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So, I wanted to include a simple recipe for people like me, who do not cook often.  I mentioned this to B and, in particular, what recipe I was thinking of posting.  As a result, B, quite promptly,  brought me three books from his shelves of cookbooks so that I could read up on . . .butter.  Yes, butter.  My husband felt that I needed to read about compound butter in the following books:  How to Cook Without a Book by Pam Anderson and, one of his standbys, How to Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food by Mark Bittman.  He then proceeded to tell me he had about eight other books that I should read.  This was followed by a bit of fanfare about great cookbooks, which then led to him bringing a copy of, and this would kill him, a book I can’t remember the name of  because he wanted to show me how the cover of the book was worn and had a couple of grease stains on it.  B handed me this book with a look of pure pride.  I tried to look impressed while giving the book back as quickly as possible.  I knew where this was going.

Steak with quite a bit of Balsamic Butter

Everyone likes to share their passion, and so B likes to share with me, quite often, food articles and recipes he finds particularly interesting.  I read many of them, but I can’t keep up.  There is little likelihood that I will catch up to the years he has spent collecting and reading cook books.  For now, for those of you like me and everyone else, I would like to take a moment to appreciate compound butter, or, as I would refer to it, really good butter.  B made one of these butters the other night for the steaks he cooked.  The meal was wonderful, but what I couldn’t stop eating (unfortunately for my health, I was swathing it on chunks of bread after I’d finished eating) was the butter.  It took B maybe five minutes to make.  It probably is nothing new to many of you, but if you haven’t used really good butter before, you probably should.

Balsamic Butter (originally found in Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, http://markbittman.com/)

  • 4 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • Course salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Mix ingredients together with a fork.