Shot at Eataly NYC - dairy heaven

I shot at Eataly NYC – dairy heaven

In an effort to add some sexy, effortless flavour to what can be, at times, a thrown-together meal, I have been having fun with the sinful trio of salt, olive oil and butter.

All three, in their purist forms, can turn a simple dish into something DISHY, yet they have the potential to do so much more. I have been thumbing through my mags and books for ways to use each one as a vehicle for imparting just a little extra POP.  Lace them with something sweet, salty or hot and they can work sheer edible magic on everything from fresh bread, roast potatoes and silky risottos to your morning pancakes.

I am having some maje moments in the kitchen and today give you BUTTER – THREE WAYS!  Best of all, it can be prepared ahead of time and frozen until needed – which makes you look extra clever and efficient. These are just three combinations I like, but try using other ingredients for different degrees of wow factor. Would love your finger-licking thoughts….. Enjoy.

A RANDOM NOTE: I kneaded, licked and got greedy with butter listening to Triple J’s Like a Version Vol 7. Think Eskimo Joe covering ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’, Sarah Blasko version of ‘Hey Ya!’ and The Kills doing ‘One Silver Dollar’.. turn up loud and get creative.

APRICOT BUTTER

(via How I Cook by my absolute fave foodie, Skye Gyngell)

A breakfast essential, use in place of jam. Try using other fruits too like prunes, dates or figs. Subtle, smooth and delectable, it is crazy good on pancakes.

Ingredients (makes 350g)

  • 100g dried apricot
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2-3 tsp icing sugar

Method

  • Soak three-quarters of the dried apricots in enough warm water to cover for 20 minutes to soften. Chop the remaining apricots into small chunks and set aside.
  • Drain the soaked apricots and place in a food processor with the softened butter and 2 tsp icing sugar. Puree until smooth – the butter should be a pretty pale apricot colour. Taste for sweetness, blending in a little more icing sugar if required.
  • Transfer the butter to a bowl and stir in the chopped apricots. Use straight away or wrap in baking parchment, seal and refrigerate.
  • Keeps well in the fridge for a week or o. Slice off as much as you need and leave at room temperature for about 10 minutes before using, to allow it to soften slightly.

CHILLI BUTTER

(via How I Cook by  Skye Gyngell)

Slightly sweet with just enough warmth makes it perfect on a dense wedge of bread like cornbread. Or fry eggs in it. Whatever turns you on…

Ingredients (makes 250g)

  • 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • large pinch of rock salt

Method

  • Preheat the grill to high and grill the fresh chilli, turning as necessary, until it is blistered and blackened all over. Set aside to cool.
  • Put the dried chilli in a small bowl, pour on a little boiling water and leave to soak for 10 minutes or so, until thoroughly softened. Drain and chop as finely as possible. Peel away the skin from the grilled chilli and chop it finely too.
  • Put the softened buter into a bowl. Add the chopped chillies, paprika and salt and stir well to combine. Lay a sheet of baking parchment on a work surface and spoon the flavoured butter onto the paper. Form into a log shape, using a spatula, then roll in the parchment, fold the ends to seal and keep in the fridge.
  • Remove the butter from the fridge 10  minutes before  you are ready to use it to allow it to soften slightly.

TRUFFLE BUTTER

(via Limoncello and Linen Water by Tessa Kiros)

Add to risotto in place of regular butter for your own ‘When Harry Met Sally’ mo….

Ingredients (makes about 1/4 cup)

  • 20g white truffle
  • 30g butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Method

  • Clean truffle well with a stiff brush, making sure to get rid of any attached soil.
  • Shave or slice very finely, then chop up. Mix into the butter with olive oil, a little salt if your butter is unsalted and few grinds of black pepper.
  • Keep in a closed jar in the fridge to use soon, or pat into a log and wrap in baking paper, then plastic wrap and freeze. Cut slices as needed.
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