The notion of butter, the idea of it, has begun to fall in one of two camps: one-elevated above all other fats. Worshipped for its flavor, its simplicity, its purported benefits to mind and body. The second camp, it’s viewed as heretical to imbibe. Why eat something that is a condensed animal fat when so many alternatives exist? Why eat butter when its caloric content is matched only by its drag on the environment.
I find that I fall into my own, imaginary, third category. (much like when Michael Schneider asked me to be his girlfriend in 4th grade with a “check yes or no” box lineup, and I drew my own damn box that read “maybe next year.”)
Sometimes I whole-heartedly agree with the former camp. It’s delicious. It’s simple. All of the recent literature points to it being far superior than the crap we’ve been peddling for the past 20 years. –I’m looking at you, yellow tub! I totally believe you’re not butter. Fecking liar.
Sometimes, I am unabashedly anti-butter. Why use it so often? Why does EVERYTHING need to be butter flavored? You can’t turn around in a grocer without seeing something labeled “buttery” or “butter-flavored” or “with real butter.” I am fairly certain there’s butter-flavored condoms and edible underwear somewhere in the West Village. I mean, we’ve all seen “Last Tango in Paris.” People have elevated the flavor of butter to a nigh ecclesiastical status in the hierarchy of foods. However I may feel about this, I know for a fact that I sometimes place coconut oil on the same dais where most people place butter. Let’s imagine that dais as being held aloft by scantily-clad men with broad shoulders, narrow hips, and smooth, tanned skin, shall we? We shall.
That being said, animal products are a MASSIVE drain on the earth’s resources, and I try to limit my intake of these products because I want to leave my children to a better earth than the one I inherited from my parents. For every pound of beef we eat, 2400 gallons of water are used. That’s insane. Not to mention the fact that most beef on the market is not particularly kind to the animal, full of hormones and chemicals, and comes from a factory that underpays its workers and knowingly and flagrantly abuses the lax FDA inspections. It’s like how students behave if a teacher leaves the classroom. In the beginning, you fear the teacher coming back soon to catch you doing something you shouldn’t be doing, but as they’re gone longer and longer, kids start making out near the microscopes and sharing the top-ten secrets for awesome bong architecture. The FDA doesn’t have enough inspectors to eradicate this problem, and we’re left holding the bong when the cops come to call. And there simply isn’t enough humane, environmentally-friendlier meat for us all to eat as much as we currently consume.
I still love butter. I will never completely remove butter and cheese from my diet. I simply choose to make better purchasing choices, and I will.not.buy. margarines and low-fat butters that take even more water to create than regular, all-natural butter.
Let it also be known that I wasn’t making out or constructing bongs, but reading books tucked into my backpack that were banned from my school. Madame Bovary, It, and Annie on My Mind were just some of the books that my school deemed inappropriate enough to ban. Because clowns are definitely
not more terrifying than Spanish teachers. *might be a personal problem.
I’ve recently completely given up low-fat and non-fat dairy. I’ve just read ohsomanytoomany studies that say that the calorie save you get from eating low and non-fat dairy is so negligible compared to the full-feeling and benefits of the dairy fat. Basically, the fat is good for you and leaves you fuller, longer, and less-prone to overeating during the remainder of your day.
Therefore, today’s recipe has both butter and whole milk. It’s also HEALTHY and GLUTEN FREE. Most gratins call for a roux. I use a corn-starch slurry. I also use stock to increase the flavor of the entire dish. This dish will make you wonder why you hated brussels sprouts as a kid. The answer is simple: she probably didn’t make them like this.
Gluten-Free Brussels Sprouts Gratin with Stilton
Brussels Sprouts Gratin with Stilton
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: bake appetizer side entree
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 1.5 lb brussels sprouts, cored and thinly sliced
- 4 scallions, sliced in 1/4″ slices, ends removed
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup stock of your choice
- 1/3 additional cup whole milk
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- few grates of fresh nutmeg
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup stilton, crumbled
- 1/2 cup crushed potato chips (optional…may used baked chips or pretzels or bread crumbs….etc)
Preheat oven to 350F
in an oven-proof skillet melt butter on medium-high
add sprouts and scallions
saute until they start to become soft
add garlic, saute one more minute, shut off
in another saucepan heat milk, nutmeg, and stock together, add 1/2 tsp salt(ish-to taste) and pepper
in a cup, combine additional milk and cornstarch and stir until corn starch dissolves
stir into milk-stock mixture and stir until it begins to thicken
stir into sprouts, top with chips and stilton
bake for 15 minutes