Black & Bolyard Brown Butter is better than butter. Say that fast, three times. It is. Better. Than butter. And I like butter. These wise guys in Brooklyn, NY, make it in Original, Bay Leaf, and Red Chili. It’s shelf stable, and in solid form, because the butter solids are whipped back in, but you can refrigerate it. I took a sample jar of each home to cook with, but am having trouble getting past shoving handfuls of brown butter popcorn in my mouth. This is so good. Just plain melted on popcorn, or schmeared on a sliced baguette, or tossed with some steamed vegetables is the simplest and most perfect way to go. So far that’s all I’ve been able to do. My intentions were good, I bought pencil asparagus, it is Spring-ish, after all, zucchini noodles, and cubed butternut squash for pureeing for the real deal. I also picked up some fish, but in this wasteland of choices, ended up with frozen Mediterranean Sea Bass imported from Turkey. That fish story I’ll tell some other time. I love brown butter sauce on white fish, or even scallops. Shrimp scampi would be good, too. I want to add more chili peppers and maybe even chipotle peppers to the chili butter, for even more over the top flavor. Or chop up some fresh herbs to go with the bay leaf butter. This would also be good on any starch: potatoes, rice, or any grain, or pasta. Your morning oatmeal? That would be good too. I’m thinking between sheets of phyllo dough, wrapped around some fruit or cheese, baked in the oven would be outstanding. And it’s so easy to use. All you have to do is spoon it from the jar to your mouth, I mean pan, and let it melt. If you started with fresh butter you’d have to watch the temperature very carefully not to burn the butter solids, no easy task. Just the aroma is heavenly: all caramel, toasty and nutty. The taste is sweet, but there’s no sugar, it’s just butter and sea salt. The two other flavors have bay leaves and chili peppers. That’s it. By the way, you know I tried it with a dark chocolate above 80% cacao and it passed muster, as you can imagine. This stuff would be good on shoe leather. So if you don’t know how to cook, this is going to change your life, and even if you can cook, this is going to be your new best friend. Mine, too.
Let’s get busy: Broccolini, Brussel’s Sprouts, Pencil Asparagus, Butternut Squash, Vidalia Onion, Zucchini Noodles, and a Baguette are what I picked up at the market, along with the fish, a lemon (for the fish?), and a Blood Orange. I already knew the Bay Leaf Brown Butter was for the green vegetables, and the Chili Brown Butter was for the Butternut Squash and the fish. After a quick blanch in salted water, the vegetables were sautéed in their butters, and put aside. I soaked a dried chipotle pepper in water overnight to soften up and chopped a little of it for the butternut squash which took a little bit longer to cook. When I added the Chili Butter and the chipotle pepper it turned into something extraordinary like it was cooked over a wood stove in Mexico. I have never tasted anything like that before, not sweet, but smoky and creamy, and I am not going to puree that, now. I have yet to sauté the fish but will do that last minute, with a nod to all the blackened fish served in New Orleans, I’m laying a piece of the chipotle pepper on top and set it on a bed of zucchini noodles and the sweet, caramelized, Vidalia onion. I’ve made a reduction of the Blood Orange juice and the Chili Brown Butter to go over the fish. It should be good. Skin side down the thin fillets cook quickly in the butter, so you have to watch carefully and turn them when the flesh turns mostly white on top. You should have a nice browned skin and leave the fish in the hot pan until plating. One or two quick photos, and then I clean the plate! Yea, it was good. I’d drink a pinot noir with this instead of a white wine to stand up to all those smoky, caramel, toasty flavors that would be in the wine, too. I know…, red wine with white fish? Yes, it all depends on how you cook it.