Thursday, February 9, 2012

Compound Butter

I've always been very fascinated with compound butter. I love it when I eat out and my slab of steak came with a knob of compound butter on it because it is really a flavor enhancer for the steak (or chicken, fish, etc for that matter) and the flavor varies from restaurant to restaurant, dish to dish.

So, that day I bought some steak and thought, why not make my own compound butter from scratch? After reading several articles and recipes online for compound butter, I decided to use my favorite herbs and make a simple one. Nothing too fancy, since it was my first time making it.

Using a knife, mash the softened butter with the other ingredients.
I used 1/4 cup of unsalted butter softened at room temperature. Do not soften it in the microwave, cos the butter will break down into an oily mess - which is not what you want.

My added ingredients are: 1 large clove of garlic (minced), 1 teaspoon of fresh parsley (minced), 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice and a tiny pinch of salt. I love garlic, so I added a wee bit more. The good thing about making your own compound butter (as with all other recipes) is that you can adjust according to your taste so please taste a pinch before wrapping it up! Add more or less herbs, juice, etc to taste!

Roll them up with some cling wrap.

Twist the ends of the cling wrap as you would with a sweet, making sure it is compact all the way through. Try to not have holes and gaps in between.

There you have it. Store it in the fridge for a couple of hours for it to hold its shape.

Cut a knob out and put it on a good piece of sirloin like what I did!
The result was absolutely delicious and I can't believe how EASY it was. I can't wait to try other combinations next time! Other common elements that can be added are shallots, dill, thyme and even red wine - in varying combinations of course, not all at once!

I also baked some potatoes a couple of days later and stuck a knob of butter into the piping hot potato and it was delish! Don't bake the butter with the potato... just stick it in when the potato is cooked and out of the oven. Such an easy way to kick a dish up a notch!

So there you have it - easy, creamy, beautiful - compound butter!

Edit: As to how long this compound butter can last, I try to use it within a week since it has fresh herbs inside (some websites says more, some says less). If you want to prolong its shelf life, you can also put it in the freezer - but even then, I'd say no more than 2 weeks. But that's just me. Hehe. Since this recipe is so easy, I'd just make it in smaller quantities, hence the 1/4 cup butter measurement.

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