Thursday, August 2, 2012

Roasted Tomato Chili Butter

I am a food magazine junkie.  It's an obsession I just can't shake.  I cannot walk past a rack of magazines in a store without pausing to check the cover photos.  "Is there one I haven't read yet?  Might I be missing some genius of a food idea or combination I haven't thought of in my wildest dreams?"  I scan, I hunt down new possibilities, I purchase.

Then of course, I get to read.  The anticipation keeps me from waiting too long to dive into the glossy pages.  I have a routine- first skim through and dog ear anything that jumps out at me.  Then I go back and read each article carefully making sure I haven't missed a single recipe note.  Every morsel of food writing gets devoured.  When I'm finished I feel full and satisfied.
I have my favorite magazines for sure.  The tried and true ones that I deem special enough to warrant an actual subscription to.  The writing is fantastic, the recipes work every time, and the photos are to die for.  They're just like my favorite blogs- I can always count on them.  Then there are the ones I buy as the mood strikes me.  The more expensive ones, the ones that aren't as pretty but have great basics, even the occasional ones from across the pond (am I the only one who loves the photos in Donna Kay?).  Then there are the magazines that I sometimes buy more because I hope that there might be something worthwhile inside than anything else, but always find myself disappointed in (sorry Rachael Ray fans, but I always regret purchasing her mag).

I have a stack of magazines that I just can't bear to part with, though in this age of the internet, I'm sure all the recipes are online.  I need to just bite the bullet and send them packing to the recycling bin.  Maybe I'll just look through them one more time...

One of my faves is Bon Apetit.  And that magazine inspired this tomato butter recipe.  I didn't find an actual recipe in the magazine, just an idea, a little blurb in an article on easy ways to use up all those summer tomatoes.  It sounded so good, I had to try to figure out how to do it for myself.  It was a bit of trial and error which started out with too much tomato and not enough butter (tomato butter soup, anyone?), but in the end I know I got it just right.
Roasted Tomato Chili Butter
Makes 1 cup butter.  Inspired by a blurb in Bon Apetit, August 2012.
For a printable version, click here.

This butter is easily adaptable and very versatile.  You can leave out the chili pepper and perhaps add in some chopped herbs.  Or make it a bit more flavorful by adding smoky spices like cumin and coriander, or even a chopped chipotle pepper.  Make it your own.  I topped a burger with it the other night for dinner, but this butter would be just as at home on top of a juicy steak or some grilled fish, slathered over grilled bread or tossed with roasted potatoes or steamed rice.

1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 small Fresno chili
3/4 cup softened butter
1/2 tsp sea salt

Roast the tomatoes and chili pepper on a lined baking sheet at 475 degrees until the skins are blistered and the juices start to exude (about 5 minutes).  Place the pepper into a small zip top baggie and let steam for a few minutes while the tomatoes cool.  Remove the skin, stem and seeds from the pepper and pop it into a food processor along with the tomatoes and salt.  Whizz them up until they are smooth.  Place the tomato/chili mixture in a medium bowl along with the softened butter and stir to completely combine (I found a whisk to be the best tool).  Cover and chill.  The butter will keep in the refrigerator for two weeks or you can freeze it for up to three months.

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