I've been in butter-braise bliss, lately.
We're talking about vegetables, here. A pan with a lid. Some salt. A hunk of butter. And about 20 minutes of your time.
I first experienced butter-braise bliss with asparagus, and then applied the trick to a handful of whole, baby carrots.
Not long ago I bathed peas in butter, long past the al dente stage, and... bliss.
I was in a hurry last week when I wanted to caramelize some corn kernels in butter, and I didn't reach happy. But there is fresh corn in the house, and I'm trying again, maybe today.
However, then. This is the winner (so far): Artichoke bottoms.
My whole life, I've only cooked artichokes with moisture, either in boiling water, or steamed in a pressure cooker. It's fine. But only now do I realize how waterlogged the leaves and heart get. Not appallingly, but just sad.
I had a bag of artichokes from the plants in the front yard. They were getting kinda old, I'm embarrassed to say. So I plucked off the leaves (a deft little snap that actually keeps a bit of flesh attached to the globe). Cut them in half, pole-wise. Yanked out all the fuzzy choke.
Now it gets easy. Melt lots of butter in the pan, not too hot. Lay the groomed artichokes in the grease, cut side (or choke side) down. Put on the lid and WALK AWAY. (Well, it's OK if you want to peek to adjust the temperature.) You can wait almost an hour, while the artichokes develop a sweet, soft-chewy texture. Garden candy. Vegetable pudding. Use a spoon.
What else should I butter-braise?