Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Compound Butters

Here is an interesting way to use those wonderful home-dried herbs.

If you go to really nice restaurants or specialty delis, you can find seasoned butters… at VERY high prices.  However, making your own butters are so easy, you’ll smack your forehead with “why didn’t I think of that!”

You can put together a custom-blended compound butter in less than ten minutes.


  • Mix your desired herbs and spices into the butter.
    • Room temperature butter
    • Place butter into mixing bowl with paddles
    • Add desired spices and herbs
    • Mix until well blended
  • Roll it in plastic wrap to make a tight sausage shape.
  • Refrigerate or freeze to make it firm.
  • Then slice and use.
By the way, this is a great opportunity to use that wonderful micro plainer, if you happen to have one.  Use it to zest lemons, oranges, or other citrus into your butter mixtures.

What do you do with compound butters?

You can use compound butters to dress any kind of meat you like.

  • Thin slice beef, chicken, or fish, sauté them quickly and remove from the pan. Place a pat of that butter on the hot meat and give it a minute to melt before serving. 
    • Butter
    • Black cracked pepper
    • White pepper
    • Salt
    • Splash of wine or Saki if desired
    • Adjust seasonings to taste
  • Put a pat or two onto your broiled fish.
    • Butter
    • Black cracked pepper
    • Salt
    • Lemon zest
    • Splash of white wine if desired
  • All broiled is better when served with a pat of compound butter
    • Use the same combination as you would on fish
    • Make a blend with whatever herbs you might use in dressing
      • Salt
      • Pepper
      • Savory
      • Sage
  • Use it as a base in your béarnaise or hollandaise sauce.
  • Add favorite combinations to veggies
  • Slather it over your corn on the cob
  • Use compound butters on breads
    • Toasts
    • Bagels
    • Waffles
    • Crackers
  • Make cheese butters with any combination of the following grated cheeses: grate them fine or coarse and blend with the mixer.  Except the soft cheese, of course. Simply plop the desired amount into the butter and mix.
    • Parmesan
    • Romano
    • Cheddar
    • Blue
    • Brie
    • Pepper
  • Wine butters
    • Mix ¼ cup of wine or Saki with ½ pound of butter
    • Add whatever herbs and spices you choose to compliment the food you’re serving it with

Here are some recipes from Doris Townsend’s book,
 How to Cook With Herbs and Spices. 

I do recommend you get this book.

Linda’s Note: Doris uses fresh herbs in many of her recipes, but you can modify to use dried herbs, if that’s what you have.  Use lemon zest instead of lemon juice, if that’s what you have. Use garlic powder instead of garlic juice.

Savory Butter Variations:

Use these combinations as inspirations to your own favorite mixtures. To ½ pound of butter add any of the following:

  • 2 tbsp caraway
  • ¼ c finely snipped chives
  • ¼ c finely snipped parsley or basil, ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. finely snipped tarragon, ¼ Tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. curry powder, ¼ c flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 1 Tbsp. onion juice, 2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic juice, ¼ tsp lemon juice, ¼ tsp celery seeds
  • 3 tbsp chopped chutney
  • 1 tbsp anchovy paste, ¼ tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chili sauce, 3 drops hot pepper sauce
  • ½ c shredded cheddar cheese, 1/8 tsp dried mustard
Pasta butter:
½ cup butter
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp garlic juice
  • ¼ tsp dried marjoram
What’s the point of this? 

You are limited only by your imagination!

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