Sunday, June 27, 2010

In Favor of Butter

There are some people that are shocked at my unashamed use of butter. They question the saturated fat content, bring up the issue of heart disease, and try to lure me to the world of artificial fats. Sorry. I am not going there. I love my butter.

I grew up with margarine. I don't remember real butter ever appearing on my mother's table (not to say that it might not have from time to time; the huge tubs of Country Crock are just ingrained in my brain). I was fine with margarine and even continued to use it when on my own. Then, I finally tried real butter. Nothing compares. Instead of the slabs of fake saltiness spread on my toast, just a little smear of real butter offers a perfect creamy flavor. Its richness sets baked goods apart. Real butter is the real deal for me.

That isn't to say that I just grab sticks of the stuff straight from the fridge and chow down. Ew. Everything in moderation is really the key to a healthy lifestyle. I try to eat a balanced diet of whole grains, lots of fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins. I indulge in ooey gooey treats from time to time, but I do try keep the number of doughnuts and Klondike Bars that I eat to a minimum. Really, I believe it is about moderation and not making any one item of food a villain. All life and all foods (except possibly marshmallow fluff...GAG) are to be enjoyed and savored. I truly do savor butter.

Someone else that absolutely savors butter is Paula Deen. That lady has more than earned the title of Butter Queen of the Food Network. I don't often watch her show, but I can't recall a time that I haven't seen her rolling a stick of butter from its paper wrapping into her mixing bowl. She is absolutely in favor of butter, which is what makes it so funny that when I finally decide to try one of her recipes, IT DOESN'T INCLUDE BUTTER. Truly. I was just as shocked as you.

I had salmon fillets defrosting and remembered that I had seen a couple of different Food Network chefs make Salmon Burgers. I wasn't searching for butter or Paula when I stumbled onto her recipe, but it seemed to hold promise and most importantly, used ingredients that I had on hand. After chopping the salmon and combining it with the peppers, onions, and soy sauce, the aroma from my mixing bowl tempted me to dig in right then. Instead, I formed the patties and fried them up in a little olive oil on my grill pan. Of course, I had to sample one right away without the Sesame Mayonnaise. Delish. Piling the patties on toasted whole wheat buns with the recommended sauce, lettuce, and tomato was flawless. Even a devoted butter lover like me can be incredibly happy when I have Salmon Burger with Sesame Mayonnaise On My Plate.

Salmon Burgers
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds salmon filets, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
olive oil
8 toasted whole wheat buns
8 lettuce leaves
8 slices tomato

Sesame Mayonnaise
1 cup mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

In a medium bowl, combine peppers, panko, garlic, and salmon.
Add beaten egg, soy sauce, lemon juice, and salt, tossing gently to combine. 
Form mixture into 8 patties.
Lightly coat a grill pan with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.
Grill patties, 5 minutes per side, or until desired degree of doneness. 
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine all Sesame Mayonnaise ingredients. 
Spread sauce evenly over toasted buns. 
Top each with a lettuce leaf, tomato slice, and salmon patty. 
Cover with tops of buns.(Serves 8)

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