Wednesday, March 5, 2008

It's not called an "olive oil croissant" for a reason.

I won't start calling myself a "blutter'er" or a "but'ogger," but I can't wait to see how many bloggers do after reaching into their mailboxes this month and birthing "The Beauty of Butter" from Saveur, aka 'Playboy for Cooks.' If you didn't read all about it, contribs celebrate butter by glancing at it's controversial past when margarine surpassed U.S. butter consumption in the 80's, then sing a song of praise for its present popularity.

(US butter-lust could be a surrogate European vacation while the EURO kicks the USD on its bum.)

Butter has never been a bad'un in my book, but I wanted to share my own tale of butter lust...

On a recent visit, my sister said that butter is only really bad (the big BAD cholesterol) when it reaches past the smoking point. "Oh, really?" I said while patiently awaiting careful crisping , especially edge, on our multi-grain pancakes by cooking in small puddle of browned butter.

(Maybe she was saying this because her kids were watching.)

I was butter-obsessed as a child, I reminded her, snubbing bright
tubs of margarine mom bought in three-packs. I learned patience from my love of butter. I had to lop hard pats off a stick of unsalted butter for my bagels. First I toasted the bagel to soften the butter, then spread it carefully and then I toasted the bagel again, just long enough to watch the butter bubble-up hot and golden already anticipating the first warm, crunch. Warm. Butter. Crunch.

Over platters of crispy-edged pancakes and real maple syrup, we resigned ourselves to the fact that I will be taken out by a fate that can be directly and easily traced to my over-zealous relationship with food.
Chef-author Anthony Bourdain will likely share my food fate. In the New Yorker, he gave readers the straight dope on a much loved fat (from "Don't Eat Before Reading This," New Yorker, 1999):

"In the world of chefs, butter is everything. Even non-French restaurants... throw around butter like crazy. In almost every restaurant worth patronizing, sauces are enriched with mellowing, emulsifying butter. Pastas are tightened with it. Meat and fish are seared with a mixture of butter and oil. Shallots and chicken are caramelized with butter. It's the first and last thing in almost every pan; the final hit is called monter au beurre. In a good restaurant, what this all adds up to is that you could be putting away almost a stick of butter with every meal."
Monter au beurre.
It's not called an "olive oil croissant" for a reason.

(Miss Minnesota, butterized.)

Morning-After Wild Blueberry Muffins
(tops with that warm, butter crunch)

Want to know more about the science of butterfat or hear a geek's tale of homemade buttermaking. ? (or paste,

Want the recipe for the muffins? Please leave a comment and let me know. They're delicious!


. c h o k l i t . said...

Ooh, me! I want muffins, yes!

Lindsay said...


jacquieblackman said...

I love your blog!

And yes, everything is better with butter. Sweet, delicious butter. Mmmmmmm.

I would love the muffin recipe, please!

juls said...

butter is the answer to everything! send me that darn good looking recipe now! xoxo julie