Sunday, September 14, 2008

14. Lime-Cilantro Butter

Date Cooked: September 7th, 2008
Page: 156
Rating: B-

We were having what is seeming to be a traditional Sunday feast and we were going to be putting some corn on the grill (next post). I quickly skimmed through the book to see what I could add to the menu and realized there were several compound butter recipes alongside the corn entries. I figured sounds like a good plan! This was extremely simple to put together that I am sure I could train a monkey to do it. Of course finding the monkey would be the hard part so maybe I can get my son more involved by training him. He’ll be proud to know he beat out a monkey for my sous-chef position. The recipe is simply some finely chopped cilantro, lime zest and juice and a bit of cayenne pepper folded into softened butter. But for all its simplicity it did raise a few questions.

I froze my cilantro to cryogenically extend it ‘freshness’. Freezing some herbs is worthless. I have frozen Basil and mint and they work great (more durable leaves). The cilantro just thawed into a wilted soggy lump. It was grossly unappealing. Still smelled and tasted fine though.

The ‘Best’ book practically denies the existence of salted butter. I’m slowly coming around to unsalted butter for baking and cooking but as an actual condiment salted is the way to go. Unsalted butter is pretty flavorless and I found myself using more salt on my corn than I would normally use. After all these many years of loving butter I realize it is the glorious marriage of salt and butter that I love. So now I will be stocking both in my fridge.

Rating: I think I may start rating the recipes. Or I guess more accurately, rating my ability to deliver a palatable product that I enjoyed eating. This dish gets a B-. It could have been higher if I had used salted butter and fresh (not frozen) cilantro.

1 comment:

  1. For future reference, "cryogenic" is probably not the way to go. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

    And an unsolicited thought about the butter - Salt in butter was used (historically) as a preservative, but the reason cooks often don't like to use it is because you can't control the saltiness of the dish. You are letting the butter season your dish.

    So, if you use unsalted butter, you must salt the food more and you have more control over the taste and outcome. If you use the salted butter, you have to be mindful of not over-salting.

    Either way, the butter needs salt, my friend. From you or the dairy.

    Am I like Captain Obvious? Did I just re-explain something that was completely clear to you? Sorry.

    Anyway, I'm really enjoying all your exploits in the kitchen. I love your sense of adventure. And all your cooking mishaps. You crack me up.

    from "The Yummy Mummy Cooks Gourmet"


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