Garlic butter is a paste made of butter and mashed garlic. It originally belonged to the French cuisine and was known as Beurre d’Ail in French. It is now being used in various cuisines due to its versatility. The garlic butter has the spicy taste of garlic with a creamy spreadable consistency. It was primarily used to flavor an appetizer called Escargots à la bourguignonne. It is traditionally used as a spread on garlic bread. Escargots, roasted mushrooms, creamy garlic prawns, steak with garlic butter, mussels, and vegetable stir-fries are some recipes which use garlic butter.
The garlic butter seems to have originated in France. Accurate records as to the inventor or the place of invention are not available. However, the garlic butter recipe was mentioned by the renowned French chef Antoine Beauvilliers in his book Le Cuisinier Royal in 1814.
Apart from being used as a spread, garlic butter is also used as a condiment to flavor various dishes made with seafood, meat, and vegetables.
Popular Garlic Butter Recipes
The Escargots, a French appetizer made with snails, is a popular dish that is made with garlic butter. When this butter is used when masteak, shrimp, or mushrooms, it gives the dish a rich butter flavor along with the spicy taste of garlic.
Preferable Cooking Methods
The basic method to prepare garlic method requires just butter and garlic. Butter is blended with mashed garlic and chilled before use. Other ingredients such as garlic salt, parsley, ground black pepper, parmesan cheese and other herbs are also added by some cooks.
Garlic is known for its medicinal properties. Studies have shown that garlic can reduce high blood pressure and can prevent some types of cancers. Garlic is also rich in calcium, phosphorus, and potassium, which are essential for a healthy body. However, the butter used in the garlic butter recipe has high cholesterol content, which is not good for the heart in the long run.
Buying and Storing Tips
Garlic butter is easier to make at home, rather than buying. However, it can be found in the deli section in some stores. It should be stored in the freezer and stays good for up to two months.
Food and Drug Administration Approval of Garlic Butter
FDA recommends that garlic-in-butter mixes made at home should be refrigerated at all times. It also warns that when not stored properly, it can lead to food poisoning. In 2008, FDA had banned a few batches of Mussles in Garlic Butter Sauce, a Bantry Bay frozen cooked product, as it reportedly contained toxins.
April 19 is celebrated as the National Garlic Day.