Super Herb Butter

20 Dec

Combining herbs and butter makes a highly flavored condiment known in the culinary world as a Compound Butter.

What are you going to do with all of this beautiful, herb-y, salty, butter spread?

Bread is an amazing place to start.  Toasted?  With garlic?  Keep talking!

This flavor packed treat is used to flavor or finish a dish. You haven’t lived, until you have tried a pat of this herbal butter on a hot steak. When making the herbal or compound butter, remember to mince the herbs as small as possible, to expose the most essential oil (and therefore, flavor) as possible.

In no particular order, here are 5 herbs that would make fabulous additions to your herbal butter. Use fresh or dried herbs, depending on what you have, but do allow the butter/herb mixture to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour for the flavors to combine.

After trying these 5 herbs, why not create your own compound butter with herbs that you love? Some ideas:

  • Use the compound butter on crackers.
  • Combine with cream cheese for sandwiches.
  • Top warm vegetables, toast and crusty bread.

Once you make your compound butter, wrap with parchment and roll into logs. Twist the ends and place in the refrigerator or freezer. I like to freeze mine, knowing they have to be used up within the next couple of weeks. I place my logs of butter into a ziplock style freezer bag to store them together, and pull out the one I need about 30 minutes before it needs to be cut.

For an elegant touch, slice rounds of this lovely butter, and serve them in a fancy butter dish so guests can help themselves.

IMG_2198

1. Garlic

Garlic

Use one clove of minced garlic per stick of butter to start. Granulated garlic can also be used in a pinch. I find that a bit of salt helps when garlic is used in the mix. For an interesting change, try roasting your garlic cloves and adding the soft, mashed garlic into the butter. Then, chill and use. The roasted flavor adds a whole new dimension to your dishes.

2. Parsley

Parsley
Parsley lends its bright green color and freshness to a compound butter recipe. Use it in a blend that you will be melting over veggies or if you are planning on spreading your luscious mixture onto warm bread.Parsley is also that go to herb for blending with other flavors. Try it as a cooling addition to a spicy compound butter, or as the fresh taste that is just the thing to finish a heavier dish.

3. Chives

Chives

If you love the taste of onion, but sometimes avoid it because of the lasting odor, then chives will be perfect for you! Combine chives with butter and create the perfect baked potato topper, steak finish, and add a hint of lemon juice for a wonderful veggie glaze.

4. Rosemary

Rosemary in Bloom

Rosemary makes a wonderful herb to combine with your butter. Its richness adds depth to any recipe. Try it on potatoes and of course, chicken dishes.

5. Thyme

Thyme
Thyme not only tastes fabulous, it grows in many different varieties. From piney flavored to lemony, Thyme is perfect for flavoring your compound butters.
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Super Herb Butter

makes 1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened slightly (you can use salted butter, just leave the extra salt out)

1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon sea salt (depending on how salty you like things)

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme,

2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh sage

2 teaspoons lemon zest

3 tablespoons chopped chives

Place butter in a small bowl.  Using a fork, mash until softened.  Add salt and pepper and mash to incorporate.  Add thyme, sage, and lemon zest.  Mash to incorporate.  Lastly, add the chives and stir to combine.  Place butter on a piece of plastic wrap and tighten into a small dish.  Chill until ready to use.

butter burger

Butter.  Burgers… sweet Lord.  The recipe is from Good Meat, a book I am deeply emotional about.

Butter will last, wrapped in the fridge, for up to one week or in the freezer for a couple of weeks.

Please make some herb butter…you will impress your guests!

Happy Holiday!

pink lips WITH SIGNITURE words above it

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