|From Recycle for Greater Manchester|
Since I started blogging (and cooking!) regularly, I've been buying more vegetables, herbs, spices and other ingredients for specific recipes. And while the overall results are still better than takeout and restaurant dining in terms of health, quality and value, I'm guilty of allowing lots of beautiful produce to go to waste because I was too busy to cook. Rather, I was too lazy to get creative with what I had on hand. And that's always made me feel incredibly guilty, because, well, my mama raised me right.
But as with everything else in life, practice makes perfect, or in my case, at least, a little bit better. Practice makes me a little bit more comfortable with myself so that I can get creative and take more risks: think outside the recipe, as it were.
So, this year, I resolve to not let anything go to waste--not leftover vegetables, herbs, opportunities, effort or time. This year, I resolve to cook more and turn leftover chicken into sandwiches, leftover wine into stews, and leftover herbs into all sorts of stuff.
Because you can pretty much put leftover herbs and chicken into anything. Except brownies. Come to think of it, though, there are some herbs that you could put into brownies. But that's a whole other type of blog.
So, when you have leftover herbs, consider turning them into a compound butter, like I did with my last batch of leftover basil. I listed some rough measurements below, but I just used what I had on hand, so feel free to do the same.
1/2 cup chopped basil
6 tablespoons softened (room temperature) butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Smush (yes, that's the technical term) all your ingredients in a bowl (preferably a large one, for optimum smushing).
2. Transfer your smushed mixture onto the edge of a 10" length of wax or parchment paper.
3. Realize you mistakenly put your butter mixture smack dab in the middle of your wax paper and scrape frantically until you get it to the edge (Feel free to skip this step).
4. Roll the butter in the wax paper into the shape of a log, and stick in your freezer until you're ready to use.
Use on what, you ask? Well, you could smear it on some bread and stick in the oven for some beautiful garlic-basil bread. Stick some cheese, tomatoes or prosciutto on top of that and you've got a nice bruschetta. Slice off a few coins, place on top of a freshly broiled slab of steak, fish or chicken and watch your protein bask in the love of slowly melting basil butter.
Trust me, you will run out of your basil butter well before you run out of ways to use it.
So, what's YOUR fun New Year's resolution? I hope you'll share it with the rest of us, and that you have a wonderful 2013.
Seize the herb!