Saturday, August 25, 2012

Soy-Miso Butter

It was just over a year ago that I ate my way through the then, newly built Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. One of many memorable meals was a dinner at Jean-Georges Steakhouse. Along with his steaks, he serves this wickedly rich soy-miso butter that creates this ridiculous umami flavor sensation. 

I was a huge fan of his food and then I came across an interview he did for the Wall Street Journal last year in which he - a Michelin-starred chef - confessed to having a major weakness for gummy bears.  He also shared that he can't sleep without a piece of chocolate in his mouth. Vongerichten stated, "I've gone to sleep with chocolate since I was four years old, and I can't go to sleep without it. I let it melt in my mouth, and I have sweet dreams, every night." There was something honest, whimsical, and humbling about his answers. He is clearly very passionate about his craft but he doesn't take himself too seriously; a likable combination.

A couple of days ago we made ribeye steaks and finished them with a bit of Jean-Georges inspired soy-miso butter. I suggest sauteing some wild mushrooms to serve along with your steaks as well because the earthiness of the mushrooms will really bring home that savory umami goodness that you are looking for in this dish. 

Soy-Miso Butter 
makes 1 1/2  cups 

16 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed, and chilled 
1/3 cup soy sauce 
1/4 cup white miso paste
2 tsp dry asian mustard powder
2 tsp dark brown sugar 
1/4 tsp sweet smoked paprika
Zest of 1 lime 
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Whisk together all of the ingredients except the butter in a medium saucepan until it starts to boil.
2. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the cold butter cubes, just one or two at a time, while continuing to whisk so that the butter can incorporate before adding more butter. If your pan cools too quickly just put it back on low-heat for a minute or so to keep it warm - but don't let it get too hot or it will break! 
3. Once all the butter is added, season to taste and then hold in a bain-marie-type-set-up (add a couple of inches of water in a saucepan and place over low heat so it warms but doesn't get too hot, then sit your butter sauce in a bowl on top of the pan so it stays nice and warm while you finish the steaks).

4. Serve the butter sauce over each steak or you can also brush it on as you are cooking the steak so it can caramelize on there a bit. You can't really go wrong here. Enjoy. 

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