Tired of the “same old” every week? Want to become a more innovative cook in less than 10 minutes? Then compound butter is the answer to your growling stomach. Also known as finishing butter, or beurre composé, compound butter is nothing more than unsalted butter that has been blended with seasonings.
There are endless variations, both hot and cold. In his Le Guide culinaire, Escoffier published more than 40 versions ranging from the simple anchovy butter to Beurre de Montpelier, which contains blanched watercress, parsley, chervil, tarragon, chives and spinach, blanched shallot, gherkins, capers, garlic, anchovy, butter, hard-boiled egg yolks and raw egg yolks and oil.
In Continental cuisine, compound butter is added to the pan to finish a sauce, placed directly atop meat, fish or vegetables to create a flavorful melting garnish, or mixed into pasta and rice. Quick and simple to make, the butters can be formed into logs, wrapped tightly and stored in the freezer until needed. Note: If you freeze compound butter, do it in small portions that will allow you to dose more easily and to limit losses since like any other frozen product, it cannot be refrozen.? Try one, or more, and just sit back and enjoy your diners’ compliments.
Garlic Sherry Steak Butter (also delicious on plain hamburgers or sautéed chicken)
2 bulbs of garlic, ends cut off to expose the bulbs
Extra Virgin Olive oil
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 425. Drizzle garlic cloves with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and roast in oven until tender, 40-45 minutes. Remove and cook to handling temperature. Squeeze softened garlic into the bowl of a food processor. Add sherry, butter, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Pulse processor to form a paste. Set aside or refrigerate (remove at least 1/2 hour before dinner).
Seafood Lemon & Caper Butter
Serve with filet of sole, tilapia or scallops
Salt and freshly ground black pepper Combine lemon zest, juice, wine and shallot in a small saucepan over high heat and cook until reduced by half. Remove from the heat and let cool. Whisk together the butter and wine mixture in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or form into log and freeze. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Avocado Lime Compound Butter (try this one on roasted salmon)
1/4 cup salted butter, softened
1 large, ripe avocado, pitted
chopped coarsely zest of one lime
In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the zest and juice of the lime. Using a fork, mash and stir in the butter until incorporated. Roll up, twist ends and freeze. Defrost 15 minutes before serving.