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Seaweed Butter

Seaweed infuses butter beautifully. The algae transforms as the cream tames the minerally, salty and even iodine flavors that seaweed can have. The result is a rich, delicious butter

with depth and complexity. You can prepare this like a simple compound butter by mixing seaweed flakes or granules like dulse, kombu or wakame with softened, unsalted butter. Use about a tablespoon of flakes or granules to a half cup of butter. Or you can infuse cream and make your own butter - it's really simple. You've probably done it by accident once or twice when making whipped cream.


You'll Need

1 pint heavy cream

2 ounces of dried seaweed

Blender

Cheesecloth

16 oz Mason Jar


My favorite seaweed to use for this is sea lettuce (ulva lactuca). Dry this seaweed and store in a mason jar. Once dried, it has a rich, earthy scent, like a truffle. (I learned this from Chef Matthew Kammerer at Harbor House Inn). When making butter, take about two dried sheets or a few ounces of the seaweed and place it in a mason jar. Fill the jar with good cream. Strauss or Clover are my local favorites. Shake it well and set it in the fridge overnight.


A note about infusing - you can use more seaweed and infuse for less time, or less seaweed and infuse for more time. But there's no need to simmer it. Just shake and turn the jar every so often.


Using a colander, strain the cream from the seaweed, pressing the seaweed with the back of a large spoon to get all the liquid out. (You can then add the seaweed to compost or rinse and bury it in your garden). And if small pieces of seaweed get through, that's totally fine. Those will continue to infuse the butter.


Then using a blender - I use an immersion blender for just about everything. It takes less space in my kitchen and is easier to clean - blend your cream until it whips. Then keep on blending until it thickens and gets crumbly. You'll see some liquid rise up - this is buttermilk! Seaweed buttermilk. If you're super crafty, save and make yourself some seaweed buttermilk biscuits. If not, pour it off and continue blending until there's no more liquid.


Then take the butter out of the container, roll it into a ball and wrap it in a cheesecloth and squeeze it to get more of the liquid out. Once it feels wrung out, put this into a container or jar and smooth it firmly with the back of a spoon, again, pressing out any liquid.


This will last in your fridge for a few weeks, or roll it into a log, wrap it in plastic, and freeze. Slice off rounds as needed. It will last for a few months in the freezer.


It's delicious with good sourdough bread, to finish grilled oysters with, or top a vegetable, piece of fish or meat with.







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