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  • Garlic and herb butter

    I'll try not to make this a long post, but no promises! Ahem. My SO is away for a few days, and when he gets back I'm planning to surprise him with a 3-course homemade meal. The starter I was thinking of was homemade garlic bread. To save time, I wanted to make the 'butter' I'll be using beforehand, but a friend says that you can't melt butter and then put it back in the refrigerator, because it will go rancid. Is this true? My method (which I tried out today and which made scrummy garlic bread!) was to melt some butter over a low heat, add the crushed garlic and herbs, and then butter the bread with it and bake for about 10-15 mins. Is it true that I can't make a batch of this butter in advance as it won't keep?

    (confused)

  • #2
    I haven't heard that you can't melt and re-chill butter. I know you can't thaw and refreeze meat, but I can't imagine butter would be a problem. I wouldn't do it more than a couple of days in advance - but that's more for the herbs going slimy than anything else.

    The recipes I've seen for garlic butter don't actually call for melting the butter - just softening it to room temperature, beating in the garlic and herbs, and then chilling it until needed.

    Good luck with your meal - sounds lovely!
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    • #3
      Mmmm. garlic butter......got a recipe?
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      • #4
        You could always make the butter without melting it if you are worried. Just beat the garlic and herbs into room temperature butter.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Iris View Post
          I'll try not to make this a long post, but no promises! Ahem. My SO is away for a few days, and when he gets back I'm planning to surprise him with a 3-course homemade meal. The starter I was thinking of was homemade garlic bread. To save time, I wanted to make the 'butter' I'll be using beforehand, but a friend says that you can't melt butter and then put it back in the refrigerator, because it will go rancid. Is this true? My method (which I tried out today and which made scrummy garlic bread!) was to melt some butter over a low heat, add the crushed garlic and herbs, and then butter the bread with it and bake for about 10-15 mins. Is it true that I can't make a batch of this butter in advance as it won't keep?

          (confused)
          You should not melt butter to liquid form and rechill, the milk solids, fats and water can separate. If you want to make garlic butter for bread you can bring the butter close to room temperature and then mix in the garlic, parsley and a little salt with a spatula or even a mini food processor and then chill it. You don't want the butter completely melted but you can soften it enough to work in the flavorings. Once you've got everything mixed in, put it into a small container with an airtight lid - butter absorbs 'fridge' flavors and you don't want it to taste "off". Compound butters are a really nice way to add some flavored richness without overdoing it and they will keep chilled and covered for several days.
          Last edited by WitchJezebel; May 30th, 2007, 10:35 AM.
          "Knowledge without mileage is bullsh*t"... Henry Rollins

          "That moral high horse is a tough perch to stay on"... Me

          "PETA doesn't want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don't want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don't want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious"...Anthony Bourdain


          R.I.P. MiLo
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          • #6
            Originally posted by WitchJezebel View Post
            You should not melt butter to liquid form and rechill, the milk solids, fats and water can separate. If you want to make garlic butter for bread you can bring the butter close to room temperature and then mix in the garlic, parsley and a little salt with a spatula or even a mini food processor and then chill it. You don't want the butter completely melted but you can soften it enough to work in the flavorings. Once you've got everything mixed in, put it into a small container with an airtight lid - butter absorbs 'fridge' flavors and you don't want it to taste "off". Compound butters are a really nice way to add some flavored richness without overdoing it and they will keep chilled and covered for several days.
            This is what I've been told to do as well. It makes a beautiful garlic bread.
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            • #7
              Ok, thanks everyone!! I'll try softening the butter instead

              Anyone have any words of wisdom for the other two courses? The dessert I'm making is something called 'chocolate marquise pots'. I've practised these and everything is fine, except that I can't get the egg whites to stiffen!! The dessert still tastes fine and still sets like a mousse (it is a sort of chocolate mousse with eggs, melted choc, caster sugar and butter) but the whites are supposed to form peaks and no matter how long I beat them for, they don't!! And I don't have an electric whisk

              The main course is supposedly going to be duck a l'orange. But that may go horribly wrong and duck is too expensive for a practise run!

              WitchJezebel, you really know your stuff...any tips on my other courses would be humbly appreciated. I bow to your vastly superior knowledge of cooking!

              :hailmol:

              ETA: i WAS ALSO THINKING OF MAKING A DIP TO GO WITH THE GARLIC BREAD. But maybe I'll just cheat and use one from the local store and sorry about the caps...caps lock was stuck and I'm too lazy to re-type that whole sentence
              Last edited by Iris; May 30th, 2007, 11:33 AM.

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              • #8
                Firstly, I agree with softening butter to room temp. only. I have done this before, making a cilantro / lime butter and it turned out fantastically. I would even suggest making this last of all, so that it's the "freshest" thing to go on the table, if you get me.

                Egg whites can be tricky - sometimes no peaks means you're not adding enough sugar, or too much, or there's not enough air in there. Can you borrow an electric mixer from anyone?
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Iris View Post
                  Ok, thanks everyone!! I'll try softening the butter instead

                  Anyone have any words of wisdom for the other two courses? The dessert I'm making is something called 'chocolate marquise pots'. I've practised these and everything is fine, except that I can't get the egg whites to stiffen!! The dessert still tastes fine and still sets like a mousse (it is a sort of chocolate mousse with eggs, melted choc, caster sugar and butter) but the whites are supposed to form peaks and no matter how long I beat them for, they don't!! And I don't have an electric whisk

                  The main course is supposedly going to be duck a l'orange. But that may go horribly wrong and duck is too expensive for a practise run!

                  WitchJezebel, you really know your stuff...any tips on my other courses would be humbly appreciated. I bow to your vastly superior knowledge of cooking!

                  :hailmol:

                  ETA: i WAS ALSO THINKING OF MAKING A DIP TO GO WITH THE GARLIC BREAD. But maybe I'll just cheat and use one from the local store and sorry about the caps...caps lock was stuck and I'm too lazy to re-type that whole sentence

                  Okay, first off, beating egg whites without an electric mixer is a pain in the neck ( or should I say arm? ). Here's a link with some tips on how to get maximum volume, I've always found the cream of tartar to be a great help:

                  http://bakingsheet.blogspot.com/2005...gg-whites.html

                  If money is an issue you can always use chicken instead of duck for your trial run. Keep in mind, duck is all dark meat so the flavor will be a bit different, but if you're just looking for a trial run, use chicken, maybe some thighs only??? Let me know if you need someone to taste test your chicken...

                  Now if you're making duck as an entree with garlic bread and a dessert than why not make the first course a nice salad? With the weather warming up you can make some wonderful salads. Buy some mixed spring greens or use a mix of Romaine and maybe some red oak leaf lettuces, get some canned, unmarinated artichoke hearts, some red onion, thinly sliced, some roasted red peppers (made yourself or bought) and some black olives (I prefer Kalamata or even the saltier oil cured black olives) and make a nice salad with the colorful garnishes on top and make a very simple vinaigrette:

                  http://www.ehow.com/how_13890_make-b...naigrette.html

                  Also, you probably won't need a dip to go with the garlic bread, it has enough flavor, but to keep flavors clean and refined serve a little bowl of extra virgin olive oil for dipping it into and put a few flakes of crushed red pepper in it.

                  I think that's it, but honestly, with the things you've got going on you only really need a salad course first, then the entree with bread (If you decide to serve a vegetable with the duck, cook it very simply, like steaming - you don't want to have too many flavors going on at once, it muddies up the palate) and then dessert. It sounds like a lovely dinner and I'm sure it'll be just delicious.
                  "Knowledge without mileage is bullsh*t"... Henry Rollins

                  "That moral high horse is a tough perch to stay on"... Me

                  "PETA doesn't want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don't want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don't want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious"...Anthony Bourdain


                  R.I.P. MiLo
                  Run free and catch the rabbits
                  4/7/96 - 11/30/10

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                  • #10
                    What's the difference between an entree and an appetiser? *scratches head*

                    It was going to be...garlic bread first, then the duck (for which I found a recipe that uses duck breast, fried with the juice of an orange and caster sugar and soy sauce, with a caster sugar/orange glaze to pour over) the duck was to be served with cumin carrots. Then the chocolate mousse.

                    I'm not serving the garlic bread WITH the duck, just to be clear

                    I'm also not sure how I'm going to cook all this, and also simultaneously be sitting down eating with my boyfriend! I think it's going to be kinda hectic. I wanted to make as much of it as I could earlier in the day, but the only thing I can really cook and leave for a while is the dessert (which needs to sit in the fridge for a few hours anyway)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Iris View Post
                      What's the difference between an entree and an appetiser? *scratches head*

                      It was going to be...garlic bread first, then the duck (for which I found a recipe that uses duck breast, fried with the juice of an orange and caster sugar and soy sauce, with a caster sugar/orange glaze to pour over) the duck was to be served with cumin carrots. Then the chocolate mousse.

                      I'm not serving the garlic bread WITH the duck, just to be clear

                      I'm also not sure how I'm going to cook all this, and also simultaneously be sitting down eating with my boyfriend! I think it's going to be kinda hectic. I wanted to make as much of it as I could earlier in the day, but the only thing I can really cook and leave for a while is the dessert (which needs to sit in the fridge for a few hours anyway)
                      An appetizer is what's served before the entree - in this case the duck l'orange is the entree, which is just another name for the main course.

                      So now that I've got all the details then, the garlic bread will be first, the appetizer in this case (which is like the salad before the meal, or when you go to a restaurant and you order soup before your steak and potato comes out).

                      Second course, the entree, is the duck with the cumin carrots. I didn't know about the carrots till just now so you're fine with just that as the main course.

                      Definitely make the dessert first since it needs to chill for a few hours. You will have to spend a little time at the stove to get this together but it shouldn't be so bad. In the morning, cut up your carrots and put them in a bowl of ice water in the fridge, they'll hold until you're ready to cook them. You can also measure out the ingredients for the duck and carrots, store them separately and have all of it ready to go and then all you have to do is pull it all together. Anything you can do ahead of time beside actually cooking the meal is a timesaver later.
                      "Knowledge without mileage is bullsh*t"... Henry Rollins

                      "That moral high horse is a tough perch to stay on"... Me

                      "PETA doesn't want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don't want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don't want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious"...Anthony Bourdain


                      R.I.P. MiLo
                      Run free and catch the rabbits
                      4/7/96 - 11/30/10

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