Building a better butter: Compound varieties are easy to make in your own kitchen | Toledo Blade

By July 9, 2019Dairy, Flavour, Novotaste

THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER

Who knew butter could get even better?

Compound butters are ridiculously easy to make: Just stir in some herbs, jams, spices, honey – even liquor – and let your creativity lead the way to even greater flavor.

That’s it. That’s all there is to it. No muss, no fuss.

Then you’ll be ready to serve up some sensational dishes, though these butters will enhance even a simple dinner roll or a slice of breakfast toast.

Jalapeño-Tequila Butter livens up fresh corn, seeping into all the nooks and crannies. You could also either slather it onto cornbread or use it as the base for your batter. Spice up your popcorn, too, by tossing it in some of this and adding a sprinkling of crumbled cotija cheese.

Red Wine Butter with shallots is an exceptional complement to steak, infusing its flavor into the meat as it melts. Or tuck a cube of it into the center of a burger before cooking it, to make the meat extra juicy and flavorful. Brush it onto breadsticks or a pizza crust before baking, too.

Herb-Lemon Butter is beautiful over freshly grilled or steamed vegetables. It would be ideal with fish. You could also serve it melted with seafood — who says you can only dip crab or lobster into plain butter? Make a celebratory meal even more special.

Tomato-Garlic Butter is great on a BLT, swapping out the mayonnaise, or on that simple, sublime pleasure of summer: a tomato sandwich. It would also be exceptional on pasta with just a sprinkling of cheese (as would the Red Wine and Herb-Lemon varieties).

Jam Butter is meant to be spread onto biscuits, and it can have any type added: orange marmalade, strawberry or raspberry, fig … the list goes on and on.

Chai and Honey Butter, with its spice and sweetness, would be delicious brushed onto grilled peaches. Then serve them à la mode or chop and blend them into a homemade ice cream base. Or, how fabulous would a batch of blueberry muffins be topped with a streusel that had been flavored with this variety?

Anywhere you might use plain butter, now you can have extra fantastic flavors.

Here are a couple of other ideas: Spread some compound butter onto the outside of a cheese sandwich before grilling it. Use a sweet variety in cake batters, cookie doughs, or pie crusts; fry an egg in a savory flavor or stir some into mashed potatoes.

Thinking ahead, how great will your Thanksgiving turkey be if you burnish its skin with a beautiful compound butter, or tuck some under the skin to baste the meat?

So try mixing up some of these flavorful blends to make your cooking and baking even butter — oops, sorry, we mean better.

Because everything’s better with butter, right?

Jalapeño-Tequila Butter

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 teaspoons minced jalapeño chiles, seeds and membranes removed

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (from ½ lime)

Zest of 1 lime

2 teaspoons tequila

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Place butter in a medium bowl and, using a rubber spatula, soften until it’s very spreadable. Add remaining ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.

Place compound butter on a sheet of plastic wrap. Roll into a log and twist the ends to seal. Place butter in the refrigerator to harden; it can be refrigerated for up to 1 month or frozen for up to 3 months.

Yield: 8 tablespoons

Source: Adapted from Regan Burns, chowhound.com

Red Wine Butter

1 small shallot

¼ cup red wine

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, soft

¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Salt and pepper

Finely chop shallot and bring it to the boil together with the red wine; reduce until there is almost no more wine left. Let it cool.

Cream butter in a mixing bowl. Stir in the shallot and the chopped parsley; season with salt and pepper. Form a log or any other shape you desire and wrap the butter in plastic; refrigerate until the butter is firm enough to slice. Freeze the leftovers.

Yield: 8 tablespoons

Source: Adapted from almondcorner.blogspot.com

Herb-Lemon Butter

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Zest of 1 lemon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Add salt and ground black pepper to taste.

Scoop it all onto the plastic wrap and roll the plastic wrap around it to form a cylinder then twist the ends closed, or place into molds. Refrigerate until the butter is firm or put in the freezer to be used at a later date.

Yield: 8 tablespoons

Source: Adapted from whitegunpowder.com

Tomato-Garlic Butter

12 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided

1 cup grape and/or cherry tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

¼ teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste

Place 2 tablespoons of the butter into a small skillet along with the tomatoes and the garlic. Cook over medium heat, piercing the tomatoes when they start to soften, until the tomatoes are quite soft; swirl the pan occasionally. Let the tomato mixture cool.

Scrape the tomato and garlic mixture into a food processor with the salt and pulse until it becomes a smooth purée. Add remaining butter in small chunks and process until completely mixed in with the tomato.

Form into a log wrapped in plastic or place into a ramekin, then refrigerate.

Yield: ¾ cup

Source: marksdailyapple.com

Jam Butter

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 heaping tablespoons jam or marmalade

Combine the butter and the jam in a bowl and mix with a fork until completely incorporated. Spoon it into a small dish, or you can roll it in wax paper to make a log or square.

Note: We used orange marmalade for one batch of the recipe and berry jam for another.

Yield: 8 tablespoons

Source: Adapted from caramelpotatoes.com

Chai and Honey Butter

½ cup water

3 tea bags (see note), divided

1½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon ground ginger

Pinch of nutmeg

A few grinds of black pepper

1 tablespoon honey

Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat, add 2 of the tea bags, cover the pan, and let the tea steep for 10 minutes. Uncover, remove the tea bags, and let cool to room temperature.

Cut open the remaining tea bag. Combine the butter with the tea leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, black pepper, honey, and 1 tablespoon of brewed tea in a small bowl. Mix by hand until the butter is smooth and the ingredients are well-combined.

Spoon the butter mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper and roll it into a log; alternately, spoon it into a ramekin or a tea cup. Refrigerate it for 1 to 2 hours, until firm but still spreadable.

Note: We used 1 black tea bag and 1 of Constant Comment for steeping; we used Constant Comment leaves to stir into the butter.

Yield: ½ cup

Source: Adapted from thekitchn.com

Source: Building a better butter: Compound varieties are easy to make in your own kitchen | Toledo Blade