Have you ever been to a restaurant where your juicy steak comes out with a mountain of herb-infused, melty butter? Or your ear of corn comes dripping with butter that releases flavors of chili and lime? As mouth-wateringly magical as these compound butters may seem, they're super simple to make at home. All you need are a few staple ingredients and some creativity. Here are some tips to get you started:
Make sure you use unsalted, good quality butter. Many compound butters will call for salt in the recipe, and the last thing you want is an over-salted butter! Take your butter out of the fridge a few hours before you plan to start cooking, so it is completely soft and at room temperature. This will insure that all of your mix-in's are evenly distributed.
Use flavors that will mirror the flavors of whatever you plan to put the butter on. Making steak? Fresh herbs will brighten up the meat. Corn pairs well with chili powder and lime or lemon, or parmesan cheese. You can even get more creative by mixing in more complex flavors like tomato paste, pesto, or vinegar. And don't forget, butter isn't just for savory items; combine it with honey and cinnamon for a killer muffin or cornbread spread.
The easiest way to store and use your butter is to place it on a large sheet of plastic wrap, form it into a log and refrigerate it until it's hardened. All that's left to do is slice, serve and watch the magic melty goodness! And just as with regular butter, you can expect a pretty extensive fridge life.