Tag Archives: condiment

Caramelized Onion Butter

Face it, your gonna eat it until you're out of bread.

Face it, your gonna eat it until you’re out of bread.

We’re not sure why it took us so long to understand that mixing things into your butter is awesome. And why wouldn’t it be? Fat + anything = awesome (this is a well known tenet of string theory; just sayin’). Better yet, it’s easy and adds just the right amount of little lilly-guilding to any occasion. If any of this sounds unappealing just head back to BuzzFeed or whatever the hell else you were doing. If the thought of having caramelized onions…in butter form…to spread on whatever you want gives you culinary wood then keep reading.

Equipment Needed: Frying Pan, Wooden Spoon, Serving Spoon, Small Mixing Bowl, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Serving Dish (to hold the finished butter)

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 8-10

Suggested Wine Pairing: whatever you’re drinking

Suggested Beer Pairing: whatever you’re drinking

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter ($4.99/lb)
  • 1 medium onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 1-2 TBSP dark maple syrup ($6.99/8 oz)
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar ($2.79/32 oz)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Put a stick of butter in a small mixing bowl so it comes to room temperature by the time  you’re ready to add the onions.
  • Peel and finely dice your onion. You want super small pieces so they caramelize quickly and you aren’t eating big chunks once you fold everything together.
  • Put your frying pan over medium heat. After about a minute, add 1 tablespoon of the room temp butter and throw in the onion. Stir them until the butter has melted and let them sit for 3 minutes. Add a liberal sprinkling of salt and some fresh cracked black pepper and let sit for another 3 minutes.
  • Pour in the apple cider vinegar, stir and let sit for another 3 minutes.
  • Pour the maple syrup over the top, stir and let sit for another 3 minutes. From here on out, stir the now caramelicious onions every 3 minutes until they’ve reduced to about a quarter of the original size; this will take about 20 minutes or more.
If you can find it. use dark amber maple syrup for a richer flavor.

If you can find it. use dark amber maple syrup for a richer flavor.

  • Remove the onions from the frying pan and let them cool to room temperature. Add them to your small mixing bowl with the softened butter. Using a spoon, slowly fold all that deliciousness evenly into the butter and then transfer it to your serving container.
Thoroughly stir the whole lot so you equally distribute the caramely goodness.

Thoroughly stir the whole lot so you equally distribute the caramely goodness.

  • If you want to roll it up you can use the same technique that we did for our melted leek and bacon butter; it’s a fancier presentation but takes a little more effort. Either way, let the whole lot sit in the fridge for at least an hour before you serve. It’ll last in the icebox for up to 5 days but that probably won’t be an issue.

Leek and Bacon Butter

Welcome to your new obsession: trying to figure out the myriad things you can use to make compound butter

Welcome to your new obsession: trying to figure out the myriad things you can use to make compound butter.

We hope you came off your January detox as quickly as we did because we’ve got one more delicious ditty to add to the seemingly infinite lists of food trends for the year: compound butter. Yes folks, it is possible to actually make butter more delicious and it simply entails mixing things in with it. To absolutely no one’s surprise we chose bacon as our gateway compound. But wait, there’s more! We also caramelized some leeks to give it a sweet and slightly vegetal backbone. You can use this to make any dish more interesting (potatoes, roasted veggies and pasta come to mind) but we’re betting you’ll do what we did and just end up eating most of it on fresh bread. Resolutions be damned.

Equipment Needed: Frying Pan, Spatula, Serving Spoon, Small Mixing Bowl, Medium Mixing Bowl, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Parchment Paper or Wax Paper, Plastic Wrap

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 8-10

Suggested Wine Pairing: whatever you’re drinking

Suggested Beer Pairing: whatever you’re drinking

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick and 3 TBSP unsalted butter (divided) ($4.99/lb)
  • 1 small leek (about $2.99/lb)
  • 1 clove garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon ($7.99/lb)

Preparation:

  • Do two things before you start to save yourself a lot of mess 1)Put a stick of butter in your medium mixing bowl. You want it room temperature when you’re ready to make things compound. 2) Lay out a 12 inch piece of parchment paper so you’re literally ready to roll once the leeks have melted down.
  • Cut the green woody end and the root end off of the leek. Halve it lengthwise and then cut each piece into thin half-moon slices. Put them in your small mixing bowl and pour cold water over everything. Swish them around to loosen the dirt and then drain and pat them dry.
Leeks have a knack for getting dirt in them so you may need to rinse twice.

Leeks have a knack for getting dirt in them so you may need to rinse twice.

  • Peel and mince your garlic clove. Set it aside until later in the leek melting process.
  • Slice the bacon strips crosswise into thin pieces, then chop those pieces into super tiny chunks so they incorporate easier. Place them in the frying pan over medium heat and crisp them up for about 5-8 minutes (you want them crunchy; this isn’t for debate). Remove the pieces and set them on a paper towel to drain, but leave the grease in the pan.
Chop the bacon into tiny pieces so it mixes, spreads and is easier to eat.

Chop the bacon into tiny pieces so it mixes, spreads and is easier to eat.

  • Add the sliced leeks to the pan along with 3 tablespoons of butter. Stir everything around so it’s well-coated and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Stir, let sit, and repeat for about 8-10 minutes then turn the heat to low, add the garlic and cook for another 10-12 minutes until the leeks are well caramelized.
  • Remove the frying pan from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Add the veggies and the bacon to your small mixing bowl with the softened butter. Using a spoon, slowly fold all that deliciousness evenly into the butter and plop it down on the parchment paper you laid out.
  • The next part is more art than science. Think like you’re rolling up a piece of paper or poster and roll the parchment paper around the compound butter.
Hold the ends of the paper and roll down to meld the butter together.

Hold the ends of the paper and roll down to meld the butter together.

  • Once you’re satisfied with the tubeness of your butter, put a piece of plastic wrap around the whole lot and twist the ends to seal everything up. Let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour before you serve. It’ll last in the icebox for up to 5 days but that probably won’t be an issue.

Cardamom Simple Syrup

So artisan you’re gonna have to grow a handlebar mustache and start charging your friends $15 a drink.

Simple syrup is just that; simple. Mix equal parts water and sugar, bring to a boil, et voilà, you’ve got a sweetener for cocktails, drinks, dishes, whatever. We had some green cardamom pods leftover from an earlier experiment and decided to complicate our simple syrup a bit. The results are spicy, herbal and slightly citrusy, mixing well with gin and vodka (hint, hint).

Equipment Needed: 1 QT Pot, Chef’s Knife, Whisk, Strainer, Jar/Squeeze Bottle/Vessel To Hold The Finished Product In

Ingredients:

  • 1 C water
  • 1 C sugar ($2.39/2 lbs)
  •  1/4 C green cardamom pods (the price varies but it will be significantly cheaper if you have an awesome spice store like Kalustyan’s nearby; about $6.99/oz)

Preparation:

  • Add the water and sugar to your pot and whisk it together quickly to dissolve some of the sugar.
  • Place the pot over high heat. Take your cardamom pods and break them open. Add the pods and their innards to the mix and whisk everything together. Bring it to a boil stirring occasionally. Turn the stove off and let the syrup cool.

Stir it up to make sure the sugar dissolves and the cardamom is at maximum absorption.

  • Once your syrup has cooled to about room temperature place the strainer over your container of choice and pour the mixture in. Make sure you got all the cardamom pieces out, seal it up and pop it in the fridge. It should last a few months kept cool in an airtight container.

Use a strainer; no one likes chewy syrup.

Roasted Garlic and Artichoke Cream

You'll be finding excuses to put this on everything.

We’re not gonna lie, we totally ripped this idea off from a spread we saw while shopping in Fairway. Our version, however, isn’t $14 for 8 ounces, so there. This blend is great by itself on bread but can be used for pizzas, on pasta, as a sauce for poultry, you name it. For a sharper bite use the garlic raw instead of roasting it.

Equipment Needed: Aluminum Foil, Baking Pan, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Blender or Food Processor

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 8-12

Suggested Wine Pairing: Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, un-oaked Chardonnay

Suggested Beer Pairing: Pilsner, Light Lagers

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans artichoke hearts ($2.79/13.75 oz can)
  • 2 garlic bulbs (yes, 2 whole bulbs) ($2.99/lb)
  • 1/4 C grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese ($12.99/lb)
  • 1 lemon ($0.50/each)
  • 4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, divided ($9.99)/32 oz)
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

Preparation:

  • Preheat your oven to 415° F.
  • Peel as much of the loose outer papery skin odd the garlic bulbs as you can without actually peeling them. Cut the tops off of the cloves and tear off a piece of foil large enough to enclose both bulbs.
  • Place the foil in the baking sheet and set down your garlic bulbs, cut side up. Drizzle about two tablespoons of olive oil over the top and sprinkle some salt and pepper on each as well. Wrap them up and pop them in the oven for 35 minutes.

Lube your bulbs.

  • While your garlic is roasting drain the artichokes and quarter them. Put them in the blender or food processor, add a palmful of salt and pepper, and grate in a quarter cup of Parmigiano cheese. Squeeze in the juice of half a lime, pour in two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and blend everything together until it’s smooth.

The acidity of the lemon helps balance things out.

  • When your garlic has roasted let it cool for a couple of minutes and then squeeze the cloves out of their peels and into your artichoke puree. Blend until everything is incorporated and add more cheese, salt, pepper or lemon to taste. Spread on your vessel of choice and buon appetito!

Garlicky Pickled Scallions

A perfect pickled produce for plentiful pairings.

Another one fresh from the fields, this CSA bumper crop works great on sandwiches, chopped up on a hot dog, as a side for BBQ. You know, whatever. Yes we need to learn how to pickle things properly so they last longer but for now stop complaining and just enjoy the fact that we’ve given you yet another brilliant idea that will make you look epicurean in front of your friends.

Equipment Needed: 3 QT Pot with Lid, Wooden Spoon or Whisk, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Measuring Cup

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 12 ish

Suggested Wine Pairing: Whatever you’re drinking

Suggested Beer Pairing: Whatever you’re drinking

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches scallions (about $2/bunch)
  • 5 cloves of garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 lemon ($0.50/each)
  • 1 C white vinegar ($2.89/12 oz)
  • 1 C sugar ($2.39/2 lb box)
  • 2 TBSP coarse kosher salt ($2.29/48 oz box)
  • 1 TSP black peppercorns ($3.69/2.25 oz)
  • 1 C water (free)

Preparation:

  • Mix the sugar, vinegar, salt and water in your pot.
  • Cut the root end off your scallions and cut the green leaves off at the point where the stalk starts to turn that light green/white. Pull off the outer layer as it’s usually pretty grungy and wash those puppies thoroughly. Slice them in half lengthwise and set them aside.

Watch your fingers as you slice the scallions down the center.

  • Put your pot over high heat and bring it to a boil. While it’s coming to temperature peel and smash your garlic cloves. Also, cut out a quarter of a lemon and set it aside.

Crush the garlic cloves for maximum flavor diffusion in the pickled mix.

  • Once the vinegar mixture starts boiling add the scallions, garlic, lemon wedge and peppercorns. Stir everything around to make sure it gets coated in the pickling liquid and remove the pot from the heat. Cover the whole lot and let it sit until it comes to room temperature. Store it in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Use it to top sandwiches, as an accent for salads, or just an acidic side for fatty dishes.

Pickled Red Onions

The a delicious homemade topping; sandwich not included.

Using a simple variation of the pickling recipe as our pickled green beans, we enter into the realm of condiments with these deliciously sweet red onions. Use them as a to top sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers or as a side for chicken or steak.

Equipment Needed: 2 QT Pot with Lid, Wooden Spoon or Whisk, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Measuring Cup

Serving Suggestion: Depends on how you’re using it

Servings: 12 ish

Suggested Wine Pairing: Whatever you’re drinking

Suggested Beer Pairing: Whatever you’re drinking

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium red onions ($1.50/lb)
  • 2 cloves of garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 jalapeño ($1.99/lb)
  • 3/4 C rice vinegar ($2.79/12 oz)
  • 3/4 C sugar ($2.39/2 lb box)
  • 3/4 C water (free)

Preparation:

  • Mix the sugar, vinegar and water in your pot and put over high heat, bringing it to a boil.

Raw sugar provides a richer sweetness than regular granulated sugar...if you're into that kind of thing.

  • While the brew is bubbling, peel and quarter your onions, slice them very thinly, less than 1/8th of an inch if you can. Peel and smash the garlic; halve the jalapeño and remove the seeds.

Slice thinly so the vinegar mixture soaks in easier.

  • Just as the vinegar mixture starts to boil add the garlic and half of the jalapeño and let it go for another minute. Then toss in your onions, remove the pot from the heat, cover and let it sit until it comes to room temperature. Throw them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a month.

Bring just the right amount of heat with a half. Add the other half if you're feeling adventurous.

Rhubarb Strawberry Compote

Sweet, a little tart and goes well with everything. Just like us.

You may be asking, “what the f**k is a compote,” to which we’d say if you weren’t such a potty mouth we’d tell you. Wikipedia defines a compote as “a dessert originating from 17th century England made of whole or pieces of fruit in sugar syrup.” We define it as an easy and most excellent way to top ice cream, yogurt, bread, scones, muffins, or anything else that needs a sweet and tart kick in the junk.  Your best bet for rhubarb is your local farmers’ market or co-op; it’s a little harder to find in grocery stores. The recipe takes just 4 ingredients and about 20 minutes to make so you’re only denying  yourself if you don’t try it.

Equipment Needed: 2 or 3 QT Pot, Cutting Board, Chef’s Knife, Wooden Spoon, Tablespoon (or you can eyeball it)

Serving Suggestion: As we mentioned above, it’s good on most breakfast foods or desserts. You won’t know until you try.

Servings: Varies depending on how much self-control you and your companions have

Suggested Wine Paring: Fruity whites, Champagne or Sparkling Wine

Suggested Beer Pairing: This is the only time you’ll hear us say this: you shouldn’t drink beer when eating this. If you must, choose something like a Lindemans lambic or other fruit infused beer to keep things on the sweeter side (Ithaca Apricot Wheat comes to mind)

Ingredients:

  • 4 C rhubarb (price varies, but expect something around $3/lb)
  • 1 C strawberries ($3.99/lb)
  • 2 1/2 TBSP sugar ($2.39/2 lb box)
  • 1/2 TBSP butter ($4.99/lb)

Preparation:

  • Wash all of your fruit thoroughly, especially if it’s not farm fresh or organic (seriously, the regular stuff in the grocery store has more chemicals on it than you probably want to know).
  • Cut the leaves and stems of the strawberries (natch) and dice them into tiny pieces. The smaller they are the faster they’ll cook down.

Tiny pieces make for faster cooking time.

  • Take the ends off of your rhubarb stalks and dice them like you would a piece of celery (aka, 1/4 inch slices).

(Insert witty rhubarb caption here)

  • Put your pot over the lowest heat you can get on your stove and melt the butter. Add the fruit and sugar and cook until it has the consistency of oatmeal (about 15-20 minutes). Stir occasionally and use the spoon to mash up any pieces that remain whole; add more sugar if you like it sweeter.

Sweeten the deal a bit.

  • Once it’s cooked down, transfer to another vessel (bowl, plastic ware, hollowed-out gourd) and let it cool before serving.