Friday, November 21, 2008

New Albany, Ohio Resident Wins Plugrá National Recipe Contest

Teresa Ralston, from New Albany, Ohio, has been named Grand Champion in the 2nd annual Plugrá European-Style Butter national recipe contest. In addition to winning $5,000, Ralston will receive a trip to New York City where she’ll prepare her winning Bleu Cheese Herb Butter with Walnuts recipe alongside one of the city’s top chefs on the Taste of New York cooking program.

This year’s competition recognized the top compound butter blend (also known as flavored butter). Ralston created a unique blend of Plugrá European-Style Butter and bleu cheese, melded with fresh herbs, garlic and toasted walnuts. Ralston’s butter recipe was selected from among 900 entries nationwide and judged by a panel of chefs from the Plugrá Culinary Institute. Fifty runners-up received butter bells crafted by a master potter, designed to help keep their innovative butter blends fresh and creamy. Visit to view the winning recipes.

“I’m thrilled to be named Grand Champion. I am passionate about cooking and love working with Plugrá,” stated Ralston. “It was such a pleasure experimenting with different flavor combinations to find my award-winning blend. I look forward to creating more with Plugrá in the coming year and showing my recipe on Taste of New York next year.”

Butter Blends Are Fast-Growing Trend
As the name implies, compound (flavored) butters are a mixture of ingredients added to a primary base of Plugrá European-Style Butter. According to the experts at Plugrá, butter blends are one of the fastest-growing trends in cooking today. Butter combinations provide unique flavors that complement any number of foods. They are easy to make and are affordable solutions for food enthusiasts. Butter compounds are quickly becoming the new sauce in homes across the country.

“Compound butters are an excellent way for chefs and food enthusiasts to express their culinary creativity,” says Plugrá Chef Trip Kadey. “They’re perfect for adding bursts of flavor to entrees, vegetables or desserts and can be made with whatever strikes one’s fancy—in-season fruits and vegetables, favorite herbs and spices—literally the sky’s the limit when it comes to compound butters.”

Ralston’s Bleu Cheese Herb Butter with Walnuts would make the perfect accompaniment to a prime rib or another cut of steak, according to Kadey. But food enthusiasts shouldn’t stop there. “What makes this so much fun is that you can try any flavor combination that inspires you,” he says. “From savory to sweet and in-between, the possibilities are endless.”

Executive chefs have long known that cooking with Plugrá European-Style Butter makes cakes rise higher, sauces creamier and pastries flakier. Plugrá European-Style Butter has a richer taste and smoother texture compared to most average table butters. Plugrá is slow-churned for the optimal European style that results in lower moisture content, yet it is creamier.

Plugrá is owned by Keller’s Creamery, a division of Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. Visit to watch videos on cooking techniques that will make your cooking experiences rewarding and all of your recipes a smashing success.

Bleu Cheese Herb Butter with Walnuts
Prep Time: Less than 30 minutes
Yield: 32 servings, 1 tablespoon in size

½ lb. Plugrá® European-Style Butter, unsalted, softened
1 tbsp. Chives, fresh, chopped
1 tbsp. Thyme leaves, fresh, chopped
1 tsp. Garlic, fresh, minced
¼ tsp. Black pepper, fresh, ground
¼ cup Bleu cheese crumbles (Maytag recommended)
3 tbsp. Walnuts, toasted, chopped

· In a mixer, whip Plugrá butter at medium speed until smooth and light. Fold in chives, thyme, garlic and pepper. Beat until combined, about 5 minutes.
· Stir in bleu cheese and walnuts. Beat for 1 minute until well combined.
· Remove butter from bowl. Spoon onto parchment paper. Roll into a log, using edge of baking sheet to form a tight log. Chill for 2 hours before serving.

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