Wednesday, March 05, 2008


How & Why To Make Compound Butter

It seems as if, in every high-end cookbook there is that inevitable recipe - nestled between those grand glamor shots - for something so super basic, it requires a pause.

For instance, I was flipping through Super-Star Chef, Thomas Keller's hefty tome, Bouchon and finding my silly-self wondering…is this the book - of all the books available, that I pull off the shelf for a basic vinaigrette recipe? Is this the man I first think of when wondering how to make toast? No, no, not so much. And yet, those recipes lie bound within.

But if that little interjection of epicurean knowledge were not in there, would I notice and indict the volume for falling short on such important building blocks? Yes, yes, and yes.

Double-edged chefs knife indeed.

I mean, let's face facts, the man can and does make superior foods, but my ultra-glossy, five pound cookbook isn't coming into the kitchen with me for something so plebeian...then again, perhaps I am alone in this...

So then there is this lil site. No high-falutin' space, but still, a site that let's you think about how to make chicken-date sausages, and veers wildly back to a primer on how to make bread crumbs.

Both here, both ready to direct and guide you through your own culinary adventure.

And in that spirit - and to create that fancy-cookbook feel, I offer you a non-recipe recipe for that magic bullet, compound butter.

Yes kids, compound butter.

Herbs and aromatics satisfyingly smushed up into creamery butter and rolled into a convenient shape. Primed and ready for all sorts of culinary uses. (Especially on a nicely cooked steak)

All sorts of culinary uses, I say. Roast chicken, crostini, a nice steak, cream cheese spread, lamb chops and more. Savory dishes in need of a bit of flavor injection can all benefit from a pat of this glory. And it sure beats out using a shake of some spice mix that has been lurking in your cupboard for an age plus a day.

Useful too, since perhaps you, like me, tend to have some fresh herbs around that you just can't bear to see go bad. If so, this is the perfect thing to preserve their usefulness.

So try some today my darlings, and taste the joy.

Please do feel free to change this up any which way you see fit, this just happens to be what I made, it is certainly not set in stone. Just butter.

½ pound butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons, minced fresh herbs (I used dill, marjoram, parsley and thyme)
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon citrus zest (I used lemon and lime)
Some fresh pepper
Pinch of paprika

And now for the fun part…using you hands, mush that all together. Roll into a log, wrap in plastic and, voila, compound butter.

Keeps in the freezer for 6 months, in the fridge for 2 months.

Slice off a few pats as needed or desired.

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Oh yum.
Hello! I just thought I'd extend an invitation to a network of Los Angeles bloggers.. It's a great way to get more readers and find new and interesting blogs:
Hee hee. Your rants crack me up.
Lovely butter.
Oh dear...was I ranting?

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