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Better Butter Burger…Herb butter isn’t just for topping steaks anymore.

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Herb Butter

Herb Butter


Herb Butter makes a Better Butter Burger!

Butter melts into burger leaving herbs inside for a juicy and flavorful burger

Butter melts into burger leaving herbs inside for a juicy and flavorful burger

Butter is a hot button issue for many people, including doctors and nutritionists.  “Butter is bad” has been a clarion call from nutritionist for decades.

But butter is back.  There are some new studies out about the value of butter in the diet…but I don’t really want to get involved in that issue, other than to say, “Butter is flavor”, which is what Yes!Chef! says whenever the subject of butter comes up.

Speaking of butter, Julia Child’s 102nd birthday was last week and Y!C! and I celebrated by not only highlighting butter in this post, but we also watched one of my favorite movies, “Julie and Julia”.  Meryl Streep was so wonderful in the part of Julia Child.

Julie and Julia

Julie and Julia

And yes, I did take pictures of my tv while the movie was on.

Everyone knows that Julia Child was in love with butter and knew that butter adds flavor and richness that oil does not.

So, I talked Yes!Chef! into making an herb butter to place in the center of a barbecue burger because I had read about butter burgers somewhere and had began daydreaming about how they must taste.  Because, truth be known, I love butter, too.

I must also say that I pushed the idea of herb butter even more when I suggested that Yes!Chef! use some basil that I had purchased at the Farmers Market together with Sriracha.  Yes!Chef!’s initial reaction to those two flavors together was to turn up his nose, but I assured him that it would be wonderful and novel.  He’s a good sport, so he tried it adding his own spin. And, of course, it was much better butter than I could have dreamed up.

Herb Butter with basil, wrapped up and ready to refrigerate

Herb Butter with basil, wrapped up and ready to refrigerate

Here’s the very simple, very versatile recipe for Yes!Chef!’s (with the help of his wife) Herb Butter

Herb Butter brimming with herbs and flavor

Herb Butter brimming with herbs and flavor


Yes!Chef! Better Herb Butter

Makes approx. 8 Tablespoons

Ingredients

  • 3/4 stick unsalted good quality butter, softened
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 Tbsp. finely diced red onion
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. Sriracha hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place butter in a mixing bowl and mash down with a fork
  2. Add garlic, red onion, herbs and Sriracha.  Mash until well mixed.
  3. Mix in salt and pepper to taste. Form into a ball.
  4. Place Better Butter Ball (heh!) in the center of a 12″x12″ piece of plastic wrap
  5. Using plastic wrap, roll butter into a log about 2″ thick.  Cover butter with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour.

Use 1 tbsp. of this wonderful butter when you make your scrambled eggs in the morning. It brightens the flavor and delights the senses. Yes!Chef! also threw some chopped green onions into the mix to add color and more flavor. (Don’t you wish you lived at my house and had this for breakfast every morning? I’m a lucky woman!)

Scrambled eggs with Herb Butter and cheese.

Scrambled eggs with Herb Butter and cheese.

But, my favorite use of this butter was Yes!Chef!’s Butter Burgers.

Juicy, herby burgers

Juicy, herby burgers

Yes!Chef! always weighs his burger meat (20% fat) before he makes the burgers.  He usually makes me a 5 oz. burger and he goes for the 6 oz. burger. Make sure you season your burger meat with salt and pepper before you make them into burgers. Once you have decided the size of your burger, divide each burger into half and form each half into a small burger ball.  Flatten each half into a thin disk.  Place 1 butter disk (about 1 tbsp.) onto the top of one of the disks.  Then form the other disk around the top of the buttered burger, sealing all the edges so that the butter does not leak out.  Grill burgers as usual.

Yes!Chef! used some hickory wood chips for the above burger so it also had a smoky flavor.

Yes!Chef! places the butter burger on a smoky grill

Yes!Chef! places the butter burger on a smoky grill

He served the Better Butter Burgers with Sharp White Cheddar Cheese, heirloom tomatoes and Romaine lettuce.  (We don’t eat bread anymore for health reasons, so we use lettuce to wrap the burgers as a substitute.  But you can enjoy a great burger bun with this burger.) He also made grilled artichokes (he boiled them first until tender) with a Sriracha and basil mayo for a dipping sauce.

Better Butter Burgers with artichoke on the side

Better Butter Burgers with artichoke on the side

And when you cut/bite into the Butter Burger you will be speechless and very happy with the herby, salty, spicy, buttery flavor inside the burger!  Don’t worry about the Sriracha making the burger too spicy, it doesn’t.  It just gives the flavor a slight kick.  However, if you like it a little kickier, add more sriracha (or a different hot sauce) to the butter mixture.

A little butter escapes from the center leaving the herbs and flavor behind

A little butter escapes from the center leaving the herbs and flavor behind

Enjoy!

Before you leave, I just wanted to mention that I am taking another food photography class called, “30 Days to Better Food Photography”, which is a free class.  It is presently closed but there is a waiting list for the next time it is offered.  I struggle with my food styling, mostly due to lack of creativity, so I am taking this class to improve that aspect of my photography.

So far we have examined the work of great food photographers, learned about camera angles and aperture…

Large aperture, low angle

Large aperture, low angle

Lighting:  window light and use of reflectors…

window light and reflector

window light and reflector

Telling a story with your food and how various backgrounds can help tell the story

Strawberry and chocolate snack

Strawberry and chocolate snack

Props and storage/organization of props

Some of my props

Some of my props

And yesterday, Day 15, we used different linens and napkins to add to the story and elevate the food styling.

napkin added to photo to help tell the story: My dinner

napkin added to photo to help tell the story: My dinner

Plain Green napkin is a little more subtle

Plain Green napkin is a little more subtle

More formal napkin style with subtle color more closely matching the background and the chicken

More formal napkin style with subtle color more closely matching the background and the chicken

(The above photo is Filipino Chicken Adobo that Yes!Chef! made again at my request.  It was delicious.)  Which napkin do you like best?  I’m a little partial to the plain green one although it looks like I was just about to take a bite of the chicken but had to rush away from the table for some reason.

We are now halfway thru the course and I am happy to say that I have learned much already.

(I still think my food styling is severely lacking, but it is improved.)

If you are at all interested in improving your food photography, you should look into this free class.  Lots of input from the other students is very helpful.

Hopefully, my food photography will greatly improve and make your mouth water when you see the new and improved food photos.

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8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Will most def try this herb butter version! And I love the idea of a photography class. My hubby does most of the photos for my blog and he’s not had any training but loves photography will point him in the direction of a possible photography class. Greta job you guys! You are a fantastic team! :-)

    August 18, 2014
    • You always make me laugh. Thank you very much. What I have found is that window light (from the side) with the use of a reflector (white board or cloth) elevates food photography to a new level. Get away from the ugly kitchen lighting (overhead) and get the food in front of a window without direct sunlight and he will see a huge improvement. Simple, yet effective.

      August 18, 2014
  2. Looks awesome Karen! You had me at Sriracha… I have not made butter in awhile, and now we can swap. The last ones I made were anchovy and herb butter, as well, but not with Sriracha (it was not quite a food trend when I made the butter back then)

    August 18, 2014
  3. Going to store to get rest of needed ingrediants for butter, THEN burgers here we come!!!

    August 19, 2014

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