Recipe: porcini butter
Today (Wednesday) was my last day of my 6-week skate ski program. While I will miss meeting up with this fine group of women and my awesome instructor, I have to say I’m happy to get my Wednesdays back. That, and I look forward to not being completely wiped out at the end of a long day of skate skiing and drills. I signed up for this program to jump start my introduction to skate skiing. On the registration form, I was asked to mark my ability level, so I checked off “Green: Beginner”, because that’s what I was. Little did I expect to be grouped into the intermediate class. I came into this program with the willingness to work hard, but this level of instruction required even more than I had anticipated.
So I worked. Hard. It wasn’t enough to just show up to class once a week, I needed to practice several times between classes so I could improve and take full advantage of the instruction I received. In the beginning it was crazy frustrating trying to piece together all of the elements of the technique while being completely exhausted from the hills. But I stuck with it as punishing as it felt, and within a couple of weeks I noticed some improvement. I am by no means what I consider a proficient skate skier, but I feel like I can practice and skate toward that goal equipped with the knowledge and understanding that our instructor shared over the last month and a half.
my wonderful skate gals
After a day of skating up and down the hills at Eldora, it’s necessary to come home to an easy menu. I’ll tell you what, though – I think easy menus are perfect just about any time. We gave up going out to dinner on Valentine’s Day over two decades ago, opting for a delicious home-cooked meal in the privacy of our own home. This spared us the headache of having to jostle among crowds of couples with unreasonably high expectations for the evening. When I tried this recipe, my intention was to shoot for “easy”. Only after sitting down to eat our dinner, did I realized how a simple porcini butter could transform a meal into a swoon-worthy experience.
The name, porcini butter, is practically the recipe itself. It requires dried porcini mushrooms and butter – a match made in heaven. If you are using unsalted butter, you can opt to add salt. I personally hold off on adding salt because I like to add it separately. Unlike fresh porcini, dried porcini are mush easier to find in grocery stores if you don’t have your own. They are usually packed in 1 oz. bags or containers. The butter should be at room temperature so you can cream it easily with a fork. Use a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle to turn the porcini into a fine powder. Everything will start to smell of porcini at this point.
you’ll need: salt (optional), butter, dried porcini
cream the butter
place the dried porcini in a spice grinder
grind it into a powder
An ounce of dried porcini is roughly equivalent to a cup of dried porcini. When ground, it yields about a third of a cup of powder. Mix a tablespoon and a half of the powder into a stick (4 ounces) of butter until it looks like creamy peanut butter. If using salt, this is a good time to add it. Leftover porcini powder is not a bad thing. You can save it for other uses or mix it with sea salt (2:1 salt to porcini powder ratio). Once the butter is blended, roll it up in wax paper to make a log or pipe it onto wax paper for fancier presentation. Refrigerate the butter to firm it up.
add porcini powder to the butter
piping into little flowers
lifting chilled porcini butter pats
We grilled steaks and decided to slap a pat of porcini butter on top. Decadent, I know. Originally, I had planned on filet mignon which benefits from the added fat since the cut is so lean. But after talking with the butcher, he and I both agreed that there is nothing wrong with serving a potent compound butter on a juicy, marbled rib-eye. Sprinkle some flake sea salt on top and what a heady combination! Porcini butter isn’t limited to steaks – try it with eggs, potatoes, pasta, fish, roasted chicken (rub it under the skin), bread, roasted vegetables, anything you can think of. Simply delightful.
it goes beautifully with a dry cabernet sauvignon
melty umami goodness
go ahead, indulge a little
1/4 cup dried porcini (or 1 1/2 tbsps of porcini powder)
4 oz. butter, room temperature
salt to taste (optional)
Place the dried porcini in a spice grinder (or use a mortar and pestle) and grind it into a fine powder. Cream the butter in a small bowl with a fork until smooth. Stir the porcini powder into the butter until uniform in color. Stir in the salt, if using. Place the butter on wax paper and form into a log with a 1 1/4 inch diameter. Wrap the log and refrigerate for an hour. Slice the log with a dry, warm knife. Or pipe the soft butter with a large piping tip onto wax paper and refrigerate until hard (about 30 minutes depending on size). Makes 8 tablespoons of porcini butter.
more goodness from the use real butter archives
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