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:
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.