Learn the tricks of the trade with our professional chefs! Kevin Aherne gives us some Sage advice on how he makes flavoured butters and salts to season his dishes
Kevin Aherne of Sage Restaurant, who recently featured in our blog How to Become a Chef, gives us the low down on how he manages to create beautiful seasonings for his dishes. Kevin employs a 12 mile ethos for his ingredients, which means he doesn’t uses spices and imported herbs. Kevin has his own herb garden outside the restaurant, and is soon to be growing his own seasonal veggies in the courtyard of Sage. Here he talks about the special homemade seasonings he uses to finish a dish.
"I always find flavouring salts and butters are great ways to finish a dish, and most dishes have one or the other. Also, this is a great way to preserve ingredients for 12 mile, so you can use them out of season. Ones I like include Herb Salt. I use rosemary, sage or thyme, blended in equal quantities with salt in a processor. This is brilliant for finishing meats and seasoning them before cooking.
Wild garlic butter, seaweed butter or beach mustard butter are also favourites of mine. You can make your flavoured butters by simply adding the chosen flavouring to good quality Irish butter. Give the butter a very good whip first, until it’s nearly white, then add a third chopped wild garlic, seaweed or beach mustard to the mix. Roll the butter into a cylindrical shape and wrap in cling film, then chill. This is excellent for fish and I particularly love it with potatoes and vegetables.’
Thanks Kevin, we think these sound delicious! Start creating your own flavoured butters and salts at home, by following these easy guidelines and varying the flavours according to your own taste and what you have available to use. A very useful trick of the trade!