Chef Lou's Blue Cheese Zinfandel Butter

Eckert’s Wine and Food Festival is approaching quickly and I am getting more excited by the day because we are going to have more tasting opportunities than ever before! Click here for details

At last year’s festival, it was a thrill to have the acclaimed Chef Lou Rook from Annie Gunn’s in Chesterfield, Missouri as our guest chef. Chef Lou shared recipes in our cooking classroom and signed copies of his cookbook called Rook Cooks, Simplicity at its Finest. This recipe is called Domestic Blue Cheese Zinfandel Butter in the cookbook and it can be found on page 141.

This week, we made Chef’s butter recipe and decided to freeze it for tasting during this year’s festival. This recipe is packed with interesting flavors and would make a great topping for grilled steaks, hot pasta and fresh bakery bread. After whirling some up, we decided to serve it on toasted bread with sautéed mushrooms and a slice of cured sausage. Wow, was it delicious! Needless to say, our demo samples only lasted a couple minutes as the store staff gobbled them all up!

This recipe comes together quite easily using a couple of tips from Chef Lou. First of all, take your time cooking the shallots and garlic over medium to low heat. The wine is used to deglaze the pan and capture the flavors that adhere to the skillet. Next, it is a slow reduction process to thicken the wine adding more richness to the butter. After cooling the wine mixture and combining it with the butter, we tasted it before adding small amounts of salt and pepper. I remember Chef saying “salt is not a flavor, it is a flavor enhancer.” He cautioned the crowd to use salt sparingly and to let the natural flavors be predominant. After the butter was seasoned to our liking, we placed it on waxed paper and rolled it into a log before placing it in an air tight container. This butter can be refrigerated or frozen for future use. In our case, we will be freezing it for a couple weeks. 

Chef Lou’s Blue Cheese Zinfandel Butter is truly a WOW recipe. It is exploding with flavors that will instantly add complexity to grilled meats, pastas and more. Give it a try when you are looking to add a gourmet twist to your next dish. Please consider this an official invitation for you to come to Eckert’s and taste it for yourself during our Wine and Food Festival!

Cheers, Angie 

Chef Lou's Blue Cheese Zinfandel Butter

1 Tbs. minced shallots
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 stick plus 2 Tbs. unsalted whole butter, room temperature and cubed
2 tsp. honey
¼ cup red zinfandel
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 Tbs. minced chives
1 Tbs. minced Italian parsley
Kosher salt, to taste
Peppermill, to taste

In a medium sauté pan, sauté the shallots and garlic in the 2 Tbs. butter over medium heat until they are lightly toasted.Add the honey to the pan, then deglaze with Zinfandel. Reduce wine by three quarters and allow to cool at room temperature or in the refrigerator. When the reduction has cooled, combine the stick of butter, blue cheese and the reduction in a food processor or blender. Blend on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes.Finish the butter with chives, parsley, salt and pepper. Blend until incorporated, about 1 minute