The Buttery Blog

Everything's better with butter.

Unbelievably Easy Vegetarian Chili September 29, 2009

Filed under: Vegetarian — butteryblog @ 11:13 am
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Several years ago Mother Butter hosted a potluck get together for all her girlfriends. Up until a few years ago, one of us would have a “girls night,” which was basically an opportunity to share and giggle, drink wine, eat sweets, and sometimes all pass out on the living room floor of a small New York apartment. Ah, those were the days!

After searching near and far for the perfect recipe, I landed upon a veggie chili. Vegetarian is always a good choice these days, and you can’t go wrong with a big pot of chili in the middle of winter. Well, lo and behold, the very day that we were supposed to get together, a blizzard hit New York, and well, none of us ventured out. I was left with a huge pot of chili, and it was divine.

Since then I’ve made this dish at least twice a year. I love one pot meals. I love this one in particular because it’s hearty, but not overwhelming. It’s healthy, but full of flavor. If you’re a chili connoisseur (and I know you’re out there!), this will probably not be your cup of tea, but otherwise, I recommend trying this one blustery winter night. Invite a friend over and ask them to bring the cornbread.

Big Spoon. Serve with sweet iced tea or your favorite oktoberfest beer!

Big Spoon. Serve with sweet iced tea or your favorite oktoberfest beer!

This chili is a variation of one I found at AllRecipes.com.

Ingredients

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped carrots
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped bell peppers (any variation)
1-3 Tbsp chili powder (depending on taste)
1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
1 28 oz can chopped peeled tomatoes, with liquid
1 can black beans (or your favorite beans)
1 small box frozen corn
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp oregano

Directions

1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat

2. Saute onions, carrots, and garlic, until tender

3. Stir in peppers and chili powder

4. Cook until veggies are tender, about 6 minutes

5. Stir in mushrooms, cook about 4 minutes

6. Stir in tomatoes, beans, and corn

7. Season with cumin and oregano

8. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium

9. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally

Feel free to add/take away any of the ingredients. You can even add meat, if you’re so inclined. You can’t really make a mistake with this dish!

If any of you were headed to that blizzard potluck that wasn’t meant to be, do you remember what you made?

♦ Buttery B

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Questionable Butter: What’s Your Favorite Movie Snack? September 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — butteryblog @ 1:26 am

Q of W

 

Once in a while we’ll pose a question to our readers and tell you our answers as well. This week we want to know what your favorite movie snack is.

 

Buttery B loves her Raisinets, as does Lady Butterbuns. Mother Butter is a traditionalist with a bucket of popcorn and a soda. Mrs. Butterpants digs on Milk Duds.

 

Now it’s your turn to share!

 

 

 

Lemon-Lemon Mousse September 25, 2009

Filed under: Desserts — butteryblog @ 12:30 am
Tags: ,
Pucker up!

Pucker up!

I’ve never really like mousse; I always felt like it wanted to be pudding and failed. But, as you may know, I have a lemon tree that won’t quit. So when you have a bushel of lemons in one hand and some unused-but-slowly-aging heavy cream in the other … well, you make mousse.

This recipe not only marks the first time I’ve made mousse, but the first time I’ve successfully made lemon curd. I tried once, years ago, and it was an unmitigated disaster. It feels good to finally triumph over a recipe! You’ll notice this recipe, from Everyday Food, is actually called “Lemon Lime Mousse.” Since my main goal was to use up my surplus of lemons, I didn’t bother with the lime.

Overall, this dessert was delicious. The lemon curd was tart and went perfectly with the fresh whipped cream. I will say, though, that it’s a heavy dessert. You’re not going to sit down to a pint of this mousse and live to tell the tale. It would be excellent with some shortbread cookies or served with a scoop of fruit sorbet. It also tends to have a better consistency as the days go on (until the day it becomes old and soggy, anyway).

Lemon Lime Mousse

Makes 6 servings.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter room temp
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs + 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

PREP TIME:10 MINUTES/TOTAL TIME: 3 HOURS 30 MINUTES

1. You can make the lemon curd (through step one) up to two days ahead; keep it refrigerated. The velvety curd is also delicious spread on shortbread and scones.

2. Make the lemon curd: In a medium saucepan whisk together butter, 1 cup sugar, eggs, yolks, lemon juice, and lime juice (mixture may appear curdled). Place over low heat; cook, stirring, until smooth, 4 to 5 minutes. Raise heat to medium; cook, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat back of spoon, 4 to 8 minutes (do not boil).

3. Remove the pan from the heat; stir in the lemon zest.Transfer mixture to a bowl; cover with plastic wrap, and chill at least 1 hour.  Press the plastic wrap directly onto surface of lemon curd to prevent a skin from forming.

4. In a mixing bowl, beat cream and remaining 1/3 cup sugar to soft peaks. Whisk lemon curd to loosen, then gently fold in whipped cream. Spoon into six glasses. Cover; chill at least 2 hours and up to 3 days, Just before serving, garnish with zest.

GRADE: A-

♥Lady Butterbuns

 

The Mamaw Project- Beef Stroganoff September 23, 2009

Filed under: Meat — butteryblog @ 11:13 am
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Beef Stroganoff a la Mamaw

Beef Stroganoff a la Mamaw

Now that people have seen Julie and Julia, everyone has taken to making things out of Mastering The Art of French Cooking. I myself have taken on a similar project, just with a more personal spin. My husband lost his grandmother this spring and she was a phenomenal cook. Over the years I had taken mental notes, watched her cook as often as I could. I even got to make home made divinity with her one Christmas! She left behind a library of recipes that are just great. So now, I have taken it upon myself to make things that she used to make. Now, I am not saying they are as good as she made them. Not even close. But she did have 60 years of cooking experience on me! I am going slow and doing the favorites over and over so that they will be as good as Mamaw’s. One day. In about 30 more years. This recipe was a favorite of one on the cousins. When I asked my MIL how come she never makes it, she said it was too fattening. It is! This is not a diet dinner, people. It is however, one of the best things I have made in a long time.

∞ Mother Butter

Beef Stroganoff

1 large or 2 small onions diced

8 Tbsp butter, unsalted

flour for dredging

1 garlic clove, minced

1/3 c. water

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 pint mushrooms, sliced and cleaned

1 lb sirloin steak, sliced thin

1 pint sour cream

1) Brown onion in 4 Tbsp butter over med. heat for 8-10 minutes

2) Dredge meat in flour, salt and pepper

3) Remove onions from skillet. Put remaining butter in skillet and brown floured meat over med high heat.

4) Add garlic to meat. Cook 1-2 minutes

5) Add water, soup mushrooms and onions into pan.

6) Cook for 15-20 minutes uncovered.

7) Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.

8 ) Serve over hot egg noodles or rice.

 

L’Shana Tova Tikatevu! September 18, 2009

Filed under: Baked Goods/Pastries — butteryblog @ 9:37 pm
Tags: , ,
Spicy.

Spicy.

Tonight begins the Jewish New Year!  Happy 5770!

When I was growing up, Rosh Hashanah meant a day off school and a trip to Mobile to my Mama Molly’s house.   Mama Molly was my great-grandmother on my maternal grandfather’s side.  She had the most fabulous house!  And every year, she had a huge family party complete with passed hors d’oeuvres, bartenders, and catering.  When we arrived, I always ran straight for the kitchen to ask the catering ladies to save me some kreplach, a specialty of my other great-grandmother, which always went quickly.  Cheese straws and shrimp were also a staple.  Yes, shrimp.  I have no excuse for the shrimp.

She passed away many years ago and although my great uncle continued the parties, I haven’t been to one since I graduated from college.  As I’ve moved further and further away from the family, it gets harder and more expensive to travel.  Mr. Butterpants and I have to choose carefully so Christmas/Chanukah is often the winner.

I miss those parties.

I’ve been wanting to celebrate in my own way here in Los Angeles.  I’m joining friends for services tomorrow and my friend, Buffy (in the process of converting!) is hosting a break-the-fast next week on Yom Kippur.

I wanted to go a little more traditional than shrimp and it’s traditional to eat apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah to usher in a sweet and prosperous year. So I figure this honey cake works, right?

Majestic and Moist Honey Cake
Adapted from Marcy Goldman’s Treasure of Jewish Holiday Baking

via Smitten Kitchen

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder (I used a tsp.)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup honey
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup warm coffee or strong tea (I used a Pomegranate/Raspberry Tea)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup rye or whiskey (I used brandy)
1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds (optional- I didn’t use these)

I also added 1 small diced Gala apple into the flour mixture.

Fits in three loaf pans, two 9-inch square or round cake pans, one 9 or 10 inch tube or bundt cake pan, or one 9 by 13 inch sheet cake. I made mine in two full-size loaf pans plus two miniature ones.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease pan(s) with non-stick cooking spray. For tube or angel food pans, line the bottom with lightly greased parchment paper, cut to fit.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Make a well in the center, and add oil, honey, white sugar, brown sugars, eggs, vanilla, coffee or tea, orange juice and rye or whiskey, if using. (If you measure your oil before the honey, it will be easier to get all of the honey out.)

Using a strong wire whisk or in an electric mixer on slow speed, stir together well to make a thick, well-blended batter, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom.

Pour batter into prepared pan(s). Sprinkle top of cake(s) evenly with almonds, if using. Place cake pan(s) on two baking sheets, stacked together (this will ensure the cakes bake properly with the bottom baking faster than the cake interior and top).

Bake until cake tests done, that is, it springs back when you gently touch the cake center. For angel and tube cake pans, this will take 60 to 75 minutes, loaf cakes, about 45 to 55 minutes. For sheet style cakes, baking time is 40 to 45 minutes.

Let cake stand fifteen minutes before removing from pan.

This cake is a perfect fall cake, whether you’re Jewish or not. This would be a lovely Thanksgiving Day/Christmas morning breakfast cake. It tastes like a slightly sweeter spice cake and it’s astoundingly moist.

Deb mentioned she had a problem with sinking. After reading her comments, I decided to use 1 tsp each of baking powder and baking soda and managed to avoid it. Of course, I didn’t wait long enough for one of them to cool in the pan and it fell apart a little. But who cares? It still tastes awesome.

Whether or not you celebrate Rosh Hashanah, I hope you try this cake. It’s a yummy way to welcome fall.

L’shana tova tikatevu! Shabbat Shalom!
Be excellent to each other,
Ms. Butterpants

Caaaake

Caaaake

 

Caribbean Pork with Pineapple Avocado Salsa September 17, 2009

Filed under: Meat — butteryblog @ 1:48 am
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Hooray pork!

Hooray pork!

I love a good pork tenderloin. It really is the other white meat. Tonight I broiled it with Caribbean spices and served it with a fresh pineapple avocado salsa. I let Lord B pick the avocado. It’s not his fault; he’s not skilled in such things. The avocado was under-ripe, so the salsa wasn’t as flavorful as possible. The recipe, as you’ll see, calls for two tenderloins. I only cooked one, so I halved all of the spices. This left the pork a little under-seasoned. My recommendation is that even if you’re only cooking on tenderloin, go ahead and use the full amount of spices. And for goodness sake, pick out the avocados yourself!

Recipe from Everyday Food.

Makes 4 servings (I find it hard to believe one sane person could eat half of a loin.)

INGREDIENTS:

2 pork tenderloins
1 tablespoon olive oil

SPICE RUB:
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES/TOTAL TIME: 45 MINUTES

1. Heat broiler, with rack 4 inches from heat source. Line a broilerproof rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place pork on pan; rub all over with oil, and coat evenly with spice rub.

2.  Broil, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into pork registers 150°, 15 to 20 minutes.

3.  Wrap loosely with foil in pan; let rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing thinly. Serve with the salsa.

GRADE: B

♥Lady Butterbuns

 

Slow and Steady September 13, 2009

Filed under: health/diet — butteryblog @ 9:32 pm
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Every year for my birthday, I usually spend at least a month or two brainstorming the perfect thing to do, place to go, outfit to wear. In NYC, the possibilities are endless, which I think tends to lend a hand in my obsessive planning. One year it was volunteering to walk shelter dogs, another spent chowing down on BBQ at Virgil’s, and another having cocktails at the Algonquin Hotel.

This year it was running my first 5K for the Race for the Cure.

Serenaded on my run

Serenaded on my run

I am not a runner. In fact, about a year ago, you’d find me saying “The thought of running gives me a headache,” or “Running makes my teeth hurt.” These were both true. But, then one day, out of the blue, I just started running. And, well, here we are–this momentous day. I ran 3.1 miles (without stopping) in Central Park. And, wow, did I ever deserve a good brunch with a strong mimosa after that!

Home. Shower. Off to Robin Des Bois in Brooklyn to meet two of my favorite people for a celebration brunch. It was a perfect day to sit in the quirky backyard garden, complete with old subway signs, grapevines growing real grapes, the sun scattered through the trees, and rustic iron furniture. We had a lovely British waiter named Rob (if you go there, by the way, request him–he rocked!).

Scattered Sun

Scattered Sun

On the menu:
Oeufs au gratin with ham and gruyere (with salad and amazing amazing toasted bread)
Mimosa, of course
Once upon a tea (vanilla chocolate rooibos tea)
Warm chocolate cake

Maybe just a little too close

Maybe just a little too close to the ouefs

Delicious. The eggs were a bit overcooked, but I think my exhaustion from the run combined with the mimosa, prevented me from really caring. My friend said the tea smelled like play-doh, but I liked it.

It was nice being able to truly enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon with friends. After doing something so physical, my body felt like it couldn’t do much more. Exert your body, and then reap the rewards of relaxation…and food, of course!

What is your favorite birthday memory?

♦ Buttery B