Food & Drink


Wild mushroom butter sauce

12 tablespoons butter, divided

1/4 cup shallots, diced

1 leek, sliced

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated

4 ounces fresh wild mushrooms, chopped (crimini, yellow oyster, shiitake.)

1/4 cup chicken broth

Salt and pepper, to taste

In a heavy skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add shallots, leek and ginger; sauté until leek is soft. Purée leek mixture in a food processor or blender; set aside.

Melt remaining 10 tablespoons butter in skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sauté 2 to 3 minutes. Add leek purée, broth, and salt and pepper; mix well and bring to a simmer; serve hot.

You may thin sauce with additional chicken broth, if desired. Store sauce in refrigerator for as long as three days. Reheat to serve. Makes 1½ cups.

Source: America's Dairy Farmers

Bittersweet chocolate orange butter

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (at least 70 percent cocoa), chopped

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, slightly chilled

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons orange zest, finely grated

2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Optional: 1/2 cup roasted and salted pistachio nuts, chopped into halves and quarters

Melt chocolate in microwave-safe bowl on low at 1-minute intervals, stirring until just melted and smooth. Or, using a double boiler, place chocolate in top bowl, stirring frequently until just melted, taking care not to overheat at bottom or sides. Allow melted chocolate to cool enough to touch.

Place the cooled butter in a medium mixing bowl and with an electric mixer (fitted with the paddle) or wooden spoon, beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides.

Beat in the cooled chocolate, cocoa, zest and sugar, scraping sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed to incorporate all ingredients. Stir in nuts if desired.

Scrape into a small bowl, serving crock or butter mold and cover tightly; or shape into a long roll in grease-proof paper (plastic, wax or parchment) for storing and slicing as needed.

Bourbon cherry butter with orange

1/4 cup bourbon

1/2 cup dried cherries

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature

2 tablespoons orange zest, freshly grated

2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, or to taste

Optional: 1 tablespoon orange or angostura bitters or additional bourbon

In a small bowl, soak the cherries in bourbon, stirring occasionally, until bourbon is almost absorbed. This will take 2 to 12 hours. (To speed the process, lightly heat the cherries in bourbon, but cool completely before adding to butter.)

Place the butter in a medium mixing bowl and with an electric mixer (fitted with the paddle) or wooden spoon, beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides. Add the soaked cherries, zest, sugar and bitters or additional bourbon (if using) and beat to incorporate, scraping sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

Scrape into a small bowl, serving crock or butter mold and cover tightly; or shape into a long roll in grease-proof paper (plastic, wax or parchment) for storing and slicing as needed.

Sweet potato biscuits

2 to 3 medium sweet potatoes (about 1½ pounds)

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter cut into chunks

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons white sugar

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ginger

1½ cups flour

1½ teaspoons baking powder

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub sweet potatoes, prick them in several places with a fork, and microwave them until tender, at least 10 minutes. Carefully slice them in half, scoop the hot flesh from the skins, and add to a mixing bowl with the butter. Using an electric mixer, whip together potatoes and butter until well combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in sugars, salt and spices. Let the mixture cool for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir together flour and baking powder in a medium bowl with a fork. Add flour mixture to potato mixture and use a fork to combine well. You might have to knead the dough by hand a bit at the end. On a floured surface, roll out or pat the dough into an 8-by-8-inch square about ¾ inch thick. With a sharp knife or square biscuit cutter dipped in flour, cut out 2-inch square biscuits. (Making them square means you can use all the dough in one go, rather than rerolling it.)

Place the dough squares 2 inches apart on a baking sheet that has been greased or lined with parchment. Bake until they're golden brown on the bottom and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 16 biscuits.

Source: Wondertime magazine

Lemongrass snowballs

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon lemon extract or lemon baking oil

2 cups all-purpose flour

2⁄3 cup unsweetened coconut, fine or medium shred

21/2 tablespoons lemongrass purée or 1 tablespoon lemongrass powder (see note)

2 cups (12-ounce package) white chocolate chips, chopped and divided

Additional lemongrass powder and coconut for decoration (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Add lemon oil or extract. Gradually beat in flour, coconut and lemongrass purée. Stir in 11/2 cups white chocolate chips. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place 1/2 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake on middle rack until cookies are set and light golden brown on bottom, 10 to 12 minutes.

Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes; remove to cooling racks to cool completely. Microwave remaining white chocolate chips in heavy-duty plastic bag, kneading at 10- to 15-second-intervals, until totally melted and smooth. Cut a tiny corner from bag; squeeze to drizzle over cookies. Sprinkle with additional lemongrass powder and coconut, if desired. Refrigerate cookies for about 5 minutes or until chocolate is set. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for as long as 1 week. Makes 4 dozen cookies

Note: Either lemongrass purée or ground powder can be used. The purée can be found in squeeze tubes in most supermarket produce sections, and dry powder can be found in the spice section or in the Asian food section of the international area.

Source: Wisconsin Dairy Council

Browned butter

1 cup butter

Melt butter over medium-high heat in heavy 2-quart saucepan. Continue cooking, watching closely, until butter foams and just turns a delicate golden color (3 to 5 minutes). Immediately remove from heat. Cool to room temperature. Makes 1 cup.

The nutty flavor of browned butter and balsamic vinegar gives this colorful side dish an appealing flavor. Use a deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid for quick cooking.

Broccoli and red pepper with browned butter

1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped shallots or onion

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

3 teaspoons olive oil

7 cups broccoli florets

1 medium (1 cup) red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, if desired (see note)

Melt butter in 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly and watching closely, until butter turns golden brown (4 to 6 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in shallots, garlic and vinegar. Set aside.

Place all remaining ingredients except water and sesame seeds in deep 12-inch skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add water; reduce heat to medium. Cover; continue cooking until broccoli is crisply tender (4 to 5 minutes). Remove from heat.

Stir browned butter mixture into broccoli. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Note: To toast sesame seeds, place seeds in shallow baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Basic 1-2-3-4 cake

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

3 cups sifted self-rising flour

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans. Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4 inches above counter, then dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and to assure a more level cake. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Cool in pans for 5 to 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooling racks. Cool completely and spread cake layers with your favorite frosting to make a 3-layer cake.

Note: As each layer is stacked, stick it with toothpicks to prevent cake from shifting.

Source: Paula Deen

Fiery Cajun shrimp

2 cups (4 sticks) melted butter

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons ground pepper

2 tablespoons hot sauce

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons salt

5 pounds unpeeled medium shrimp

2 lemons, thinly sliced

Stir together butter, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, pepper, hot sauce, garlic and salt. Pour half the mixture into a large heatproof dish. Layer half the shrimp and half the lemon slices in the dish; then form a second layer with the remaining shrimp and lemon slices, and pour remaining sauce into the dish. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink, stirring twice. Pour off the sauce into individual serving dishes. Serve the shrimp with plenty of French bread for dipping in the spicy butter sauce. Makes 8 servings.

Source: Paula Deen

Ham biscuit filling

1 cup ground cooked country or regular ham

4 tablespoons butter

In a food processor, grind ham into small pieces. Add butter and pulse until combined. Split hot biscuits and, using about 1 tablespoon of mixture, fill each biscuit. Makes enough filling for about 36 biscuits.

Source: Paula Deen