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The Standard Edition Vol. 1, No. 4

The Standard Edition Vol. 1, No. 4



Legs And All

When the calendar flips and the mercury climbs, the brief season of spring brings forward a thousand fleeting treasures of the Chesapeake Bay. It is a time of emergence, then abundance, and before we know it, the ephemeral.
Blink, and you miss it. Warm days, a cool breeze. The arrival of the osprey, blooms on the dogwood tree, that first flush of wildflowers and the rippling whiff of honeysuckle, all before we’re overwhelmed by the plentitude and potency of summer. And by the eve of June, when winter already feels like another lifetime, this fruitful feeling reaches its greatest zenith on the Chesapeake with the flight of the soft-shell crab.


Texas chef John Tesar shares the secret to cooking a perfect steak. 

John Tesar got his first taste of perfectly-cooked steak at the age of 10 in an old-school American chophouse by the name of Part I in Key Gardens, Queens.

Growing up in New York, his dad was a banker, and according to John, one of his clients was the mob.

“It was a weird, Goodfellas time,” he says today. “Dad knew everybody, and this was like the he-man place to hang out. One Friday night, he took the family out to dinner there, and to this day, I’ll never forget the taste of a steak done under a broiler like that."



John Tesar's Cast Iron Skillet Steak

I don't know when cooking a steak became so complicated. When I was growing up -- and this is probably true for you, too -- we didn't need to have charcoal or wood chunks or lighter fluid or a hibachi or a Big Green Egg to cook a steak, much less a sous vide machine and a water circulator. You didn't have to own a backyard or blacken your hands or dispose of dusty ashes. All you needed was a big steel pan, some oil, salt, and a piece of good meat. Some of the best steaks I ever ate were cooked this way -- where the beefiest flavor and the deepest crust depended mainly on a good pan, a strong burner, and an honest piece of meat. I like to call this method Back to the Pan because it encourages people to not get too fussy about steak.

Pick up Chef John Tesar's Cookbook, Knife: Texas Steakhouse Meals At Home.

The Standard Edition Vol.1, No. 3

The Standard Edition Vol.1, No. 3

Lessons learned in life with man's best friend.

There’s a bit of an unofficial motto around here at the Butter Pat offices. Three simple words that sum up who we are as people, and as a company, and the kind we like to keep. It might say more about our ethos than any marketing team could make up. And we have a feeling, if you’re cooking on cast iron, you might abide by the maxim, too.

Must. Love. Dogs.

Louisianna chef David Guas tells us why a cast iron skillet is essential equipment to make the essential ingredient in gumbo.

First, you make a roux...

That’s the way the recipe begins for our Chesapeake Crab Gumbo, and every other gumbo.

Well damn, I’m not making it then, is what you must be thinking...



Maryland Blue Crab Filé (Okra Gumbo)

  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup cooking oil
  • 2 cups chopped okra (1 16-ounce can)
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons file powder
  • 3 cups lump crab meat
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • ½ cup chopped green pepper
  • ½ cup chopped green onion

Combine cooking oil and flour in heavy skillet over medium flame, stirring constantly until flour is dark brown in color. Set aside.

Sauté slowly 2 cups okra, bell peppers, green onions, celery and crab meat. Combine these ingredients and browned flour into large 4 to 6 quart pot. Add 2 quarts water, salt, pepper and file. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Recipe credit from the folks at The Crab Place in Crisfield, Maryland.

Also, if you're looking for good Filé Powder, here's our favorite: Zatarain's® Gumbo Filé

The Standard Edition Vol. 1, No. 2

The Standard Edition Vol. 1, No. 2

It all started with a broken pan.

Here we were, along the edge of the Chesapeake Bay, and there it sat, on the ground before us. “A black pan,” as our grandmother, Estee, used to nonchalantly call that cast-iron. An unmarked, 10-inch hunk of cast iron that held little if any value. (Except, of course, that it was hers.) We watched it fall down the steps into the Maryland mud, and out of thin air, it now carried a long thin line across its surface. Was it meaningful? Well, it certainly was once it was nearly split into two at our feet.



When a cast iron pan is as smooth as a Butter Pat, all the fuss about seasoning is unnecessary. As one Butter Pat Customer put it:
“I’m not using a potato and salt!
I’m not giving my pan
a spa treatment!”