A friend of mine recently asked about flavored butters, also known as compound butters. They are very easy make with endless possibilities. Choose a stick or a pound of butter, depending on how much you want to make. Try not to use anything except real stick butter, salted. Let the butter soften at room temperature. One of the most popular compound butters is made with fresh herbs. Fresh herbs contain oils that add to the flavor of the butter, the further ahead you make your butter mixture, say the day ahead, the butter will develop more flavor.
Small amounts of butter can be worked by hand with a pastry blender or fork. Large amounts of butter, say a pound or more, are better worked with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Chive Butter is a good place to start and is great on baked potatoes, fish & steamed vegetables.
2 sticks softened salted butter
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
Work chives and sea salt into softened butter, cover and refrigerate for at least a day.
From Chive Butter you can use the same concept and add as many fresh minced herbs as you want to your softened butter. Amounts of the herbs and seasonings can be adjusted to your taste, don't be afraid to taste your butter and add more herbs, salt or even pepper to your liking.
Some ideas for savory butters include, garlic and basil butter for spreading on slices of baguette, dill butter for halibut, herbs de provence butter, spicy cayenne and cilantro butter, the possibilities are endless!
Sweet compound butters are equally as fun and tasty! Blend butter with confectioner's sugar and vanilla, you will have the perfect pancake and waffle butter. Butter blended with honey is a classic spread on fresh, dark, whole grain bread.
Cheese butters are decadent and really great for entertaining. One of my favorites is to blend Rogue Creamery's Smokey Blue cheese and Cypress Grove's fresh Chevre with softened butter. Spread this intriguing mixture on a fresh baguette slice, from there you can top it with fig jam, onion jam, or you can slide it under the broiler until just barely melted.... not to be missed when you top with fresh garden tomato!
Hope this gives you some inspiration, with Holiday entertaining right around the corner you may be able to showcase your favorite compound butter. Most of these butters will stay fresh and ready to eat for up to one week. Keep in mind that strongly flavored butters will only get stronger with time, something to keep in mind when working with the garlic based butters.
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- Lisa Marie
- Cincinnati, OH, United States
- A dedicated foodie, with a passion for the best food. Favorite food crushes include; Cheese, Wine, Breads, Seafood, anything made with eggs, ...there's actually no point in a list, there isn't much out there I don't have a crush on. Transplanted from the Northeast at age 18, a whole new frontier of food was opened up to me. I have fished for Salmon, hunted for mushrooms, cracked open fresh oysters from the sea and devoured them on the spot. Figs, pears, peaches, so many indigenous jewels! I dedicate this BLOG to the endless variety this region provides. My hope is to live here for a very long time & continue to discover and experience it's unique bounty! Alas, my life has now taken me to Cincinnati, OH where the food culture is like none I have ever experienced.