Compound Butters

21Sep09

I like to mix up a batch of compound butter over the weekend to use for Sunday brunch and then to use throughout the week. It’s great on toast, on steaks, or in Chicken Kiev. You can substitute compound butter for plain butter in nearly any recipe. I like to use compound butter to fry up grilled cheese sandwiches, french toast, or even omelettes. Sometimes, I drizzle it over grilled vegetables (it’s especially good over corn on the cob).

Compound butters an easy way to add both elegance and flavor to your meals. They keep well in the fridge, but I do try to use up each batch within a week. You can store your finished compound butter in an airtight storage container, or in shot glasses covered in saran wrap. If you want to make them a little more elegant, you might want to invest in these silicone butter molds.

The best part of making compound butter is how flexible the process is. You can use nearly anything to make compound butter, so start experimenting. Here are a few easy compound butters I like to have on hand to impart flavors to sweet, spicy, and savory dishes. I generally use unsalted butter.

Orange Blossom Honey Butter

You will need:

1 stick of butter, softened but not melted
2-3 teaspoons of orange blossom honey
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
dash of salt
dash of cayenne pepper

Preparation: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients using a silicone spatula or soup spoon. For a fluffier texture, whip the ingredients together using a hand blender or Kitchen Aid mixer. Once combined, press the butter into molds and refrigerate until set. Great on toast, pancakes, or folded into pie crust.

Savory Garlic Butter

You will need…

1 stick of butter, softened but not melted
6 cloves of garlic, mashed into a paste
2 teaspoons chives or scallions, chopped very fine
dash of smoked paprika

Follow preparation above. For a variation, roast the garlic before mashing. Also great with the addition of bleu cheese or stilton to taste (about 1/4 cup). Great for making garlic bread, tossing with pasta, or spreading on english muffins for eggs benedict.

Buffalo Butter

You will need…

1 stick of butter, softened but not melted
3 teaspoons of buffalo wing sauce, or hot sauce of your choice
dash of garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh cracked pink peppercorns

See preparation above. Adds a spicy kick to sandwiches. Floating a pat of this butter on a hot bowl of chicken and wild rice soup is also delicious.

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