01 July 2009

Slinging hash: ginger butter

A few weeks ago, I was flipping through Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, trying to find something new to do with salmon.

How to Cook Everything looks intimidating, but it is very accessible. I liken it to a more contemporary version of the Joy of Cooking or Fannie Farmer. Lately, I find myself referring to this, or The Gourmet Cookbook, far more than the old tried and trues.

In the first chapter, Bittman includes a recipe for compound butter, which lists 21 variations, but really, the combinations are endless. His second suggestion, for adding fresh ginger, caught my attention. I love ginger, but am more intuitive when I cook in an Italian/American/French style. When it comes to Asian flavors, I can't improvise as well.

I keep butter in a crock at room temperature, so it is always soft, and a bowl of chopped parsley on the counter. When I buy a bunch, I chop it immediately, use what I need and sprinkle the rest at will throughout the week. It's quicker than rinsing, drying and chopping a bit at a time, and keeps it from getting lost, and slimy in the fridge.

And thus, a recipe — although I use the term loosely — was born.

I have been putting ginger butter on everything: fish, steak, duck, chicken, rice. At this point, if you stand still too long in my kitchen, you run the risk of getting slathered with it.

Ginger Butter
adapted from Mark Bittman

You can halve this recipe, or use half and freeze half.
Cilantro can stand in for the parsley, but the thought of cilantro makes me gag. It may be genetic.

1 stick (8 tablespoons softened butter)
2 tablespoons fresh ginger
Chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

This is what my mother calls a shit and mix recipe: take some shit, mix it together. Done.

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