Friday, June 06, 2008

Porcini Butter (Page 895)


  • Date: Sunday, June 1, 2008 -- 8pm
  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Kitchen: Matty's Apartment
  • Fellow Chefs: Angelica and Ana
  • Dining Companions: Jenny, Kenny, Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B+

The Book has six different compound butter recipes in it (i.e. butter with stuff smushed into it). I often forget about these recipes (Seriously, who thinks before they make dinner, "What is this meal missing? Aha! Fancy butter!"). But I have a list of recipes generated by a random number generator to force me to make some of the stuff that I forget or avoid. I try to make at least one random recipe whenever I make a big dinner, and this one was on the list. So on Sunday when a bunch of math people came over for dinner, porcini butter was on the menu! This butter was pretty good... I have now made four of the six compound butters in The Book. The first compound butter I made was very disappointing. From that experience, my special gentleman got it in his head that compound butters are all bad. When my special gentleman tasted this one he said, "Well, it's better than plain butter." Obviously he has set his bar pretty low for the compound butters in The Book! It was indeed better than plain butter though. The mushrooms and garlic complemented the butter quite nicely. Combining the mushroom soaking liquid with the butter in addition to the chopped dried mushrooms gave it a nice, uniform mushroom flavor throughout. The Book suggests serving it with grilled meat, but I just spread it on some crusty bread and it was quite enjoyable. Although most people agreed that it tasted pretty good, the fact that it wasn't so visually appealing turned some people off to it. So, I probably wouldn't serve this to friends again, but I would certainly eat it myself.

Here is the recipe.

I am trying to do more cooking that usual for the next week so I can backlog some recipes to blog about. A week from tomorrow I am leaving for two weeks in Europe (conference season!), and there will be no occasion to cook on my trip, nor am I willing to pack The Book! The Book is a lot of wonderful things, but light is not one of them!

I am very much looking forward to this trip. It is a conference in honor of the 60th birthday of one of my professors from MIT. He is an amazing guy -- a generous and giving person in addition to being an incredible mathematician. I looked to him for advice, mathematical and otherwise, all throughout graduate school -- in fact, I still do! It will be wonderful fun to celebrate him with a conference! Week one of the conference is taking place in Denmark, which will be a new experience for me. Week two is in Germany. I have traveled to Germany several times, but never to Bonn, where the conference is taking place. I am traveling with Mike -- we had such a good time traveling together to Norway last summer that we figured we would buy plane tickets together again -- so that will no doubt yield some good stories. Did I ever post about the time I accidentally left Mike half-naked and without any money to find his way, alone, across Oslo... I can't remember?!? Another time...

Anyway, Europe will no doubt be a blast, but at the moment I am focusing on getting some math and cooking done before I go!


mike hill said...

Most of that story is not fit for `blog consumption! However, the essential part is true: Teena abandoned me, [unintentionally] absconding with my shirt, shoes, and wallet (we'd been on the beach). I had to take a Norwegian bus back from the beach to the center of town wearing just jeans. Suffice to say, I made a number of friends then!

Teena said...

Ha ha ha... I wasn't going to tell the whole story! I'll try not to wander away with any close of our while we are in Denmark next week!