In the beginning (back before it was one GladWare commercial after another), I was a raging Top Chef fan. When you don't have cable, this requires hunting for an equally dedicated friend, so you can come over to watch.
In 2007, to promote the release of her new book, Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet, Padma Lakshmi was speaking at a local bookstore. My friend and I went, vowing not to be pressured to buy the cookbook and just enjoy the talk. We weren't prepared to be dazzled so much by Padma's charm. We both left with a photo of us and Padma, as well as a signed copy of the $34.95 book. "How did this even happen?" we asked each other outside the store, still semi-giddy from our meeting.
While I still haven't made enough recipes from the book to justify the $35 expenditure, one of my favorites is Chile Honey Butter. Yes, yes. It's just soft butter swirled with honey and spiked with cayenne--one of those simple recipes that you wonder how you didn't come up with it yourself. I spread it onto toast, dot it onto my fried eggs, and use it as a garnish for fish. I've even been known to eat it straight-up, licked off a spoon Paula Deen-style. Whether it's chile honey butter or chipotle purée and sour cream, what are some of your favorite kicked-up easy concoctions? Padma's recipe, after the jump.
Chile Honey Butter
- Yield:about 1 cup
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
Combine all ingredients, and whip in a blender or processor, or just by hand with a fork, until they form a smooth sauce. Spoon into a rigid plastic container, and keep covered in the fridge.