Butter – real butter. I love it and it’s a staple in my kitchen. I try to use it sparingly, but I’d rather have small amounts of the real thing than settle for an inferior substitute.
Actually, I love butter so much than when I was a little kid, I’d sometimes stick my finger in the soft stick we kept in the cupboard. When confronted by my parents and shown the toddler-finger-sized imprint – indisputable evidence, given that I was an only child – I’m pretty sure I denied it. But these days I embrace the truth: butter is delicious.
My favorite way to get a delicious butter fix without overloading on calories and saturated fats? By browning it.
Brown butter (also known as black butter) is so flavorful that you only need a very small amount. And it’s easy to make: you just cook butter in a saucepan until it turns dark brown. The result is a sweet, nutty butter sauce that goes well on pretty much anything: pasta, meat, ice cream…yes, ice cream…
Anyway, yesterday I had some salmon steaks to use up and came across a recipe from Epicurious that sounded just awesome: Spicy Grilled Salmon Steaks with Black Butter.
Easy and delicious, the recipe was a major win!
And you know what? In spite of the awesome buttery flavor, there was barely a tablespoon of butter in the whole thing (two massive salmon steaks, with some to spare). That makes this a relatively healthy recipe in my book. Combined with the spicy rub, this was some seriously flavorful fish!
So if you want maximum flavor from your butter, just stick it in a pan and burn it. How could it be any easier? Instant delicious sauce.
Butter gets such a bad rap, and I think it’s undeserved. Butter is kind of like profanity: if you use it constantly and can’t get through a day without it, that’s a bad thing. But used sparingly and properly executed? A wonderful addition to a world that’s sometimes way too boring and bland.
Today’s EAT: I had mac and cheese on the brain in a huge way tonight. Sadly, there was no boxed mix in my cupboard.
I did, however, have a sweet potato. And some pasta. And a little cube of cheddar cheese. Hmm.
If butternut squash could be a good stand-in for creamy cheese in one of my favorite recipes ever, why not sweet potato? I certainly wasn’t gonna deal with the whole baking thing – not in this scorching weather! – but what if I just mashed some stuff together?
I didn’t measure any of the stuff I mashed together, but it was approximately: one sweet potato, boiled until tender; one (dry) handful whole wheat penne, cooked; 1/2 TBSP butter; 1/4C cheddar cheese, grated; 1/2C plain greek yogurt.
Carby, starchy, cheesy goodness. Except, there was hardly any cheese. I think the yogurt supplied much of the tangy, cheesy flavor. Unreal how easy and delicious this was!
I served it as a side for two, alongside steak and roasted asparagus. What a feast for a Tuesday night!
Today’s DRINK: As I shuffled home from the track tonight, two words echoed in my head:
BEER – GATORADE – BEER – GATORADE – BEER – GATORADE – BEER
Okay, so I crave liquid carbs after a hard workout!
The Gatorade piece was satiated at a deli on 2nd Avenue. The rest of the way home, then, it was just:
BEER – BEER – BEER – BEER – BEER
A girl’s gotta give in to her cravings, right?
I popped open this Lighthouse Ale from Fire Island Beer Company when I got in the door! It’s a pretty light beer – kinda similar to, like, Stella. Tasty and refreshing.
Today’s RUN: So it was really hot in NYC today. Like, record-shattering, triple-digits hot.
Is it a testament to the insanity that is CPTC that a good 35 people still showed up at the track tonight? Is it a reflection on my own sanity that I was one of them?
Tonight’s workout was – mercifully – a bit shorter than normal. Still, this is the first track workout I’ve run all year where I bonked out, slowed down, and felt like garbage. Bleh.
The assignment: a double pyramid. 800, 600, 400, 200. Times two. The 800 and 600 were to be at 5K pace; the 400 at 3K pace; and the 200 at mile pace. 200M recovery throughout, except for between the sets, where we got a full 400 lap.
The results: Given the conditions, I’m not at all disappointed in the overall pace. Today was not a day to set any speed records. I am, however, a bit disappointed in my (lack of) ability to gauge my effort and not blow my load during the first set. Meh.
800 – 3:08 – 6:16 pace
600 – 2:19 – 6:10 pace
400 – 1:28 – 5:52 pace
200 – 0:40 – 5:20 pace
800 – 3:15 – 6:30 pace (yikes)
600 – 2:27 – 6:32 pace (agony)
400 – 1:30 – 6:00 pace (vomit?)
200 – 0:39 – 5:12 pace (just get this over with as quickly as possible, please)
All in all, with warm and cool down, 7 miles.
Oh, and I also did 4 easy on the TM at the gym in the morning. So, 11 for the day. That’s some real miles.
Today’s QUESTION: Do you butter? If butter were suddenly found to have negative calories and copious nutritional benefits, what would be your favorite way to eat it?
P.S. Now that you’re all back from your holiday weekend, enter my giveaway, if you haven’t yet. Seriously, it’s my first giveaway and I need the self-esteem boost. So just dooooo it.
P.P.S. Thanks to Ashley at Cupcakes and Combat Boots for tagging me with a sweet blog award!