Kräuterbutter and DachshundsPosted: 30 June 2011
Two of my very favorite things to come out of Germany are dachshunds and Kräuterbutter. Both remind me of childhood. The butter is a little simpler than the dogs but both bring a smile to my face. And honestly, the dogs are a lot more important. But still, I have a theme here. What better way to present a recipe for German herb butter than with an update on my long, fuzzy brown dog of German heritage? I could think of none.
So first we’ll revisit Buddy. Last month he had to have his spleen removed. There was a tumor growing off of it and the tumor was bleeding. You never want to just let tumors go so out it had to come. It turns out it was a 3lb mass that was almost double the size of his spleen. Buddy is a 13lb dog. The tumor was 23% of his weight. That would be like a 200lb man having a 46lb tumor. Gross! I’ll spare you the graphic photos that they sent us home with but rest assured, it was icky.
Buddy instantly felt better. Although we had to try and keep him quiet, he was ready to run with the wind after about two days. I bought him this adorable onesie from the Old Navy clearance rack to keep him from licking his incision. How cute is my little jail bird?
We went back for a follow up after 10 days and everything looked great for Mr. Buddy. He was back to hopping like a bunny and being his usual sunny self. The histopathy came back from his tumor and it was benign. Just a giant benign growth. Can you imagine? Ugh.
Just last Friday we took both Buddy and Oliver for their annual vet visit and Buddy was given a clean bill of health. He’s like a whole new dog, all over again. He runs and plays and eats like normal. He’s actually gotten a little impertinent every now and then…climbing onto my lap despite my efforts to remove him when I’m using the laptop or eating dinner. All in all, he’s feeling much, much better.
Now, the butter. Oh the butter!
As a kid, we lived in Germany for a short time. I was too young to really remember much of it except those parts that excited or terrified me. For example, the chain attached to the drain plug in the tub. Absolutely petrified of it. Will never forget trying to keep my toes tucked in so the drain wouldn’t eat me. The whole tub was scarring.
I don’t specifically remember eating Kräuterbutter in Germany. I do remember buying it at a German specialty shop in a strip mall in St. Paul though. It came wrapped in plastic, looking like a little butter sausage. And I remember wanting to replace all butter with Kräuterbutter. You could just spread it on your bread and you instantly had garlic bread. That German shop closed several years ago and I think it’s been a good ten years since I’ve eaten herby butter out of a sausage-like casing. Tragic, no?
When I saw all of the garlic scapes at the Farmer’s Market over the past few weeks I couldn’t help but buy a bundle, even though I had no recipes in mind for them. Not to fear, a recipe came to me quickly and easily. I would make my very own Kräuterbutter and relive the glorious flavor of garlic herb butter from my youth.
While traditionally Kräuterbutter contains onion salt, seasoning blends, dill, parsley and a variety of other herbs besides garlic, I went with simplicity on this first batch. You will need just three ingredients to make this pure, blissful delight of butter. Some heavy whipping cream, salt and one garlic scape. Feel free to use just the green of a scape, or use the fresh, green bulb as well. The green bulb has a lighter flavor than a dried garlic bulb but still totally worth including.
Blend the herbs in….and strain through cheese cloth and form into a ball of savory, delicious butter.
Seriously, it’s such an easy thing to make but it will add so much flavor to your dishes. You can use it in place of regular butter on sandwiches, garlic bread and potatoes. Substitute it for regular butter in casseroles, soups and other recipes to add a light garlic flavor. Melt it and use it for seafood dipping. It’s also incredibly beautiful just sitting next to some freshly sliced bread. And did I mention delicious?
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 green garlic bulb and scape, minced
Pour the cream into a bowl and add the salt. Whip the cream on high using a hand mixer until the mixture starts to turn lightly yellow and resembles whipped butter that you’d buy in a tub, about five minutes. If you can, use grass-fed cream and your butter will turn a rich yellow color. It’ll also have omega-3 fats, beta carotene and more vitamin C than traditional butter. As you can tell, I was using the conventional stuff and it turned just the palest yellow color.
Try to remember that whipping cream will expand in size as it’s whipped, so you maybe want to use a larger bowl than I did. Then again, what’s fun about whipping cream if you don’t make a mess? I mean really.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and then add the minced garlic.
Beat on high for a minute or two until the herbs are well incorporated. Continue beating until you see liquid separating from the curds of butter. This should happen pretty quickly once you’ve added the herbs.
Empty the contents of your bowl into a colander that’s draped with cheesecloth, or a flour sack dish towel. Grab the four corners of the cheese cloth and lift it up so the whey starts to drain away. Spin the bundle around until the cloth is squeezing the butter dry…as you would twist a wet towel to wring the water out.
Unwrap your freshly made ball of butter. Serve immediately or store in covered container. Senor and I only refrigerate butter when it’s in whole sticks. We keep our butter for toast and sandwiches in a covered container on the counter. Stored on the counter this butter has a slightly shorter shelf life than regular butter because of the fresh herbs. Either store in the fridge or use within a week.