Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Butter Makes it Better!

Only three weeks ago, I was walking down Bourbon Street, observing all New Orleans has to offer. Magicians, artists, dancers, and psychics come out every day to entertain the throngs of people visiting the city. Loud music roared from bars that never seem to close. It certainly is a one of a kind place. While we were there we ate at GW Fins, the reason I am writing this. Over 21 days later, I am still thinking of my fabulous dinner.

To start we had their sizzling oysters. They smoke the shells and then throw the raw oysters on as it is being plated. By the time the oysters reach the table they are cooked perfectly. Of all the oysters I ate while in New Orleans, these were by far the best. The smoky flavor eliminates the need for cocktail sauce, horseradish, and a saltine cracker. Then my meal came.

If I had to pick my last supper, this would almost take #1 (it’s a close second to Mom’s spaghetti of course!). I ordered the Parmesan Crusted Lemon Sole, topped with lump crab meat, crispy capers, and brown butter. Alongside came impeccably roasted asparagus. Everything worked. The fish was flaky and light with a delicious crunch from the parmesan. The brown butter truly brought the dish together, the combination of lemon, parmesan, and capers is so classic and simple. All of the flavors were beautifully highlighted, making this dish unforgettable.

In addition to topping my list of best all time dinners, this has also made me a bit obsessed with brown butter. Such a simple technique, yet so difficult to master! Perfect with pasta and fish, this is a skill worth learning. Known in French as beurre noir, this term is used to classify whole butter cooked until dark brown. This can then be flavored (but certainly can be left plain) with vinegar, lemon juice, capers, and parsley and served over fish, eggs, and vegetables.

Here’s How:

Heat a skillet on medium heat, add desired amount of butter that has been cut into tablespoon slabs. As the butter melts, whisk the butter constantly. Wait for the butter to turn a light tan color, then remove from heat. Allow the butter to cook off heat until a chestnut brown.

Add sage and walnuts to the butter serve over butternut squash. Top with parmesan cheese, and voile! You’ve got dinner!

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