Butter Bleu

November 29, 2010

Eat butter first, and eat it last, and live ’til a hundred years be past.
~Dutch proverb

The average intake for Thanksgiving Day in this svelte land is a mere 4,500 calories…followed by a sedate evening of potatoing. Here is some buddah to slather on your meat should you may have fallen short of conspicuous consumption goals this past weekend. Huah!

BLEU COMPOUND BUTTER

8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/4 C Roquefort or Bleu d’Auvergne cheese

1/2 T fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1/2 T fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1/2 T plump fresh garlic clove, peeled and finely minced
Multi-colored freshly ground peppers (red, green, white)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

In a food processor or standing mixer, whip butter and cheese together until well combined. Add thyme, rosemary, and garlic. Season to your liking with salt and peppers and mix further by pulsing until smooth.

Place butter mixture down the center of plastic wrap enveloped by parchment paper and roll the butter forming a 1 1/2″ diameter log. Discard paper and chill plastic wrapped butter log overnight in refrigerator. Remove compound butter from refrigerator, slice into 3/4″ discs, and allow to rest about 20-30 minutes before use. Place one or two slices of compound butter on each slab of hot grilled, roast or sautéed meat and allow to melt.

Pourboire: Compound butters can also be readily frozen for up to a couple of months.

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Butter is…the most delicate of foods among barbarous nations, and one which distinguishes the wealthy from the multitude at large.~Pliny the Elder

My previous topic, Languedoc-Roussillon, will be revisited promptly. But before the serious que’ing season is upon us, I have been meaning to post about herb butter. (I have yet to fully comprehend why so many await the summer season to begin grilling, as some of the most satisfying open fire cooking is to be had in cooler seasons, even ankle deep in a blanket of snow—a glowing orb, comforting much like a fireplace.) Herb butter is simply made by blending butter with herbs and spices which quickly transforms and dresses up a dish, often grilled or sautéed meat, fish or chicken.

CILANTRO LIME HERB BUTTER

8 T unsalted butter, room temperature
2 T chopped cilantro, packed
1 T lime juice, freshly squeezed
Grated zest on 1 lime
1/4 t sea salt

Mix together butter, cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a small bowl. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.

If you save the butter for later, wrap it up in plastic wrap in the shape of a log and refrigerate until firm. To use, just unwrap and slice from the butter log and place on warm food.

HERB & LEMON BUTTER

8 T unsalted butter, room temperature
2 T minced fresh herbs (chervil, parsley, dill, fennel, chives)
1 t freshly grated lemon zest
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Place the softened butter and the remaining ingredients to a medium size bowl.
Use a large spoon to cream the ingredients together until well blended. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.

If you save the butter for later, wrap it up in plastic wrap in the shape of a log and refrigerate until stiff. To use, just unwrap and slice from the butter log and place on warm food.

HERB BUTTER WITH CORNICHONS AND EGGS

Large bunch of fresh herbs, chopped (parsley, tarragon, chives, oregano, thyme)
3 cornichons, chopped
3 good quality anchovy fillets
1 T of chopped capers
3 egg yolks, hard boiled
1 clove of garlic peeled, crushed and chopped
12 T unsalted butter
Sea salt
Cayenne pepper

Drop the herbs into boiling water for 1 minute, place into an ice bath, then drain well. Place the herbs into a food processor or blender and purée in short bursts. Add the cornichons, anchovies, capers, egg yolks, and garlic; purée further until well combined. Add the butter and continue pulsing until you reach a smooth consistency, while seasoning with salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Serve immediately or save in refrigerator.

If you save the butter for later, wrap it up in plastic wrap in the shape of a log and refrigerate until firm. To use, just unwrap and slice from the butter log and place on warm food.