What to CookWeeknight Cooking

1 Batch of Miso Butter, 6 Dinners

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Put time into dinner now, and you can make it last forever -- or at least the whole week. Welcome to Halfway to Dinner, where we show you how to stretch your staples every which way. 

Today: Pull up a chair -- we're eating with Kristy Mucci all week. And when we're done, we'll have a new, 2-ingredient trick up our sleeves.

Miso butter might not be a new or groundbreaking idea, but it’s a delicious one. It’s versatile, easy to make, and a little goes a very long way. It’s earned a permanent place in my fridge, and regularly leads to fun kitchen experiments -- not one of which has been disappointing. I’m convinced it would be great in desserts, but I’m still too busy using it in savory dishes to bother trying. 

I made this batch by blending two sticks of butter with one cup of shiro miso. I liked the ratio, but you could use more miso, or less -- it's your call, and that's the fun of it.  

Corn with Miso Butter and Scallions
This is a bare-bones version of Momofuku’s Corn with Bacon and Miso Butter. I didn't have any bacon when I made this, but luckily corn and miso play very nicely together without it. Add it in if you feel like being decadent on a Monday night, or don't -- it will be delicious either way. 

Miso Pasta
By now everyone knows that tomatoes and butter are a winning combination. I was curious about adding miso to the mix, and was very pleased with the result. I chopped a large heirloom tomato and cooked it down with a few tablespoons of miso butter, threw in some halved cherry tomatoes, added cooked pasta (with some of the salty, starchy cooking liquid), and seasoned it with salt and pepper.

Scallops with Miso Butter
This is going to be the easiest dish of the week. Ready? Sear some scallops, top with miso butter, and let it melt. That’s it. 

Miso Curry Carrots 
These were probably my favorite experiment. When carrots are this small and cute, I have to leave them whole, so glazed-ish carrots seemed like the way to go. I steamed these, and as soon as they were tender, I added miso butter and a pinch of curry powder. A friend suggested the curry, and I can’t thank him enough. 

Carrot Soup with Miso and Sesame
I really like miso and carrots. I had leftover roasted carrots in the fridge, and I always have some kind of stock in the freezer, so soup (à la Reeve) was in order. I warmed up vegetable stock and carrots, added a scoop of miso butter, and buzzed it all in the blender. Sesame seeds seemed like a nice garnish; next time, I’ll toast them. 

Soft-boiled Egg with Miso Soldiers
I’ll gladly eat a soft-cooked egg any time of day, especially if it comes with soldiers for dipping into the yolk. Miso soldiers, though, make an already good thing kind of perfect.

Miso Curry Carrots

Serves 4, as a side dish

1 1/2 pounds small carrots, scrubbed
2 very generous pinches of salt
2 tablespoons miso butter
2 teaspoons curry powder (use more or less, to taste)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Kristy Mucci

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Tags: Everyday Cooking