Like Butter Baby
One of my favorite Julia Child quotes, "With enough butter, anything is good." validates the foodie fire inside me for finding new and interesting ways to use one of the best condiments on this planet, butter.
With "butter boards" being all the rage this past year, it doesn't seem too far off to talk about compound butters in a charcuterie blog. Especially when some of the best compound butter recipes include cheese!
Here is why we love them:
- Compound butters are fun because it's really hard to go wrong when making them.
- You can create savory or sweet combinations.
- You can use them in a variety of ways such as topping a protein like steak, chicken or fish to act like a sauce. Add it to finish or deepen the flavor of a side dish. Top on veggies or use it as a spread on bread, pastries or even waffles.
- Compound butters are super quick and easy to prepare.
- There are hundreds of diverse combinations that can add serious flavor to almost anything!
So how do you make a compound butter?
Decide on the type of compound butter you will be making and what you can use it on. The grand thing about these recipes is that you need very little of the ingredients to create a fantastic result.
If you are using it for just one dish, you should only need about 1 stick of unsalted butter and 2 total tablespoons of other ingredients plus salt for taste. (See recipe suggestions and combinations below)
- Allow your butter to come to room temperature. Some people also like to whip their butter first but I find it unnecessary if it's at room temperature.
- Prep your other ingredients. Chop, mince, blend or zest your other base flavors while you are waiting on your butter temperature.
- Combine all ingredients with a fork, hand mixer or food processor.
- This is a VERY important step. Taste your mix and add salt appropriately for savory options. We start with unsalted butter so that we can control the salt level but many recipes will not carry the level of flavor we want without the salt. Just keep tasting and adding salt until you reach the level that tastes good to you!
- Shape your compound butter either by wrapping it in parchment paper and rolling into a log (which is great for slicing later) or put it inside a decorative silicone mold for a different kind of shape. Tip: I've also lined small dishes with plastic wrap and filled them with the butter so I could get the shape I wanted and have an easy way to remove it later once set up.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours or until it's firm.
Here are a few suggestions for SIMPLE compound butter combinations:
I broke these ideas into 3 categories. Combo's with cheese ;) , savory combos and sweet combos. I also stuck to only two ingredients however, these are only ideas to get you inspired and you could add more items if you wanted.
Orange zest & apricot fruit spread
Cinnamon & maple syrup
Cinnamon & honey
Freeze-Dried strawberry & pineapple
Cranberry & cinnamon