Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tabasco butter....for June, the nicest friend I have yet to meet.

I have been experimenting with flavored butter, using a good local pastured butter - if I can find one, Kerry Gold from Ireland or Smjor from Iceland are two wonderful butters that are easy to find at Whole Foods.

side note ---------->  June and her husband Danny owned a restaurant in Ecuador that served incredible food called "Bocaditos No Tipicos" but sadly closed their doors in hope for a more normal life instead of the LONG hours needed to run a first class eatry, a favorite among Gringos and locals.  The good news is that  they now conduct extraordinary culinary workshops and cooking classes. Beside the usual kitchen skills, June and Dan tour local markets, teaching 'chefs' the how's, what's and when's about local produce and groceries; visits to local farms to see where it all comes from; and excursions to artisians cheese makers, and wineries for inspiration. 
Even with airfare, the cost of the classes would be a savings compared to what is offered in the States. June and Dan are New Yorkers in a former life. I had the chance of meeting them through a stroke of good fortune.

Tabasco Butter. Tabasco  is a trade name... you can use any hot peppered red sauce that you like. I will call it Tabasco because the recipe from the cookbook- My Favorite Ingredients by Skye Gyngell calls it as such.

8 tbs of unsalted Butter. Smjor is sold as lightly salted and will work.
I tbsp of Dijon Mustard
25 drops or so of Tabasco
good squeeze from half a Lemon.
sea salt

Soften butter to room temperature, do not melt in microwave
Add mustard and Tabasco and whip in small bowl
Squeeze lemon half, then whip with a pinch of salt for the unsalted butter.

Lick spoon...wait for it, wait....  Is it too hot or not hot enough? make adjustments. Does it need a pinch of Basil or Dill?  Too hot?  Add some local Honey.  

Return to refrigerator.  Soften to use.

This is great on Asparagus and mixed with mayo for a burger, you figure it out- that's half the education.

As Dan pointed out in his comment, Butter is a great Confit to preserve fresh Herbs. There is an herb that compliments every dish and Butter goes with everything, so pick some favorites for chicken, lamb or veggies like cauliflower and Broccoli.

Maitre D'Hotel
This goes well with grilled fish or steak
8 tbs Butter
2 tbs finely chopped Parsley
Light squeeze of Lemon.

Soften butter then whip in a bowl, adding the parsley and a small squeeze of Lemon, whip to a smooth even colored finished, slightly chill.  With a melon baller, scoop into balls and place iced water for 20 mins, and then refrigerate until needed.
use parchment paper and roll butter up like Turkish taffy, refrigerate until hard, unwrap and slice when needed.  Butter will have a nice green tint.

Nasturtium, garlic, anchovy, brandy, rum, honey and mustards- all  work well.


  1. haha, Michael. Thanks from us, June & Dan, for the Side Note.

    Thanks for the recipe! We use a similar recipe for Buffalo Chicken Wings.

    Dan adds that herbed butters are a great way to preserve herbs. And they can be frozen too.

    We love your blog and your fabulous photos!

  2. Thank you. But I should be learning from you- I'm just the novice with a daydream.
    Dan, I guess the butter acts like a confit for the herbs. If you save bacon fat (and we all should be), a good shake of tabasco whipped into it is a great way to add heat when sauteing spinach.
    The photos come easy, it is the writing that doesn't and it scares the bejeebers out of me.