Sunday, September 19, 2010

Glorious Butter!

Show #3 is here and we're talking about butter! We have some fun facts to share and some recipes, too. I hope you'll give us a listen and enjoy :)

In the first segment, I mention that I was at my Aunt's wedding a few weekends ago and that the theme was cows; Jerseys and Holsteins. It was all very adorable. And here's the cake!



(And also a cowbell...)


A few fun facts I forgot to mention on the show:
~It takes roughly 10 quarts (or 21 pounds) of whole milk to make 1 pound of butter.
~Food scientists have discovered over 120 unique flavor compounds in butter which contribute to it's flavor.
~The United States produces 1.2 billion pounds of butter each year.
~Butter (like *many* other things) was once used as currency. People would barter for merchandise at a town store or general store with butter.

Now to the really good stuff- the recipes!

Mason Jar Butter
1 pint of heavy cream*
1 large mason jar with lid and ring
cheese cloth

Let the cream come to room temperature. Pour it into the mason jar, put the lid on VERY tightly and shake it to your heart's content! It'll take 20-30 minutes to actually form the butter. I made this little project a family affair (because my arms was getting tired). My family took turns with me. I did manage to take a few pictures so you know what to expect.

Starting out with cream and a jar with a good, tight fitting lid.



After about 5-6 minutes, it should be a beautiful whipped cream consistency.


When you hit the 15-20 minute mark, you should start seeing something like this. The butter is starting to form, meaning the butter fat is separating from the buttermilk.


You can stop shaking when you see this- a big clump of butter in the middle of all that liquid.

Now comes the dirty work. You need to get a medium bowl and place a few layers of cheese cloth in the bottom. Pour all the contents (solid and liquid) on top of the cheese cloth. Strain the butter, then rinse it under cold water (while wrapped in the cheese cloth) until the water starts to run clear. Then dab the little bundle of joy with a paper towel to get rid of any excess water. Finally, put your butter into an air tight container and voila! Homemade butter. And let me tell you, it's worth the sore muscles. If you'd like to have salted butter, add about a half teaspoon of salt after the butter is made and rinsed. Mix it very well before storing. This makes just under a cup of butter.

Yay! Almost done. Just have to rinse and add salt. Then you have...


...glorious, fresh butter!

*It's best to use regular ole heavy cream. Avoid "whipping cream" as sometimes it contains a bit of a sweetner. It's also a good idea to avoid "Ultra-Pasteurized" cream. It's hard to come by around these parts, but the fresher and the less it's been processed, the better.

And now, death by cookies! Brought to you by the American Heart Association's list of things that will clog your arteries! Okay, not really. But these are definitely meant to be a treat and made every once in a while.

Buttery, buttery shortbread cookies
2 cups (1 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (F). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Beat the butter with a hand mixer or a in a stand mixer for about 5 minutes. Then add the sugar and cream together for 2-3 minutes at medium speed. Add the cornstarch and flour. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Roll into 1 inch balls and flatten them on the cookie sheet slightly with your fingers or palm. Bake at 350 degrees (F) for about 15 to 18 minutes. The tops should be VERY light, golden brown. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. They are totally yummy while slightly warm, but they taste even better the next day. The recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies.




Compounds Butters
Apricot-chipotle butter:
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 Tbsp chipotle in adobo sauce (1 chipotle seeded and minced, plus sauce)
2-3 Tbsp of apricot preseves (depending on how sweet you'd like it)

Garden Butter:
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp of the following (fresh or dried):
Basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, lemon zest
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove of garlic finely minced
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cinnamon-honey butter:
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp honey

To make any of these, simply blend all ingredients well with a spatula, hand mixer, or in a stand mixer. You can serve these as just a spread or you can roll the butter into logs and freeze them. Then cut slices of the logs to top meat, potatoes, or soups for a last minute addition of flavor.

Hollandaise
Here is the best reference and set of recipes I could find for Hollandaise. I took a second look at Alton Brown's and realized that I only used his measurements, but everything else was different. So, here ya go. Happy sauce making!

Questions, comments, etc.? We want to hear them! Leave a comment here on the blog, on our Facebook page or at thegeekygourmet@gmail.com and we'll get back to you asap :)

<3 Elle

3 comments:

  1. also for anyone who wants to know just add tarragon to the hollandaise and you have yourself Burnaise

    ReplyDelete
  2. If you listen to the show, I mention that, karl :-P (tarragon vinegar reduction in place of lemon juice and fresh chopped tarragon)

    <3

    ReplyDelete

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