Saturday, March 3, 2012

Compound butter ...

Have you ever been served a Filet Mignon perfectly topped with a coin of compound butter? Heavenly, isn't it? If you're not quite sure what a compound butter is, then, you've landed at the right place.

Image via Whits Amuse Bouche.

Compound butter is one of my favorite condiments, particularly for grilled meats. It enhances the flavor of beef without overwhelming it. Just with a variation of herbs and spices, the butter can create a vast array of taste characteristics.


I clipped this tutorial on making compound butters from Bon Appetit so you could see how simple it is to make. You can create your own compound butters using any herbs you choose.

HERB LEMON ZEST COMPOUND BUTTER is a favorite. Here's the recipe from Bon Appetit:

Put a 1/4 cup of chopped mixed herbs, such a flat-leaf parsley, chervil, tarragon, and chives on a cutting board with 1/2 cup of softened butter. Finely chop together until well-combined. Season with salt.

Transfer to a sheet of parchment paper, placing the mixture on the paper's edge closest to you. Wrap paper around the mixture and roll into a cylinder, twisting the paper's ends to close. Now, wrap the paper cylinder airtight in foil.

Chill until solid. Butter will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator, or up to 3 months in freezer.



Image via Cook With Jennifer.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and recommend a compound butter that offers a bold taste of the Southwest on fresh fish. I think you'll like it ... maybe even love it!

CHILI LIME COMPOUND BUTTER

Ingredients:

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lime zest
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon minced fresh Serrano chili pepper (preferably red), including seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Stir together butter, shallot, zest, lime juice, chili, and salt in a bowl. Roll in parchment paper and refrigerate. Serve over pan-seared fish of your choice.


Image via The Fromagette.

Because they freeze so well, compound butters make great favors for dinner guests, or you can take them along to give as hostess gifts when invited to a dinner party. With a personalized tag, it sure beats another unmemorable bottle of wine!

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