For Love Of Butter - Adventures in Lissa's Kitchen Blog at - 273948

Adventures in Lissa's Kitchen

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For Love of Butter 
Apr. 27, 2012 2:56 pm 
Updated: May 2, 2012 6:01 pm

How can you not love butter? There's just something about butter that those imposters cannot replicate. For starters, look at the ingredients next time you are in the market. Compare real unsalted butter to margarine, vegetable spread, and another non-butter substitute if you wish-we all know there's plenty of options on the grocery shelves. You will notice that the unsalted butter has very few ingredients. Nothing extra, nothing you can't pronounce, and a flavor that can't be matched.

Oh, that flavor! And the versatility! You can sauté with it, bake with it, make a sauce with it, or spread it on your toast. You can clarify it by removing the white solids to make ghee to slightly change the flavor and increase the smoke point. You can combine it with herbs, honey, or orange zest to make a compound butter-perfect for adding additional layers of flavors to your dishes (note the above photo of butter was borrowed from bing search engine.  The rest of the photos are my own though).

You may also note, as you are comparing butter and butter substitutes, that real butter has a much higher cost for those fewer ingredients. But I have decided it is well worth it. I made the switch after taking a nutrition class at the college. My professor pointed out that when sautéing it is best to use canola oil, and when using oil that will not be heated you should choose a high-quality first-press extra virgin olive oil. I learned that EVOO has a lower smoke point, therefore it is best to use canola oil to cook with. Because of the smoke points, I often mix butter and canola oil for sautés to enhance the smoke point and still add buttery flavor. Even with the advice of sticking to oil for sauté for healthier cooking, I still use butter a lot. Hey, I don't have to be healthy 100% of the time, right?!?! He wouldn't even talk about margarine. He said it is terrible for us and should be shunned, telling us to refer to our lecture notes on the different healthy and unhealthy fats (margarine contains trans-fats and hydrogenated oils, read about it and other baking with butter tips HERE at TLC Cooking). I haven't bought a butter substitute since. I always stock up when I see butter on sale!

Some of my favorite ways to use butter include making Alfredo sauce, sautéing mushrooms and onions, spreading on English muffins to fry on the griddle (IMO, the ONLY way to make an English muffin!), baking cookies or brownies, and warming it to room temperature to spread on some freshly baked bread or muffins. Today I'll be sharing some great buttery recipes I've made lately, all from Go Bold With Butter.

The Go Bold With Butter site has some great tips here. Be sure to click around because they have some really good recipes and blog posts. Here's a few I've tried, and they were all really good:

These were soooooooo good!!! I remember the dehydrated flakes in a box that I used to eat often as a kid. This recipe puts those to shame! I have only tried making scalloped potatoes maybe once or twice in the past, but now I've got the tools and the power. The tool being an OXO mandoline slicer, which made prepping the potatoes a breeze, and the power is knowledge, which I've found in this excellent potato recipe. I don't buy ham steaks all too often, so next time I try this recipe I'll try using bacon-and I don't believe you can go wrong there! But next time I do buy a ham steak, you can be sure I'll be pulling this recipe out yet again!

Wow are these good! Moist and light, tasty to boot! This is the first scone recipe I've made that used cream and it is wonderful! Perfect with coffee, tea, for breakfast or an afternoon snack. This recipe is not only worth trying, but it's definitely worth making again and again. I think next time I may swirl a bit of cinnamon into the dough. Good, versatile, and way better than cinnamon toast! I don't know what else to say-they are simple to make and tasty to eat!

I love brownies. I don't like chocolate cake, nor do I care for chocolate ice cream, but I love brownies. That said, I like my brownies chewy, I like them fudgy, but I don't usually care for them cakey. I also like cherries, dried and fresh, but I do not like those dyed maraschino cherries in a jar. So big points to this recipe for not using the maraschinos, as many of the cherry-brownie recipes on the net call for. As far as them being cakey or not, I am pleased to say they did not come out cakey but instead perfectly to my liking! I steeped the halved cherries in hot water then dried on paper towels before tossing with the flour, reserving the liquid to make an icing with later. These are not too sweet, but have a nice dark chocolate flavor. I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips and since the bag is bigger than you need, I stirred some of the extra chips in with the cherries. I really enjoy these and will make them in alternate with my classic brownie recipe. These are a great change! Do try them, especially if you like dark chocolate and cherries! You do not have to love dark chocolate to appreciate these though.

Before I close this out, I would like to share a passage with you that I read from this great book, Kitchen Confidential by chef Anthony Bourdain, which was recommended to me by my culinary teacher. It's a candid look into the gruff world of the restaurant biz. He really tells it like it is and is perfect for anyone who has worked in or has an interest in working in a restaurant kitchen. He can be rather blunt at times in the book, but it is what it is. You know what they say, "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen!" Here's the passage:

Butter. I don't care what they tell you they're putting or not putting in your food at your favorite restaurant, chances are, you're eating a ton of butter. In a professional kitchen, it's almost always the first and last thing in the pan. [In a professional kitchen] we sauté in a mixture of butter and oil for that nice brown, caramelized color, and we finish nearly every sauce with it (we call this monter au beurre); that's why my sauce tastes richer and creamier and mellower than yours, why it's got that nice, thick, opaque consistency. Believe me, there's a big crock of softened butter on almost every cook's station, and it's getting a heavy workout. Margarine? That's not food. I Can't Believe It's Not Butter? I can. If you're planning on using margarine in anything, you can stop reading now, because I won't be able to help you. Even the Italians-you know, those crafty Tuscans-spout off about getting away from butter, and extol the glories of olive oil (and it is glorious), but pay a surprise visit to the kitchen of that three-star Northern Italian, and what's that they're sneaking into the pasta? And the risotto? The veal chop? Could it be? Is it . . . why, I can't believe it IS butter!!

[I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews on Adventures in Lissa's Kitchen! The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of *~Lissa~*.]
Apr. 27, 2012 3:08 pm
VERY nice job Lissa!
Apr. 27, 2012 3:11 pm
Thanks mauigirl! :)
Apr. 27, 2012 3:12 pm
Great, Lissa! Nice touch to end with Bourdain's quote, and your pictures are so enticing! Thanks for the link!
Apr. 27, 2012 3:14 pm
great blog!!!
Apr. 27, 2012 3:22 pm
Hi Bibi, you're welcome on the link...thanks for the compliments and reading my post!
Apr. 27, 2012 3:23 pm
Thank you for stopping by, neeniejan!
Apr. 27, 2012 3:31 pm
Well done! I never thought of using a griddle to do English muffins! I'll do that next time!
Apr. 27, 2012 3:33 pm
Awesome blog...LOVE it!:D
Apr. 27, 2012 3:33 pm
Great blog and photos! Is your avatar Clear Lake?
Apr. 27, 2012 3:46 pm
Thanks bd.weld! The one with me in my apron is in front of Clear Lake, I just changed it. If the old one is still showing-the one with the flower, that is the Mendocino coast.
Apr. 27, 2012 3:53 pm
I've got to get back up there...maybe next year. Went every year from the 60's to the 90's.
Apr. 27, 2012 4:47 pm
oh it's such a beautiful place, isn't it? Sadly, Konocti Harbor and Spa closed a few years ago so no more concerts. I wish someone would buy it and reopen it already! So many great classic rock bands used to come around, lol!
Apr. 27, 2012 5:09 pm
Marianne, you simply MUST put your English muffins on the griddle!!! They taste sooooo much better and aren't dry! Mmm! Then maybe spread some jam on them too...!!!
Apr. 27, 2012 5:10 pm
Hi CookandBakeGirl, so nice of you to come by! Thank you.
Apr. 27, 2012 6:45 pm
Enjoyed your blog. One problem though. We don't have any butter in the house and it made me crave butter!
Apr. 27, 2012 10:20 pm
Oh boy, redly...I'm afraid I'm down to my last stick and close to the same predicament as well. Time to go shopping! Thanks for reading!
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About Me
I live in beautiful wine country, Northern California, on the edge of state forest. My husband and I are in our 30s and have the most amazing little 2 year old girl. I haven't had as much time in the kitchen since becoming a mom, but I love that she is getting old enough to enjoy my cooking! I enjoy riding my motorcycle and snowboarding, camping, classic and hard rock music, tattoos, singing, and *of course* fiddling in my kitchen! I love trying new recipes and have had fun as an Allrecipes Allstar in the Brand Ambassador program!
My favorite things to cook
Skillet dinners, chicken, vegetables, rice, pasta, cookies, brownies, quick breads, Italian, Asian, mac & cheese, mushroom or broccoli Alfredo, pie-especially apple, pear and chicken pot pie, pork in the crock pot for carnitas or BBQ pulled pork.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My parents have always had lots of food at family get-togethers! Such a selection of food that there's hardly room for plates at the table: nuts, cheeses, wings, beans, meats, veggies and many other side dishes, cakes, cookies, pies, etc-there's something for everyone! There's no excuse if you go hungry at one of our family functions. There's always good food, drinks, people and laughs :D
My cooking triumphs
It's nice to be able to throw things together on the fly without having to make a trip to the grocery store. Learning the methods of cooking have made it easier and my food tastes better. I never have dry chicken breasts, pork chops or burgers anymore! Dec 2012: I finally made fudge that set properly!
My cooking tragedies
Trying out new recipes that don't taste right or I don't care for. Or turning my back to do 10 things at once and burning something. Mistakes = lessons learned. Sometimes you have to do a little trial-and-error to get something how you like it. I'm still trying to perfect French loaf.
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