Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Compound Butters

Have you ever used compound butter?  What is a compound butter you ask?  Well a compound butter is simply  butter combined with flavorful ingredients like herbs, wines, purees, vegetables, and the like. 
These butters are a quick easy way to add flavoring to sauces. They are also perfect for adding a punch of flavor to grilled meats and fish, cooked veggies, or as a finish for hot soups.
Usually softened compound butters are rolled into a cylinder (in cling wrap or foil) and chilled until firm, then slices are placed on the hot food just before serving. Or if prefered it can be whipped and served on the side.
One nice thing about these butters is that fresh chopped herbs will be protected from air in the butter thus retaining their flavor and vivid color. Delicate ingredients combine into hot ingredients better when they are combined with butter this way as well.

You can use many many different flavor combinations in your compound butter...here are a few ideas to get you started!  Just combine the ingredients together well.

Garlic Butter
1 stick of butter at room temp
1/4 tea salt
1/4 tea pepper
3 cloves of garlic crushed than minced finely
1 tbl fresh parsley finely chopped


Maitre d'butter
 1 stick butter room temp
1/4 cup finely chopped parsely
1 tea fresh lemon juice
1/8 tea salt
1/8 tea pepper

Tarragon Butter
1 stick butter room temp
4 oz of fresh tarragon leaves (blanched in salted water for 1 minute then ground in food processor)

Anchovy Butter
1 stick butter room temp
12-24 anchovy fillets soaked in cold water 5 minutes and dried and pureed
splash of lemon juice (optional)


Other ideas to add:
basil, chives, chervil, worcestershire sauce, lime, sage, paprika, roasted red pepper, mustard, reduced stock or wine.  Spices like cardamom, cumin, nutmeg, turmeric are also good.

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