It's difficult to say specifically what makes butter so good-it just is. After all, where would a pie crust be without butter to add a little tender flakiness? Would I really love lobster as much as I do without a small bowl of sweet melted butter to dip the claws into? Would a grilled cheese sandwich be as melt in your mouth delicious without a little (actually a lot) of softened butter slathered on before grilling? I wouldn't even think about eating warm, crusty french bread without butter.
Aside from just tasting good, butter is all natural-made from fresh cream. It's a source of vitamin E and trace amounts of vitamins A, K and D. But hold on, don't start eating it right off the butter plate yet; it is also a source of saturated fat, and like all things high in fat, it's best to use good judgement and control-you know, everything in moderation. Believe it or not though, we actually all need a little bit of fat in our diets.
While shopping at our recently opened Whole Foods supermarket the other day the Kerrygold butter caught my eye. It's hard not to notice the shiny gold package next to the not nearly as exciting cardboard ones.
I've been cooking with it and buttering bread with it for the last couple of days and I have to say I really like it. The butter has a deep golden hue and a lush, smooth texture-a little smoother and a little richer tasting than the butter we usually use. It was a tad more expensive, but I think it really added to the flavor of what I was preparing so I didn't really mind too much.
I wanted to use some pork tenderloin that was leftover from another day so I decided to make some pressed Cuban sandwiches. The pork was just pan roasted in a little butter and olive oil with salt and pepper. Typically though, the pork in a Cuban sandwich has been marinated in a garlicky mojo before roasting. So in order to impart some of that flavor into my already cooked pork, I decided to make what I will call a "mojo butter" and I slathered it on the inside of the sandwich before grilling. I thought the results were great...here's the recipe:
Cuban Pressed Sandwiches with Mojo Butter
2 tablespoons Kerrygold butter, room temperature
1 clove garlic, mashed
1 teaspoon orange zest, finely chopped
1 teaspoon lime zest, finely chopped
pinch of oregano
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
2 Cuban style rolls or Hoagie style rolls, split
4 slices Swiss cheese
4 slices baked ham, thinly sliced
4 slices pork tenderloin, thinly sliced lengthwise
4 sandwich sliced dill pickles
2 tablespoons canola oil
To make the mojo butter, in a small bowl stir together the butter, garlic, orange and lime zest, oregano, salt and pepper.
Slather the mojo butter on the cut sides of the rolls. Layer the bottom half of each roll with 2 slices of Swiss cheese, 2 slices baked ham, 2 pickle slices and 2 slices of pork tenderloin. Top with the remaining roll halves.
Heat the canola oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Place the sandwiches in the skillet and immediately press down with either a sandwich press, foil wrapped brick or a cast iron pan. Cook 6-8 minutes on each side or until golden brown and the cheese is melted.
I heart butter!