallions, or lemon juice. It’s all up to you and that fertile culinary imagination you are trying to expand.

More graphs and more recipes to come.

Source: Flavored Butters by Offerico Maoz

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Jalapeno Butter from Fresh Mexico

 

Summer corn and butter. That is a classic combination enjoyed around the world. But in corn-country, the United States, more corn is consumed by people than anywhere else on the planet. And while that simple combo of corn and butter is the favorite, new ideas appear all the time.

A few years ago, Suzen and I would put butter on our corn, then sprinkle on chile powder and maybe even splash with lime juice. It’s an intensified flavor we love.

Now, we’ve discovered a new butter variation that is beautiful to behold and such a flavor enhancer. It’s Jalapeno Butter from Fresh Mexico, the little book of 100 recipes that I found and now fall asleep with.

The recipe is right below here. The picture above is from my slight variation. I did not grill the jalapenos; instead I used two canned chipotles with some of the sauce. That’s faster and hotter.

Second, I did not soften the butter first. I took a cold stick of butter and cut into ¼-inch cubes. I added the rest of the ingredients and mixed it with a fork. The result is that my version is not homogenous in color or texture. There are “pieces” of chile and parsley there that provide color and contrast.

And of course, I did not wrap it up in a tight roll so I could later cut perfect round of butter.

Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly.

The recipe was devised for corn. But, you have usage options:

  • A grilled steak with blackened top
  • A crispy baked potato
  • Grilled bread, crusty and waiting the moisture of melting butter
  • Or for whatever personal craving you might have

This dish can be classified as an indulgence. Go forth and feel no guilt.

Jalapeno Butter

Yield: ½ cup

Ingredients:

  • 2 jalapeno chilies
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Preparation:

Grill the jalapenos, turning them occasionally, until charred on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer them to a cutting board and let cool for 5 minutes.

Using a small paring knife, peel the jalapenos. Scrape out the discard the seeds and veins. Coarsely chop the chiles and transfer them to a medium bowl. Add the butter, garlic and parsley and mash together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the jalapeno butter onto the center of a square piece of plastic warp. Roll it up into a 1-inch diameter log. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until set, or for up to 1 week.

Source: Fresh Mexico by Marcela Valladolid