A Salad Success & Discovering Brown Butter

Ever since Smitten Kitchen’s Warm Mushroom and Hazelnut Salad popped up on my Google Reader, I’ve been drooling.  Arugula, mushrooms, a warm dressing?  I had to have it.

Chris gamely chopped up all of my ingredients for me with the only semi-sharp knife left in our partially-moved-out-of kitchen then went to work on a linguine in clam sauce while I sauteed some mushrooms and finished up the salad.

We didn’t have enough shallots but it didn’t matter, we had no fresh herbs so we just sprinkled some thyme on the mushrooms as they sauteed.  Our plates and bowls are mostly all packed up so we ate this giant gorgeous salad out of of a big beautiful dragon plate instead.

And when I say we, you can assume that I basically inhaled this thing all under my own power.  Chris left me alone with the salad for just 5 minutes.  In the time it took for him to sautee a little garlic and turn back around, I had already polished off a good 1/4 of a salad that supposedly feeds about 8 people.

With that bit of arugula leaf hanging out of my mouth and those incriminiating hazelnut crumbs on my upper lip, there was nothing left to say but “it’s just soooo gooooooood.”

Don’t take my word for it though.  Try it yourself.

Ok, and one more bit on the virtues of butter since it seems to be a big thing for me lately:

Brown Butter is amazing.  I don’t know why I haven’t been using brown butter in EVERYTHING I bake up until this point.

Brown butter sounds like it should be finicky and tricky to make.  I thought so too until I tried it on a whim last night.

Let me give you my 2 step process for making brown butter:

1. Put butter in a pan over low to medium heat

2. Let cook, swirling occasionally, until the butter is an amber brown and you begin to smell an intoxicatingly nutty-sweet aroma that would not be out of place on a NYC street corner near Rockefeller in December.

That’s all you do.  Yum.

This weekend Chris and I are continuing our pre-China cooking and baking and entertaining spree.  Last weekend we made brunch and served it up with borrowed plates and sunshine.  This weekend we are planning a full-on Italian dinner for some friends and a Sunday morning attempt at homemade bagels.  Check back after the weekend for accounts of the delights and the damage.



2 thoughts on “A Salad Success & Discovering Brown Butter

  1. Pingback: Dinner with Friends « Hot Pot

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