April 13, 2016 lyukum

Preserving Ramps: Frozen

Ramps Cowboy Butter
Compound Butter and Cornbread
Ramps compound butter

Ramps compound butter


The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway!

Freezing herbs is the easiest and fastest way to preserve them. When added at the end of cooking or right before serving, frozen herbs work almost the same as fresh. You can freeze whole, chopped, or pureed herbs. Freeze them in water to make flavored ice cubes for drinks and cocktails. Or freeze them mixed with vegetable oil, butter, or animal fat to use for cooking savory dishes. Frozen herbs retain their taste, smell, and nutritional benefits for up to one year. Since ramps season is so short, freezing is a great way to make this unique ingredient available for longer than a few weeks.

Cowboy Butter

Number one use of ramps puree is for compound butter. Beurre composé, compound butter, hotel butter, cowboy butter are different names for the same type of flavor enhancer. In classic French cuisine, beurre composé is considered a sauce itself and also is used to finish sauces right before serving. In Southern states it is known as cowboy butter, because it is “simple enough for any cowboy to make.” Softened butter is simply mixed or whipped with herbs, spices, and liquids. Reshape it in plastic wrap, refrigerate to solidify, rewrap in parchment paper, and keep in a fridge for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 1 year.

To Mix or To Whip?

What is the difference between mixed and whipped compound butter? If your flavoring ingredients are finely chopped, the best way to incorporate them is to mix into a softened butter. No air bubbles go in, and the properties of butter stay the same. If you want your frozen compound butter to melt faster and to slice easier, whip it. To whip it well, you need to puree your flavoring ingredients. For this preparation, fresh herbs need be quickly blanched and ice bathed before being blended into puree. The recipe below is for ramps butter, but the same instructions can be used for making a compound butter with any other herbs.

Add Ramps Flavor to Everything

Make an omelet with ramps puree: Ramps and Bacon Omelet.

Make a sauce with ramps puree for your pasta dishes: Fresh Linguini with Cuttlefish and Ramps Sauce.

Make fresh pasta dough with ramps puree: Into the Woods Lasagna with Morels

Melt ramps butter or oil on blanched vegetables, grilled steaks, fried fish, sautéed shrimp, steamed sweet potatoes, baked Russet potatoes, grilled fresh corn, cooked rice, pasta, grits, in soups… continue?

Ramps Cowboy Butter
Print Recipe
Prep Time 15minutes
Passive Time 1hour
Servings lb
Print Recipe
Prep Time 15minutes
Passive Time 1hour
Servings lb
Ingredients
Units:
Ingredients
Units:
Instructions
method 1
  1. Fill a pot with 1 gallon of water and bring it to boiling. Add enough salt to make water sea salty. Prepare a bowl with 1 gallon of ice bath (50/50 ice and cold water).
  2. Ramps are always sold with roots to preserve their freshness. Remove roots and rinse them. Cut white stems and bulbs and reserve them for pickling. Continue with green tops.
    Wild Ramps
  3. Foraged wild greens are better to be blanched. Work with small portions of greens. Using tongs, deep a portion of greens into the boiling water for a few seconds and immediately shock them in ice bath to stop cooking.
  4. Scoop them out of the ice bath, squeeze out any residual water, and roughly chop them.
    Ramps: Puree for freezing and compound butter
  5. Put the ramps in a blender and run it dry to chop them further. While the blender is running, drizzle in enough olive oil to start forming a puree. Add the salt. Line baking sheet with silicon mat or parchment paper, scoop puree ( I use #40 scoop, 1 1/2 tbsp), freeze, wrap each portion in plastic wrap, keep frozen in airtight container. When ready to cook with it, take a portion, give it a few minutes in room temperature, remove the wrap, and use.
    Ramps: Puree for freezing and compound butter
  6. Using a whisk, mix or whip 5oz of ramps puree and soft butter. Shape 2-3 logs using plastic wrap. Refrigerate them for 30 minutes to solidify. Re-wrap in parchment paper, label, and freeze for up to 1 year.
method 2 (for Blendtec Twister Jar)
  1. Remove roots and rinse green tops of ramps. Cut white stems and bulbs and reserve them for pickling. Continue with 5 oz of green tops. Follow steps 1 to 3 with less water for boiling and with small ice bath.
  2. Scoop them out of the ice bath, squeeze out any residual water, finely mince them, and place in a blender jar.
  3. Cube frozen butter and add to minced greens. Add salt. Blend until well mixed. You'll have a beautiful smooth green butter. Shape 2-3 logs using plastic wrap. Refrigerate them for 30 minutes to solidify. Re-wrap in parchment paper, label, and freeze for up to 1 year.
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