Going Bold With Butter - Cooking Without A Net Blog at Allrecipes.com - 274086

Cooking Without A Net

Going Bold With Butter 
 
Apr. 29, 2012 12:39 pm 
Updated: Apr. 29, 2012 1:23 pm

This month the Allrecipes Allstars (of which I am a member) were asked to make some recipes with butter.   Butter has been getting a lot of bad press lately, I think, especially when a certain TV chef from Georgia who is famous for using a lot of butter suddenly is in the news with diabetes.    So what are people eating instead of butter?  Chemical products that are made to look, spread, and taste like butter but instead of having something that came from a cow, we have something that came from....where?  How can that be better for your body? 

 

Yeah, I've bought the diet books too, and subscribed to the notion that anything is better than calories, so if it said "zero" calories, I would substitute that for the real food in the hopes that I would lose weight.  And it never tastes as good.  So I still crave the real food and my body gets chemicals instead.  I don't want to do that anymore.  Butter is delicious and in moderation, it's fine.  Yeah, that moderation word again.  A lesson I am still learning.

 

I liked the Shrimp and Sweet Corn Maque Choux that I made, and you might too - here's the link for the recipe: 

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/shrimp-and-sweet-corn-maque-choux/detail.aspx?event8=1&amp;prop24=SR_Title&amp;e11=shrimp%20corn%20maque&amp;e8=Quick%20Search&amp;event10=1&amp;e7=Home%20Page<

 

It calls for half and half, and I didn't think that was needed.  I true roux the way my French grandmother would have made it (if she had cooked roux) would involve milk, flour, and butter stirred over heat until it thickened.  This recipe adds the half and half too late for it to be a true roux, so you can leave that out if you want.  Otherwise, this was so delicious and fresh tasting. It would be great over rice, or with more vegetables too.

 

I also made French Toast with Honey Vanilla Bean Butter - and while I can't find the recipe on the site to post a link to, the french toast was ok, but the butter was the star of this one.  So I'll give you that recipe here :

Combine 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature, with 1/4 cups honey, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp sea salt (only add if using unsalted butter) and 1/2 vanilla bean, seeded - which I didn't have so I used 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.  Delicious! 

 

This was excellent on the toast, english muffins, or anything you want to put it on!  This reminded me of the toast that my grandmother used to make when I was a kid, toast with butter and sugar and cinnamon on it, and that was desert.   I will have to make some to keep in the fridge for when the grandkids come over. It's my job to spoil them and I 've been remiss in not introducing them to this great taste already.

 

And what could be more appropriate than putting butter on popcorn?  I made Smoky Spiced Buttered Popcorn, which used not only butter, but also smoky paprika, thyme, garlic and onion powder, and pepper.  Have to say I'm not a fan. I don't think the paprika and thyme flavors blended well with the popcorn - if you like savory then you might like this.  But one thing I did rediscover was my love for buttered popcorn.  I'd bought into the diet myths that butter isn't good for me and that I should eliminate it as much as possible.  Not entirely true.  Anything I eat too much of is not good for me, but I don't eat popcorn every night. It's special. 

 

And I am a popcorn snob, I admit it.  I hate microwaved popcorn - whoever invented that must have had his taste buds removed.  My dear spouse found a really cute throwback to the 50's invention that looks like that patent hasn't been changed since 1898, and it's called a "Whirleypop" with a crank that moves the kernels around the bottom of the pan.  It's great, and the popcorn is fresh and delicious and never burns.  I can add flavors to the oil as well as to the salt with this, and it's easy and fast.  Best part is, the popcorn is sooooo good! 

 

I'm so glad we had to feature butter this month!  It reintroduced me to some favorite flavors that I had forgotten about.  I also got a chance to rethink why I would ever believe that margarine is better than butter?  Why would I fall for the weird logic that sold me the idea that chemicals and processing is better than real natural food?   Somehow I did, but I'm better now.

Shrimp & Sweet Chorn Maque Choux
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French Toast with Honey Vanilla Butter
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Smoky Spiced Buttered Popcorn
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Comments
Sheila 
Apr. 29, 2012 1:23 pm
completely true!!! thanks for all the recipies Beth, i will be definately be trying them.:)
 
 
 
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Beth Field

Member Since
Mar. 2011

Cooking Level
Intermediate

Cooking Interests
Baking, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Vegetarian, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

Hobbies
Knitting, Sewing, Needlepoint, Camping, Boating, Walking, Fishing, Reading Books, Music

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About Me
I am a married mother of 2, stepmom of 2, and grandmother of 8, who loves to camp, kayak and canoe, cook, knit, crochet, cross-stitch, read, play guitar and sing. I lived in New England for my first 25 yrs and then moved to Florida to beat the rush. :-) One reason I learned to cook was because I was always on a diet of some sort, and the diet food was awful. When I first got married one of my mother's friends gave me a cookbook as a wedding gift because she knew how bad I was in the kitchen and wanted to make sure my husband survived. Once I figured out how to read a recipe and follow the directions, I found that it was fun to try new things and easy to learn.
My favorite things to cook
I love to try new recipes, or new flavor combinations. Some of my favorite long time recipes are a veggie pot pie that tastes so hearty people think there's meat in it, and pumpkin pie made from fresh pumpkins. I love cauliflower and pumpkin soups because they are so easy and yet so rich and flavorful. I love to substitute veggies or low fat yogurt for higher fat items in a recipe and then tweak the flavor so it's even better than the original. I also really enjoy taking leftovers out of the fridge and chopping them up on a pizza crust to make the most interesting homemade pizzas with different combinations.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I always try to make the pumpkin and apple pies for the family get togethers because I make them from scratch and they just taste so much better than the frozen ones. For my Dad who is diabetic, I substitute sweetener for most of the sugar so that he can enjoy it too. Roast chicken with roast potatoes and carrots was always a favorite Sunday dinner, and again, very easy to make. For the holidays, we get pitted dates, stuff them with peanut butter, and roll them in powdered sugar for a treat, and now we have the grandkids making them too.
My cooking triumphs
I "inherited" my grandmother's mustard recipe (no one else wanted to make it, too much work!) and then I added to it and tweaked the ingredients to make several different kinds of spicy mustard. I don't make it often, because it's labor intensive, but all my family and friends absolutely love it and bring the jars back for refills. I also am happy with the spaghetti sauce recipe I developed which is sweet and full of herbs and spices. My favorite thing to do when we go out to eat is to write down all the flavors I taste and then try to make the recipe at home. That's how I got started trying to make Indian and Asian food, and shopping at the Indian and Oriental markets, where I can buy the spices that make their cuisine unique. Once I learn what the spices taste like and what the best combinations are, then I can revitalize drab tasting dishes with new spice combinations. My husband loves to try my experiments and we critique them together.
My cooking tragedies
I have made some bread that turned out as bricks - as well as brick brownies. I used soy milk in pudding - yuck! I doubled the yeast in bread because it wouldn't rise - awful! (put it in the car instead with the windows closed, that works!) Growing up I used to burn everything because I had my nose in a book and paid no attention to what was cooking once I put it on the stove. I once boiled all the water out of the teapot and the bottom of the teapot became fused to the gas stove burner! My mother was furious! I used to burn potatoes because I would put them in the pot and then put it on high and leave it. The house would fill with smoke before I would notice they were burning. If there's hope for me to learn to be a good cook, then there's hope for everyone because I was the WORST!
 
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