For corn on the cob lovers, there is nothing better than slathering sweet butter over a steamy ear. Adding flavorings gives you multiple options. Known as compound butter (the French call them beurre compose), flavored butters are the secret yet simple behind the scene enhancer for all types of food. Take the basic formula below and let your imagination run wild. Freeze any extra; it will keep for a few months.
For best results, mix ingredients well with a fork, not a spoon. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula once or twice to make sure everything is homogeneous. Use right away or place on a sheet of plastic wrap, form into a log, and roll. Twist the ends of the wrap to tighten and refrigerate or freeze. Cut butter into slices and place on top of warm food. It will melt and form a delectable sauce.
A few ideas:
Most famous compound butter: Garlic Butter - lots of garlic to your taste, lots of pepper, herbs if you like. Parmesan if you like. A splash of olive oil if you like. For bread, potatoes, grains, vegetables, meats, seafood.
Most famous, French butter: Maitre d'Hotel - unsalted butter, lemon juice, parsley, sea salt, black pepper. For steaks, seafood, poultry, vegetables.
Possibly next most famous French butter: Snail Butter - shallots, garlic, parsley (add a drop of white wine or brandy if you are feeling fancy). For snails, yes, but also fantastic clams, mussels, shrimp, grilled fish, on vegetables, especially green beans.
Avocado Butter: mashed avocado, garlic, lemon juice. Serve a dollop on burgers, steak, rice, vegetables, or corn on the cob and popcorn.
Spice Butter: minced fresh ginger, paprika, cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, cayenne, clove, garlic. All to your taste. Omit anything you don't have or don't care for. Use with shellfish, chicken, rice, vegetables.
Blue Cheese Butter: A classic for steaks. Blue cheese, herbs, parsley, chives, arugula if you like.
Other good flavor combinations:
Dill and sun-dried tomatoes
Lemon and Black Olive
Bacon, shallots, and black pepper
Ginger and scallion
Chile and Lime
Mashed peaches and honey
Mashed berries and maple syrup
Confectioner's sugar and melted chocolate
Confectioner's sugar and toasted nuts
Recipe and Photograph Copyright Deirdre Davis 2016
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