Thursday, August 21, 2008

Parmesan Chive Butter

Giddy. The feeling I get when I'm at a restaurant and realize the butter is "herbed butter." I love herbed butter and have found several recipes online explaining how to do this yourself. Not sure why I thought this would be hard, maybe because the big bang of flavor it gives to food - that has to be hard.

It's not.

You can use an unlimited combination of herbs such as parsley, chives, rosemary, tarragon, and add ons such as olive oil, garlic, dijon mustard (I liked that idea, but not for this batch). I simply fell in love with the Parmesan Chive Butter recipe that Whole Foods Market posted. After reading recipes on epicurious, food network and other blogs I decided to tweak the Whole Foods recipe a tad. Here is what I used in Mandy's Parmesan Chive Butter:

One stick of softened butter, fresh chives, dash of lemon juice, sea salt, dash cayanne pepper, dash garlic powder (maybe two dashes) and parmesan cheese.

I finely chopped the chives until I had about two tablespoons, then I added a few dashes of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, a few dashes of garlic powder (I simply cannot imagine cooking without garlic), dash of cayanne pepper and then I grated the parmesan cheese until it felt right. I used about half of the amount shown in the ingredient photo.

Using a fork I mixed everything together and then gave it a taste test. Wooaaaah, the cheese added plenty of salt, I guess I didn't need the sea salt at all. To fix the saltiness, I melted another half stick of butter into the mixture. It was perfect at that point. Now let it mellow at room temperature for 15 minutes and up to two hours. According to what I read online, this allows all the flavors to meld together.

When you are ready to refridgerate or freeze your special butter, lay out some plastic wrap (mine happens to be green) and plop your butter in the middle.
I read that once it's on your plastic wrap that you roll it up into a cylinder. I started making this up as I went, beginning by folding the plastic over in half and then let it spread to the sides as I tightened down on the top.

I twisted the ends like a candy wrapper to seal.

Next, I tucked in the loose ends. I still wanted the butter to hold its shape so I got a little creative here...

I took a toilet paper roll and sliced it first, then wrapped the cardboard around my butter log.

I taped it closed along the back so it really helps hold this butter in shape, and also may provide a little protection in the fridge. This worked out great because I used a sharpie to write the contents on the cardboard.

I read that herbed butter will keep for one month in the freezer and one week in the fridge. I'm putting mine in the freezer and plan on cutting "coins" off this roll to melt onto steamed veggies, potatoes, corn on the cob, chicken, fish, steak...probably every dinner I make until this parmesan chive butter is all gone. YUM!

I must insert a special thanks to my sweet boyfriend Jim who on his day off fixed the broken light in the kitchen. He loves my cooking and will do anything to keep me happy and in the kitchen. Thanks hun, I sincerely appreciate having more light!

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