More better butter

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I was in a fabulous Indian grocery store today stocking up on ingredients to take my new Made In India cookbook for a spin. Fresh curry leaves: check. Coconut milk: check. Paneer: check. Butter: what?

There’s such a thing as Indian butter? Yippee! I grabbed a block to add to my ever growing collection of unusual butters. Like there’s no more room in the butter bin for another stick right now.

This is my ever expanding butter collection at the moment. The Desi is the Indian butter I just picked up. I also have Amish butter, Alfresco small-batch butter, Kate’s creamery butter from Maine and Vermont cultured butter (made by adding imported European cultures to the cream to enhance sweetness and add a subtle tang). And I’m fresh out of my favorite President’s butter from France and runner up Kerrygold butter from Ireland.

Can I tell the difference from one butter to the next? Sometimes. I can definitely tell the difference between these premium butters and the garden-variety Land O’ Lakes at the grocery store. They’re all richer and denser. I keep a stick of butter on the counter at all times. Regular butter softens considerably. These premium butters never do.

Another big difference is the tang you get from butter made from the cream of grass-fed cows.

Maybe I’m over-compensating for a childhood in which the only product in the butter bin was Mazola margarine made from corn oil and plastic derivatives. I’m lying. I have no idea if margarine has plastic derivatives. But it tastes like it does.

So just to give you but one example of why butter is always better is making a compound butter to melt over a steak. I keep a couple varieties in my freezer at all times. Here’s a favorite.

Cajun Butter

1 stick of butter, softened

1 ½ tablespoons minced red onion

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Juice of ½ lemon

1 tablespoon Cajun rub

Dash of Tabasco

Combine all the compound butter ingredients in a bowl. Put the butter on a piece of plastic wrap and shape it into a log. Wrap securely and refrigerate until the butter hardens.

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