With every action there is a reaction.
Last night there was a big reaction to Meat-Free Monday. The Beet-Green Pasta was swell, but I was lusting for flesh. I stopped by McCall's Meat & Fish, yesterday on the way to pick Fe. up from preschool. I can't begin to tell you how quickly I was seduced by a superbly marbled one-pound rib-eye.
I showed no restraint. I continued in that vein when I decided to cream up a batch of bottarga butter to anoint the bloody steak. Sheer decadence.
Bottarga -- for those of you not familiar with this orangey hued slab of bliss -- is dried, pressed grey mullet or tuna roe. It is used shaved, sliced or grated. My most frequent run-ins with the salty and pleasantly fishy delicacy is in Italian pasta preparations (look for a post on this soon!). Bottarga adds umami body to whatever dish it is enhancing.
When I purchased the bottarga initially, I was not thinking steak. However after thumbing through the latest Canal House Cooking release An Italian Summer, my eyes were opened to new bottarga possibilities. I was intrigued by the idea of a deluxe compound butter that used fish and citrus flavors.
The bottarga butter uses just three ingredients, butter, lemon zest, and grated bottarga. Simplicity and luxury. I figured I'd impress my husband and have something exciting to share with you, dear readers. I was not mistaken.
Wow! Bottarga butter is fantastic. There should be nothing keeping you from making this for your next dinner party (except the fact that bottarga is a little spendy -- a special occasion ingredient). You will impress for sure.
The citrus flavor is bright and zesty, and butter melting over charred steak should always be encouraged. The grated bottarga adds a full-body flavor without tasty fishy or funky. It's almost difficult to pinpoint exactly how it tastes. It is subtle and marvelous.
Will you trust me on this?
Again, this is a cinchy three ingredient recipe. You soften the butter, zest a lemon, grate the bottarga and smash it all together. That is it. Compellingly simple, right?
You can find bottarga at specialty food shops or on-line at Amazon. Hop to it! I promise, you won't be sorry.
8 ounces butter softened
Zest of one lemon
1 ounce grated bottarga
Mix the ingredients together with a wooden spoon until well combined. Serve over just grilled steak or perhaps you could try it on hot pasta.
Enough for 6 steaks