Compound Butters

Posted: Thu, Aug 21
Filed under: recipes, tricks & techniques
Written by: Dave

I had a huge bunch of organic dill sitting on my counter, waiting to shrivel and dry up, so I decided to make a compound butter — I tossed the dill, a shallot, some salt, and some softened butter into the food processor and gave it a whirl.

The idea is to mix flavorful additives with softened unsalted butter and then wrap it up in plastic wrap and allow the butter to solidify again, most recipes suggest putting it in the freezer, where it will keep for up to three months. Then, you take it out, slice off a piece, and dress up something that would be otherwise bland without it. A fish fillet or chicken breast, or even just dinner rolls. There are savory and sweet versions, and the variations abound. I did a quick search on google and came up with these variations…

Alton Brown‘s basic compound butter:

1 pound butter, softened
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon sage, chopped
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped

Slashfood :

  • Lemon zest and dill
  • Grated parmesan cheese, garlic and a bit of parsley
  • Pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon

Cook’s Illustrated, Online :

  • Chopped roasted red bell peppers and smoked paprika
  • Lemon juice, grated lemon zest, and minced fresh parsley leaves
  • Chopped fresh rosemary and grated Parmesan cheese
  • Crumbled Roquefort and ground black pepper
  • Chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced garlic, minced fresh cilantro leaves, and lime juice
  • Minced shallot and chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Curry powder, minced shallot, and chopped fresh mint and cilantro leaves
  • Minced sage leaves and finely chopped toasted walnuts
  • Honey, fresh orange juice, and grated orange zest
  • Roasted garlic and minced caramelized onions
  • Minced sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, or tapenade

101 Cookbooks :

  • Dry Desert Lime herbal tea
  • Dehydrated Strawberries and a little sugar
  • Raw Serrano chilis (var: roasted garlic and pan toasted serranos)
  • Smoked Paprika
  • toasted, shredded nori with sesame seeds
  • dried fig and Balinese long pepper
  • harissa

Ruhlman, Elements : compound butter

  • parsley, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper, aka beurre maitre d’ hotel, or hotel butter.
  • roasted chicken : shallot and fines herbes
  • salmon : citrus zest
  • steaks : minced chipotle peppers, lime juice and cilantro

Chowhound :

  • Chile-Lime-Tequila
  • anchos, lime juice, a little cilantro and a little garlic
  • crawfish, shrimp or lobster

Associated Press Feature

  • Banana, Brown Sugar
  • Strawberries, Black Pepper
  • Roasted Garlic, Sun-Dried Tomato
  • Asparagus and Thyme

The Nibble

  • Bittersweet Chocolate & Orange
  • Bourbon Cherry Butter With Orange
  • Cranberry and Sage
  • Honey and Sesame
  • Pomegranate and  Clementine
  • Pumpkin and Five-Spice

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