Thursday, October 06, 2011

Compound Butters

More and more, I am becoming a fan of what I now call "finishing agents": sauces, salt mixes, salsas.  Those final touches that take a simple protein to a new level.  A category of these I need to explore more is compound butters...butter mixed with herbs or other ingredients and then used to top steak, grilled chicken, steamed veggies, whatever.

You take a stick of softened butter, combine with the additions and use parchment paper to make into a roll.  Then you can refrigerate for 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.  Each recipe makes 1/2 cup.  To use, unwrap the roll and slice as needed. 

Here are a couple of interesting combos that are on the list to try that I ran across in the October Bon Appetit. 
  • A basic riff: 1/4 cup chopped herbs (parsley, tarragon, chives) and a teaspoon of grated lemon zest.  Season with salt.
  • An Indian twist to use in rice: 2 teaspoons turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon toasted brown mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon toasted yellow mustard seeds
  • How about this Asian one on fish...or popcorn? 2 teaspoons toasted white sesame seeds, 2 teaspoons toasted black sesame seeds, 1/2 sheet toasted nori, finely chopped, and kosher salt to taste.
  • This is going on my next ribeye.  2 tablespoons finely chopped dried porcini mushrooms and 1 tablespoon red wine.  (Oh, and kosher salt to taste.)
  • Need some richness on your chicken fajitas? 1 finely chopped canned chipotle in adobo and a teaspoon of freshly grated lime zest.
  • I have no idea what to do with this one, but I am mkaing it just in case. One slice bacon chopped and cooked, 1 tablespoon bourbon, 1 tablespoon maple syrup (NOT the cheap stuff in a plastic bottle from the grocery.  Mrs. Butter-who???) and 1 teaspoon brown sugar.  I might just eat this one by itself.   

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