Better With Butter

Velvety smooth and lustrous to the touch. The simple elegance of butter has hypnotized me since the first time I slathered it on a piece of warm toast and watched it melt into the crispy bread making it so wonderfully sweet and soggy. Firm yet supple and oh so delicious to devour in all its many forms. The only bad butter is not enough or none at all. There is no substitute. If I wanted to cook with oil I would. Not some greasy, processed concoction dressed up to look like its better, hotter, tastier, sibling. Margarine is just not worth the counter space. Try to make a nice Buerre Blanc with it and you’ll quickly believe it’s not butter.

This post will explore the simplicity of home made butter and the elegance of a good compound butter. The ability of butter to absorb and adapt to a myriad of flavors that can enhance any food or presentation.

Lets start at the source though. If it’s bad for mom to smoke a cigarette and quaff a martini before breast feeding junior, why would we believe the way our food industry treats its cattle is any better for the dairy products we consume. I don’t want to go on a rant here. I have used plenty of tortured, hormone infused, anti biotic ridden dairy in my time, but if you’re going to go to the trouble of making your own butter, and you want the maximum flavor and satisfaction, start with a really good cream. Don’t forget, just because the label says organic at Wal Mart, it may still be close to toxic. The Cornucopia institute has a nifty little 1 to 5 cow rating system that ranks organic dairies in the country. This is a good starting point for any trip to the store for a shopper who even remotely cares about what goes in their bodies. Once again I’m not preaching. Just last night I stopped for lottery tickets on the way home from Ono Sushi, and I couldn’t resist the lemon cupcakes on the way to the check out. I ate 2 on the way home and the other 7 in bed. Thats 2 vices between work and home, but I do try to care about what I put in my body, and as vices go the lottery is fairly harmless.

Butter Recipe:

2 Cups Heavy Cream (at least 30% milk fat)
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
Food Processor

Instructions:

Place cream in food processor and turn on. It will turn to whipped cream, then really stiff whipped cream. The cream will then turn lumpy and you will see it separate into butter milk and butter. Drain off butter milk and wash butter in ice water. Work all of the butter milk out of the butter with a rubber spatula. Wring out in cheese cloth. Refrigerate.

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