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Written by Nikitas Magel   

Shane Ingram's spiced salmon with a warm crab and green lentil salad and the lemon thyme garlic beurre blancSo what we ended up going for [in the Headstart Gourmet butters] was an acidic, fruit-forward, and simple style of wine that didn't have much in the way of tannin or oak.  And that, I think, is what works best in this sort of situation.  We have the butter, which adds flavor and texture, to which we then add the wine reduction.  To our Beurre Blanc, we also add lemon, thyme, garlic, a little Dijon mustard, and parsley.  Similarly, with our Beurre Rouge, we add the raspberry honey mustard.  And that's it; there's nothing else.  There's certainly no chemical flavoring, preservatives, or colors.  By keeping it simple and adding those layers, we get something that's really profound.

NM:  I have to say, when I first tasted your butters, I was struck with their depth and concentration of flavor.  What sort of customer would you say is most drawn to your product?

DS:  When chefs see this product, they get excited because they know what it takes to make something like this.  They can understand immediately how to use it; their minds start going.  At the same time, I'm personally invested in the retail product because I'm a firm believer in its value and versatility in the home kitchen.  You can make amazing sandwiches by using this instead of a mayonnaise or mustard.  In preparing hors d'oeuvres, you can spread it on some crostini along with smoked salmon and some capers.  It's fantastic!  You can also melt it down and use it as a sauce or dollop on top of a hot piece of meat coming off your grill or toss it in with some steamed vegetables or stir some into a risotto.  I mean, there are so many things you can do with it!  And for the record, our butters have half the fat of regular butter, because we're diluting it with the wine and other ingredients.  It's a pretty cool trick to add flavor and remove fat at the same time.


To find out just how many ways Headstart Gourmet can jumpstart your cooking, visit Headstart Gourmet online.  David Stemmle's entire line of compound butters can be found at select Whole Foods Markets, in addition to a number of smaller, independent grocers. v

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