"Fat is flavor." It's a myth you've probably heard and maybe even eschewed by now, but while the myth of flavor and fat coexisting has been debunked, that doesn't mean that fat can't be the perfect vehicle for flavor. With grilling season well on its way, now is the perfect time to learn to make your very own compound butters. These butters are great for melting atop steaks, fresh corn on the cob, or serving in place of regular butter as a condiment for fresh bread.
How to Make a Compound Butter
Once you have the method for making compound butter down pat (pun intended), it's easy to vary them with ingredients and flavors that you like.
The method itself is simple. Start with plain, unsalted butter at room temperature. Add your ingredients and mix well with a mixer, spatula or fork. Place the butter on a sheet of plastic wrap, and roll it into an even log, sealing the wrap tightly around the butter. Chill the log of butter until firm, then slice into coins to serve.
Savory Compound Butters
Many compound butters are savory, perfect for accompanying summer grills. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- For 1 pound of butter, add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon fresh chives, 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced or pressed, and 1 tablespoon salt to make the perfect compound butter for tossing with fresh summer veggies.
- Add 1 head of roasted garlic to 1 pound of butter for a heavenly roasted garlic butter.
- Try this blue cheese compound butter atop steaks.
- This cilantro-lime compound butter adds a Mexican-influenced kick to your meals.
- This citrus compound butter has a beautiful rosy hue.
- Our very own maytag blue cheese and sundried tomato butter goes great on Porterhouse steak.
Sweet Compound Butters
For the sweet camp, compound butters are great on pancakes or biscuits, or even morning toast:
- For 1 pound of butter, add 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 pinch nutmeg, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 pinch grated star anise and a heavy pinch of sea salt for a cinnamon-sugar compound butter.
- For 1 pound of butter, add the zest of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of juice and 3 tablespoons sugar to make a lemonade butter that's great in the summertime.
- This cranberry-orange butter may be more difficult to chill into a log, but served in a bowl, it becomes a beautiful and delicious spread.
- Honey butter is delicious on biscuits.
- Our very own pumpkin five spice butter is a delicious addition to holiday tables and really yummy on French toast.
Image: Katrin Morenz