Friday, December 16, 2016

Shiitake Butter

Shiitake Butter

1 lb. Shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
2 T butter
1 small onion
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 T soy sauce
About 1.5 lbs. of salted butter, softened

1.) Tear up a pound of stemmed Shiitake. You’ll be cooking these down and pureeing, so large pieces are okay.

2.) With medium heat, melt 2 T butter in a medium skillet and add 1 small chopped onion. Sauté until soft.

3.) Add mushroom pieces, stir around a bit and cover. Every few minutes, check the pan and stir things around, keep the heat warm enough to cook the mushrooms but try to avoid browning the onions.

4.) Once the mushrooms start to cook down and you see a liquid at the bottom of the pan (about 5-10 minutes) add the salt and sugar. Reduce the heat and keep stirring things around every few minutes until the cloudy liquid at the bottom of the pan starts to become clear. Remove the lid and add soy sauce and cook a few minutes more, then shut off the heat.

COOL the mixture (duxelles) until it reaches room temperature. Stir things around in the pan as it sits to aid in even cooling. Once the mushrooms are only slightly warm to the touch, puree in a food processor until the mixture is a paste.
6.) HERE is the secret to making an excellent Shiitake butter: make sure everything, especially the ingredients and mixing bowl, is at room temperature for this final blending of mushroom puree and butter!

What is “room temperature” butter you may ask? If the Sami people of the far north have hundreds of words for snow, the pastry chef ought have the same amount of words for butter, but the best description might be “medium soft.” Ready a mixer with a whip attachment if you have it; otherwise regular beaters will do.

Measure out your puree and ready an equal amount of medium soft butter. The puree volume can vary depending on the raw mushrooms moisture content, but it should be around 3 cups.

Whip or beat the butter until fluffy, then stir in the puree. Finally, whip it until the butter and mushrooms are well blended. This is the secret to making a consistent, well-blended butter. If components are too warm, you’ll end up with soup; if they're too cool, you’ll end up with chunky butter.

This recipe makes about 3 lbs. of Shiitake Butter. Transfer to individual deli containers or jars for gifting, or wrap in freezer paper. This recipe can be doubled by using a standard 4 ½ qt. mixing bowl.

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