I have an addiction – okay, several addictions but we’re not talking about Coach Purses here. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Food Network, particularly the show Chopped. Chopped’s premise is simple: give four chef contestants a basket of unusual/rare/creepy unrelated ingredients and 30 minutes to create something edible with those ingredients (as well as any additional ingredients they may need from the stocked kitchen/pantry they are working in.) There are three rounds: appetizer, entrée and dessert, and after the first two rounds, one contestant per round is elminiated leaving two chefs to compete in the dessert round. The winner gets $10,000.
In watching an untold amount of these shows, I’ve run across some really revolting ingredients that I would NEVER eat: durian, rattlesnake, sea urchin, liver, various other organ meats, blood sausage, head cheese, bottarga (compressed, cured fish roe)…I could continue but you get the drift. But last night there was an ingredient that was more unusual to me than revolting: goat butter.
Huh. I spent several minutes trying to figure out what goat butter was: butter with goat meat in it? Butter with goat cheese in it? Then the DUH! meter went off. It’s butter made with goat milk.
I’m not a fan of goat milk (<---understatement) but I enjoy some good chevre or feta now and then, so my curiousity was peaked. What do you do with goat butter? On Chopped, one contestant cooked some tortilla triangles in it to make chips. Seems like a fairly passive use of the ingredient. I was left wondering how much flavor had been passed on to the chips.
So on to Google I went to find ways to use goat butter. I have to say I came up with some pretty tasty hits:
• Martha Stewart’s Goat Butter and Honey Caramels
• Roasted Beets with Celery Root and Goat Butter
• Goat Butter Biscuits
AND I found this at www.thenibble.com
“There are as many ways to use goat butter as cow butter: it makes spectacular fudge and you can have that recipe along with one for one of our favorite comfort foods, macaroni and cheese. But just for starters, think of:
Basic Breads & Breakfast Foods
Bread and Toast: Add excitement to everyday breads, from plain toast, whole wheat and seven-grain bread and baguettes to bagels and rolls.
Artisan Breads: Make luscious breads even more so by buttering up ciabatta, olive bread, walnut bread, semolina bread and other artisanal specialties.
Scones and Muffins: Make them even more special with some delicate goat goodness.
Eggs: Cook eggs in goat butter for added nuances of flavor.
Cereal: Taste the delightful difference with a pat swirled into grits or other hot cereal.
Pancakes and Waffles: Add a dab instead of cow’s milk butter. The subtle savory note is so interesting that we now prefer to eat our pancakes buttered, without syrup.
Sandwiches, Snacks & Cocktails
Sandwiches: Transform simple sandwiches— add panache to tomato and watercress, grilled vegetables, Serrano or Parma ham (prosciutto), or smoked salmon.
Popcorn: Make a batch of buttered popcorn more special with goat butter.
Tea: Scones, muffins, tea sandwiches get a refreshing new point-of-view with goat butter.
Canapés: Spread a round of bread with goat butter instead of mayonnaise, and add the topping of your choice—anything from roe or marinated vegetables to a thin slice of meat or seafood (scallop, smoked salmon, crab, lobster, shrimp, seared tuna).
Mains & Sides
Soup: Serve the soup course with slices of baguette—fresh or toasted—buttered and drizzled with sea salt.
Vegetables: Add a distinct difference to vegetables, rice and potatoes (a pat in a baked potato is sublime—snip on some fresh chives, too). And don’t forget corn on the cob.
Filet Mignon or Steak: If you normally like a pat of butter on the top, go goat.
Seafood: Try melted goat butter with lobster and crab legs for real flavor.
Chicken: Tuck bits under the skin of chicken prior to roasting, along with fresh rosemary.
Bread: Serve goat butter with the bread basket, of course!”
With so many different ways to utilize it, I think goat butter might just make it into my basket at the grocery store. But what if I can’t find goat butter? In another Google search, I’ve found you can get it at Whole Foods and I’m guessing other more natural stores. It can also be purchased online at several different locations including www.meyenberg.com and www.igourmet.com
Lacking a Whole Foods in my general area and questioning the online purchase of butter (I’m sure it’s perfectly safe but it makes me twitchy anyway), I looked into how to make your own goat butter. The best article I found was from Mother Earth News Hmm…maybe I’ll try that ordering online thing after all.