If you live in the NYC area and haven’t been to Eataly yet–GO–and go soon. The crowds have definitely died down a bit since opening, and while it’s still crowded, you can navigate the aisles with more ease. (This is not to say that its not mobbed at certain key times during the week, as would any Whole Foods around the city.) I recently made my way there the other night with my girlfriends Marcy and Sarah, filling my basket with tallegio, house cured meats, fresh amazing breads, and 2 foot long crackers with a touch of pepperoncini. All were over-the-top delicious, and all I would expect from the good name Batali. What was unexpected were the fruits and vegetables imported from around the world. Finger limes, black garlic, mango nectarines, lobster mushrooms–the list went on. It was ‘produce porn.’ There was a whole section devoted just to garlic, and in that section I spied ‘smoked garlic,’ imported from France. The garlic wasn’t cooked from a smoker–it was still raw–but the skins had this intriguing and earthy smoky smell. I had to try it. I did a quick Google on smoked garlic, and it apparently loses its smokiness when cooked, so I knew I had to use it in a raw preparation. Thus the idea for smoked garlic compound butter was born.
I started by finely mincing 4 cloves of the garlic with a handful of chopped fresh parsley. Mixed with room temperature butter, I spooned the mixture vertically onto a large piece of wax paper and then rolled it up until it became very compact and looked like a big butter salt water taffy. I then placed the butter roll into the fridge to become very hard before serving.
Some skirt steak on a hot grill (seasoned with salt, black pepper, and smoked paprika) for a few minutes on each side and VOILA–the perfect base. Right before serving, I cut the butter into coins and melted it on the hot cooked steak. YUM! The butter is packed with so much flavor, and you really don’t need much. I will say the garlic in the butter lost its smokiness, but it was still very good. So there would be no need for you to buy smoked garlic for this recipe–any garlic would do. That still shouldn’t stop you from visiting Eataly and all of its treasures.
4 pounds skirt steak cut into 8 8-ounce steaks
Spices: paprika, smoked paprika, or cumin will do
Salt & Pepper
1 stick (8 tbsp.) salted butter, at room temperature
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, minced
1. Mix the room temperature butter with the parsley and garlic until fully incorporated.
2. Lay-out a piece of wax paper at least 18 inches long and spoon the mixed butter in the center of the wax paper, forming a log about 8-10 inches long, 1 inch-1 ½ inches wide. Take the edge of the wax paper closer to you fold it over to cover the butter. With your fingers on the wax paper, try to push the log of butter firmly together, next roll the butter into a cylinder, making sure to keep the butter compact and not spreading out too wide. Twist the edges to continue to make the butter more compact. Don’t push this process too hard, as you don’t want to break through the wax paper. Place the butter in the fridge to allow it to harden completely.
3. Prepare a grill. Sprinkle the steaks with the spice of your choice and salt & pepper.
4. Cook steaks on a hot grill for 3-5 minutes per side, depending on how you take your steak.
5. Allow steak to rest for 10 minutes before serving, allowing juices to redistribute. While the steaks are resting, unroll the compound butter and slice it into coins about the width of 2 quarters. Place one or two coins on top of each steak and enjoy.
Note: you will have leftover butter. It’s great to make garlic bread or top on steamed veggies.