Sometimes you start down one path, and end up going down a much more exciting one. I was working on some sage brown butter for a new dish. It was simple. I melted a few pounds of butter with a handful of fresh sage and an extra scoop of dry milk to boost the “brown flavor”. The butter was brought to a boil, and held at a simmer for a few minutes. The pot was pulled from the stove and cooled down for an hour with the sage and solids still in it. The butter was strained, and it was nice. Not mind-blowing, but just about what I’d expected.
Then I started nibbling on the chewy chunks of milk solids. They were kind of caramely, nicely set off by the sage butter. I wanted to do something, but the fact that they were buttery would limit me.
Just this week I saw an older post on Ideas in Food about using tapioca maltodextrin to fix this problem with fried artichokes, and this must have been rattling around in my head.
I scraped the buttery, browned milk solids and remaining fried sage into a food processor, and ground them up. I added the tapioca maltodextrin and blended the mixture. I added some sea salt and turbinado sugar, and continued to blend.
I loved it. It was sweet, salty, buttery and malty, with a bit of chew. Some of my cooks thought it was great. Some people downright despised it. It tasted like breakfast sausage because of the sage, and that was the biggest issue for some. Now, what to do with it.