Sunday, October 6, 2019

Marmite Butter

A week ago, I was in London for entire three (3) days. But I stole a couple of hours from the busy work schedule and spent them uber-wisely, on two wonderful things. Numero uno, I went to the Victoria and Albert Museum and saw Tim Walker: Wonderful Things; numero due, I had a dinner with a friend at Tom Simmons. It's incredible what two hours in a museum can do to a human soul. Add to it food and friends, and it was a trip across the ocean that made me happy. I am tired, but grateful.

First things first. If your travels take you to London between now and March 8, you must go to V&A. And I mean like MUST, and this is an order, you absolutely have to go and see Tim Walker. It's like getting a glimpse into an insane, fantastical, hallucinogenic world of an absolute genius. The exhibition starts slowly, but in a good way: you enter into the first room with no idea what's about to happen, and you are served a good dosage of classic Tim Walker -- beautiful, playful and slightly thought provoking. And then, you keep on walking, and keep on walking, and BOOM, things explode straight into your face. I have not enjoyed a museum visit THIS MUCH in a long time. Enough said.

Now back to food.

Tom Simmons... I have only two words to describe the dinner: Marmite butter. OMG. Yes, Marmite can be polarizing, just like cilantro, but as far as I am concerned, Marmite butter is one of mankind's greatest creations. It's like, I don't quite know how to put it, other than, hmm, a love affair between soy sauce, salted caramel and creamy butter. It was a wonderful dinner overall, but Marmite butter totally stole the show.

Needless to say, I made it at least 25 times in my head on the flight back to NYC, until I made it for real the moment I set foot into the apartment. We savored it with a thick slice of sourdough bread. Then we had it on a toasted crumpet (you won’t believe the kinds of things one finds in Trader Joe's). We also had it on brioche. And with poached chicken breast. And on pan roasted trout. Next week I will serve it with roasted sweet potatoes. Perhaps some scallops... And another round of sourdough. Because, one can never have enough of sourdough and Marmite butter.

And long live the queen.

Marmite Butter

* 113 g (4 oz) sweet butter 
* 3 tsp Marmite (or up to taste)
* a pinch of salt

Take the butter out of the refridgerator and keep it at room temperature for about two or three hours, until the butter is extremely soft. Add two teaspoons of Marmite and salt. Mix well until Marmite is fully incorporated and the butter is smooth. Taste. If you like a punchier flavor, add another teaspoon. (Three teaspoons are just the right balance for me, that will also give you the wonderful color and flavor of  salted caramel you see in the picture. If you are faint-hearted when Marmite is concerned, like my daughter, I recommend two spoons. My husband, who is a product of the British system, prefers four.)