Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Compound Butter - Quick, easy flavor!

Pan-Seared Strip Steaks with Blue Cheese Compound Butter, Mushrooms, Bacon, and Creamed Spinach
Cooled and ready for my client to heat up! ;)
By Madeleine Dee

Looking for an easy and quick way to add serious flavor to your dishes? Look no further!

Using a compound butter is a very classic way to elevate the taste of a meal. It can contain just about any combination of flavorings, and it is so very easy.

Here's what you'll need:

1 stick of butter, softened
Salt and pepper
Flavorings - Fresh herbs, citrus zest, sauteed shallots, garlic, spices, dried herbs...

That's it!
You can use whatever flavorings go well with your dish,
and there's lots of room for creativity.

Here's what to do:
1. Let your butter soften at room temperature for at least a couple of hours.

When softened, mix with herbs, spices, etc., then add a sprinkle of black pepper and a few pinches of salt.

I used salt, pepper, the zest of 1 lemon, and about 1/2 cup of blue cheese.

Mix well.

2. Form your butter mixture into an oblong shape and lay on some plastic wrap.

3. Fold the plastic wrap over, leaving a couple of extra inches between the end of the wrap and the butter.

4. Use your hands to smooth and shape the butter into a long log.

5. When done shaping, roll the covered butter forward to wrap.

6. Roll a few times to make sure it's good and covered.

7. Cut the plastic wrap and roll tightly.

8. Twist both ends like a piece of candy. :)

9. Chill your butter until firm. You can (and should) refrigerate it for a few hours, but freezing is ok if you need to use it sooner!

10. When firm, slice into thin coins.

11. Keep your compound butter in the fridge to slice and use whenever you need it!

Next time you have a piping hot steak, you'll have a delicious 
punch of buttery flavor to melt onto the top.

If you have a bit of time one day, make several compound butters and keep them on hand in the fridge or the freezer so you'll always have a quick way to jazz up your meals!

A garam masala butter would be delicious! Or a lime zest, cumin, and paprika compound butter for Tex-Mex dishes? :)

Have any favorite combinations? Let me know below!

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Executive Chef and Owner of No Place Like Home in Louisville, KY. Writer, actress, chef, professional cook and professional eater.