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Compound Butters       

Compound butters have come along way in the last few years and with the availability of exotic ingredients more and more commonplace worldwide most have access to the raw ingredients necessary to create you own little masterpiece. This is the culinary wildcard, some if not most will not know what it is you have done to that piece of meat or fish, but they will know that it tastes great!

The one thing to remember is that you want unsalted butter. This allows you to keep a check on the sodium level of your little creation and offers you the control to season to your hearts content.

Let the butter come to room temperature to soften.  Whip the butter in your mixer or by hand till it's soft and fluffy, then add the ingredients.   Don't overbeat the butter because it will get too warm and too soft.

If you are not going to use up all your compound butter in a few days, freeze it either in a roll or chill the roll and cut the  butter into pats from it and freeze them so you can use them individually.

How to roll in parchment or waxed paper:

Lay one 10" x 14" piece of parchment or waxed paper on the counter. Use rubber spatula to scrape butter from bowl onto the lower third of the paper. Lift bottom of paper, then fold over to cover butter completely; use hands to shape into a cylindrical form. Once its shaped, roll butter in paper to the opposite edge.   Chill to firm then wrap in plastic wrap to freeze or cut into pats to freeze.

Try these varieties and make up some of your own.   There are tons of possibilities.

Blue Cheese and Smokey Bacon Butter

1 lb. unsalted sweet cream butter
1 cup  Blue cheese, crumbled
½ cup crisp bacon, chopped fine
1 bunch fresh chives, chopped fine

Garlic Pepper Butter

½ lb unsalted butter, room temperature
4 candied garlic cloves*
¼ tbsp black pepper
Pinch of salt

*To make candied garlic cloves: In a frying pan, place whole garlic head in a 400°F oven, covered with aluminum foil, for about 45 minutes, or until garlic is softened. Scoop out garlic cloves when cooled.

Orange Butter

½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1½ tsp grated orange peel
½ tbsp orange preserves
½ tbsp orange blossom honey

Serve with fresh scones, muffins or other breakfast breads.

Provençal Butter

½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
2 tbsp finely chopped black olives
1½ teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, sautèed
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp ground black pepper

Sautè the rosemary for 10 seconds in a dab of butter; remove and let cool.
Whip the butter, add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Serve with French baguettes or freshly baked sourdough rolls.

Roasted Hazelnut Butter

4 oz fresh hazelnuts
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
¼ tsp lemon zest

In a hot oven (400°F), roast hazelnuts for 10 minutes.
Remove skin after roasting and coarsely chop them.
Mix the butter and add the lemon zest.

Serve with breakfast rolls or on country breads.

For fish and seafood:

Tarragon Lemon butter

One Pound unsalted butter
Zest from 1 lemon, minced
½ c – fresh tarragon, chopped

Garlic Chive Butter

One Pound unsalted butter
Chives, minced  5 oz
Garlic – 8 cloves, peeled mashed and salted for 10 minutes then pureed.
You can substitute roasted garlic puree for a mellower garlic flavor.

For Meats

Maitre d Hotel Butter

One pound unsalted butter
1 cup chopped parsley, about 1 small bunch
Juice from 1 lemon
3-4 shallots, minced
season with salt and white pepper.

Cajun Butter

One pound unsalted butter
6 ounces of Cajun spice mixture (Tony Chachere's)

 Warning, not for the faint of heart! For Heat Freaks Only !

Chipotle Habanero Butter

One Pound unsalted butter
5 Habanero chilies, grilled and pureed
1 tablespoon adobo sauce, what the canned Chipotles come packed in or ½ dried, soaked in hot water or…if you lean towards the suicidal,  add 2 of the canned chipotle chilies too.