Compound Butter is perhaps the simplest way to infuse flavor into meat, poultry, fish, pasta, rice, risotto and even quick breads. All that’s required is really good quality butter, fresh herbs and a little of your own creativity. Add a little dash of flavor, such as tequila or vodka, lemon zest or juice, lime or orange juice, Dijon or Chinese mustard, maybe even chipotle chile, curry powder, or sciracha. A dash-meaning 2-3 tsp at most, less for the spicy things. Here are three easy compound butters to try.
Combine 2 tsp minced garlic and 1 TB minced fresh parsley with a hefty 1 TB salt and about 2 tsp. pepper. Mix these into 2 sticks softened unsalted butter (not margarine or shortening).
To keep the butter, mound it in the center of a 6 inch square of parchment paper, wax paper or plastic wrap. Fold one side of the square over, and mold the butter into a short log. Roll the paper up entirely, cinch the ends and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. PS: These make a very nice hostess gift, with a warm baguette.
This recipe is especially good for rubbing under poultry skin before roasting.
Combine 2 tsp minced garlic, 2 TB sea salt and 2 tsp cracked black pepper with 2-3 TB minced herbs, such as oregano and basil, sage and thyme, rosemary, sage and savory or cilantro and green onion. Mix these ingredients into 2 sticks softened butter. Wrap, Roll, Refrigerate.
Sweet Cinnamon Butter
This compound is lovely with quick breads, pancakes, waffles and even donuts. It is open to your own innovation. Tweak the spices according to your own taste preferences. Consider using it with roasted sweet potatoes, delicata or acorn squash, or as a sauce on spaghetti squash “pasta”.
Combine 1 TB cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice with 1 TB agave nectar, maple syrup or honey and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Mix into 1 stick softened butter. Add sea salt for a little savory, crunchy note if you’d like. You can also add cranberries, chopped dried cherries, chopped dried dates or figs and even liqueur soaked raisins.
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