These 5 dishes are undeniably better with butter

Step aside olive oil. Butter is taking back the spotlight. Cooking with various oils, such as olive, canola, avocado or sunflower, has become a staple in so many kitchens. While cooking with oil definitely has its purpose, in some dishes butter just can’t be replaced or replicated. After all, Julia Child once said, “With enough butter, anything is good.” We stand by that statement and that’s why butter is making a comeback in American kitchens (and in some cases, it never left). The flavor is unmatched by any oil and chefs would never tell you to skimp. This is why restaurant food is often better than home-cooked… They use real butter. Yes, butter makes everything better and there are a few particular dishes where this is undeniably true. Keep butter as a staple when you are cooking (or baking) these five items and here’s why:

Scrambled eggs. If you didn’t go to culinary school, there’s a good chance that you learned to make scrambled eggs with milk, cream or water whisked into the eggs. The idea is that the extra liquid is what makes them fluffy, however, this is indeed a myth! Making the absolute best scrambled eggs requires only two ingredients - eggs and butter. And yes, a little salt if you prefer. To make four eggs, add about a ½ tablespoon of butter to a warm pan. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl (without adding milk) and add to the buttered pan. Scramble the eggs over medium low heat until they reach the desired consistency and texture (soft, medium, hard, etc.).

Steak. Ribeye, filet, New York strip, T-bone. It doesn’t matter the cut of the meat. If you aren’t grilling it, you should be using butter and cooking in a cast iron skillet. In this case, the butter will be used for basting instead of cooking. Here’s how:

  • Prep the steak by letting it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking. Pat it dry with paper towels. 
  • Generously salt both sides of the steak and let it sit once again for 30 minutes. Better yet, prep and salt your steak the night before to pull out surface moisture. This will allow for a better sear when you cook it. 
  • Heat a pan over high heat for about 10 minutes. You want to cook these hot and fast.
    • Pro Tip - You will add the steak to the pan BEFORE you add the butter. Do it the opposite way and the butter will brown or burn quickly over the high heat. 
  • Place the steak in the pan and allow it to sear on one side until a crust has developed and you can easily pull it up from the pan without sticking. This will take about one minute. If it takes longer, the pan wasn’t hot enough to start. Flip to the other side and sear for one minute. Flip to do both sides again, one minute each.
  • Now we baste. Flip it one more time and add 3 tbsp of butter to the pan. Once melted, tilt the pan so the butter pools to one side. Spoon the melted butter over the steak to baste. Flip again and repeat basting. 
  • Check the internal temperature. A medium rare steak should have an internal temp between 125℉ and 130℉. Pull the steak off when it has a few more degrees to go and let rest for five minutes. It will continue to cook to the final temperature while resting.

When grilling a steak, whip up a log of compound butter full of herbs and garlic and put a pat on top once the steak is cooked so all that flavor melts all over it.

Fettuccine Alfredo. You might be familiar with this dish as fettuccine noodles covered in a thick creamy alfredo sauce. It may surprise you to know that this is not the traditional way of making fettuccine alfredo. According to the chefs at Bon Appetit, real alfredo should never include cream. Traditionally, this classic dish is made with three ingredients: fettuccine, parmesan, and butter. Salt & pepper to taste. Try it this way and all your buttery noodle dreams will come true, trust us. 

Whole roasted chicken. Yes, you can definitely make a great tasting roast chicken with olive oil. But a roasted chicken with butter? Absolute perfection. Before cooking pat the skin dry with paper towels to help it brown and crisp while cooking. Smear pats of butter under the skin of the bird and on the top as well. The butter will help to keep the meat moist and aid the skin in browning. The Barefoot Contessa, In Garten, teaches us how to make the perfect roast chicken 2 tablespoons of melted butter brushed all over the chicken. If the idea of roasting a chicken seems like a big project to you, never fear because it is not. It can be a great weeknight meal with simple prep and cooked vegetables alongside. Just allow about 1 ½ hours for the chicken to cook. 

Baked goods, but especially cookies & brownies.

It’s not possible to make a deliciously flaky croissant with any type of oil. You just can’t. Butter is a necessity. It is a key ingredient in most baked goods and it comes with a purpose. The butter is what makes a tender, moist, flaky, creamy, and flavorful end product. Some of the best cookie and brownie recipes are made from scratch with various amounts of butter and the flavor is simply unmatched. However, there are plenty of recipes for cookies and brownies available nowadays stamped with better-for-you claims using various oils or other replacements ingredients. While these recipes can be tasty and handy for dietary restrictions, they won’t achieve the same decadence that can be achieved with butter.