Lemon-thyme-caper truffle butter — and making your own butter

Lemon-caper-thyme truffle butter

The most wonderful bar in the world is called Two Sisters Bar & Books, and it’s right here in San Francisco.  Granted, I say this without seeing a lot of the world outside the United States yet (or a lot of the bars outside San Francisco), but I have a few cosmopolitan friends who agree that it is pretty damned fantastic.  It’s gorgeous — big dark wood bookcases full of books you can actually borrow, vintage asian-inspired wallpaper, and a gorgeous marble-and-mirrored bar.

The best thing that the bar offers, besides a remarkably good-looking, friendly staff, delicious entrees, beautiful ambiance, and amazing cocktails are their deviled eggs.  They’re light, fluffy, and made with cream, lemon, thyme, truffle oil, and topped with fried capers.  They are, hands down, the best deviled eggs I’ve ever had.  I couldn’t begin to compete with the original recipe (although I have tried), but I was inspired to make a similar compound butter.

The owner, Mikha, was kind enough to tell me how to properly fry capers (and she did give me the egg recipe, but it’s not mine to share), which is the most important part of this recipe.  Everything else is as easy as pie.  Well, actually, pie isn’t easy, so it’s as easy as mashing a bunch of stuff up together and calling it art.  I AM GOOD AT THAT.

Now, if you really want to go out of your way, you can make your own butter from heavy cream…which I did.  I mean, I saw it on the internet!  I had to know if it was real!  (It is.  Also, my dad and uncle both talked complained about doing the same thing when they were young and living on a farm.)

A quick rundown: get a clean mason jar with a tight lid.  Fill it half full with heavy cream, and start shaking.  This will take 10-15 minutes, so you can feel like you’ve worked out while creating a fatty, delicious treat that counteracts the calories you just burned.

First, it will become whipped cream — it will feel like everything has thickened so much that nothing is left to shake.  It will look like this.  (It’s okay to open the jar and check!)

BUT THEN, KEEP SHAKING.

And shake some more.

Shake harder.

With both hands!  With your right, and then your left!  Sometimes, when the liquid is really thick, I like to shake with one hand and hit the jar against the heel of my other hand.  And just when you’re thinking that Pinterest has lied to you AGAIN, and there is no such thing as making your own butter, SCREW YOU GUYS, I’M GOING HOME, this happens:

A blessed miracle happens.  There is butter!  There is also buttermilk, which you strain off into another container to save for baking.  BUT THERE IS BUTTER, AND IT IS DELICIOUS.

You strain off the buttermilk, put the cap back on, shake again, strain off more buttermilk, rinse, and repeat, until you have this:

A beautiful, soft, sweet fresh mass of the most delicious butter you (or I) have ever tasted.

You can do this with store-bought unsalted butter too, if you’re more sane than I.  Whatever!  And then you mash all the delicious ingredients together.

LEMON THYME CAPER TRUFFLE BUTTER

Makes about 6 tbsp, or a little over a quarter cup

Serve on baguette slices, steak, pasta, or anything else that needs a perfectly bright, buttery, savory kick.

TO FRY CAPERS:

Drain 3 tablespoons capers on a paper towel, blotting out as much moisture as possible.

Pour vegetable/canola/olive oil in a saucepan, enough to fill the pan about one inch deep.  Bring the heat up, over medium-high, to 325-350 degrees.  Drop the capers into the oil (and step back immediately, they sputter!  I have caper-frying scars!).  The capers will bubble violently — and you’ll know they’re done when they stop bubbling in the oil.  Turn off the heat, scoop them out and drain on a paper towel.

COMPOUND BUTTER INGREDIENTS

  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2-3 tbsp fried capers
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1-2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/8 tsp white truffle oil
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Mash everything together with a fork, starting with 2 tbsp of fried capers and 1 tsp of lemon zest, and adjust to taste.  If the butter is too salty, add another tbsp of unsalted butter, taste again, and add whatever is missing — more lemon?  Salt?  Capers?  Thyme?  There’s no way to mess this up (unless you make it a salt bomb)!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s