By Esther Boateng
As much as I love cooking, I don’t want to spend more time in the kitchen than is necessary, which means I’m always on the lookout for shortcuts. This quick recipe might save you a bit of time, but still deliver on the taste front.
We are all accustomed to the idea of preparing food in advance. My freezer is stuffed with bones for making bone broth, already prepared meals that I’ve forgotten about, and dubious looking ice cubes. Other less suspicious items include frozen trays of butter balls, made with ashitaba, wild ramp, and salt and pepper. The seasoning changes slightly depending on what I’m cooking, but on the whole, it’s a basic seasoning I use for simple dishes like rice or scrambled eggs.
When I’m cooking rice, and I want to season it with salt, pepper and other seasoning, I’ll use one of the frozen butter balls; the already mixed herbs melt into the dish with ease. Instead of reaching for the same seasoning that I use all the time, it makes sense to have it already prepared.
Ever since I discovered ghee - also known as clarified butter - I’ve been using it in pretty much all of my savory dishes, as well as some hot drinks. It’s deliciously creamy and fragrant beyond belief. The smell reminds me of butterscotch fudge.
Ghee has a high smoke point, which makes it a popular choice for many authentic Indian recipes such as curries and my absolute favorite, peshwari naan, a deliciously sweet and nutty Indian flatbread. Ghee also features heavily in Ayurveda cooking, as well as Ayurveda body treatments. It nourishes all the tissues of the body, aids digestion, and supports a balanced metabolism. There are many ways to use ghee to upgrade your cooking, but I mainly use it for curries, scrambled eggs, and the occasional cake recipe; the taste is simply delicious.
Utterly Butterly Balls
6 Tbsp butter at room temperature
1 tsp Dr. Cowan’s Ashitaba Powder
1 Tbsp Dr. Cowan’s Garden Wild Ramp (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste.
If you’re using trays, it’s easier to gently heat the butter mixture first. It’s quite fiddly trying to scoop room temperature butter into an ice cube tray.
I store the butter balls in a tightly sealed container or a Ziploc bag, and keep them in the freezer for easy access.
Whoever coined the term ‘comfort food’ is a genius. I can’t think of a better way to describe this quick and easy family meal, and I have lost count of the number of times I have cooked it. It’s versatile, requires minimal preparation, which you can do in advance, and above all, it’s wonderfully satisfying and won’t have you reaching for pumpkin spice muffins an hour after dinner.