Friday, 24 May 2013

Home-made butter

This week my greatest kitchen achievement was making BUTTER. I am so ruddy proud of myself, but really it's not hard at all and although I'd love to pretend it is and that I'm turning in to a super whiz in the kitchen, that would be a down right lie.

My first home-made butter (left) and buttermilk (right)


So, my reason for making butter? I had a carton of cream about to pass it's sell by date. Don't think it's probably that cost effective to make butter, not sure. Unless that is, you're lucky enough to have a Clara-belle (cow!) in the garden.

This is how bad I am in the kitchen, I didn't actually know that cream makes butter. D'oh. I thought it might make cheese. But, now I know: cream = butter and milk = cheese. I'm learning, wooohoooo.

About to go out of date cream!


I looked up a lot of home-made butter recipes, many of which used a food processor... probably the easiest way. However, if you don't have one, like me, there are other alternatives, such as blender (check!) or electric hand-held beater (check!), or amazing arm strength/physical endurance (not check!) cos you can apparently put your cream in a jar and shake it for 15 minutes. Who has 15 minutes to spend shaking a jar? Not me. In the end I mostly followed The Cheerful Agrarian's simple and brilliant instruction.

I left the cream out of the fridge for about an hour before making my butter and I didn't completely finish the whipping procedure in the blender as it sort of stopped working. So I transferred the very whipped cream in to a bowl and finished it off with the electric beaters (maybe should have used these from the start). Was soooooooooo cool seeing the separation... that yellow 'cottage cheese' type butter and buttermilk separate. See The Cheerful Agrarian's piccies, I didn't get time to snap the process, was on borrowed time with the little bear due to wake up. Once I'd drained all the buttermilk (and saved for later use), I rinsed my butter and then wrapped it in some baking paper. Voila.

Sooooooo good! It tasted just like good butter.

Cauliflower, potato & broccoli soup (made to accompany lashings of butter on bread for tea!)

I went on to make a cauliflower, potato and broccoli soup, just so we could have bread with lashings of home-made butter to join it. 

For the soup, I sautéed some leek and garlic, then added my cubed potato, cauliflower and broccoli for 5 mins, topped with a litre of 24 hour brewed chicken stock I started on Sunday night. Simmered for 20 mins, blended, and finally added a little cream. Before serving up, I grated a heap of vintage cheddar on top and cut some thick slices of walnut sourdough we'd brought, with lots of butter. Essie had the soup with us... not the bread and butter. Poor little thing missed out!


What to do with the buttermilk?? Lots of choices, once I started looking... could have made pancakes or biscuits, but I decided to go all Nigella on that b'milk. I used it to marinade (along with some olive oil, garlic, cumin, maple syrup and seasoning) some chicken thighs following a Nigella recipe. Although, she used drumsticks. Papa Wolf then took over and rather than roasting as I'd intended to do in the evening, went all Deep South on me and coated the thighs in organic flour, celtic sea salt, freshly ground black and white pepper and paprika and shallow fried it. Accompanied with sweetcorn, drizzled in butter. Oooh maaaaaan. Grrreat.

Marinated chicken, cooked chicken & corn on the cob
We weren't the only busy ones in the kitchen this week. Check out baby bear...

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