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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Mixed Herb Compound Butter


Compound butters make life easy. They give foods a fresh and luxurious flavor, transforming simple steaks, fish, poultry, and vegetables into special dishes with nearly no effort.

This compound butter is full of summer herbs, lemon zest, and garlic. For the herbs, I chose a bold combination of basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, dill, cilantro, and mint. You can use any herbs you like, even if it's just one or a few. 

I made this compound butter in my food processor but you could do it by hand, finely chopping the herbs and stirring everything together. If you're feeling adventurous, you can make it even more complex by mixing in some crumbled blue cheese or anchovy paste.

½ pound unsalted grass-fed or organic butter
1½ cups lightly packed herbs  (not chopped)
Zest of 1 organic lemon
2 cloves garlic, grated
¼ tsp sea salt
Freshly ground peppercorn to taste
Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil

Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and purée until smooth. Drizzle in some olive oil if needed to start blending everything together.

To serve, slather onto freshly cooked meats, fish, and vegetables. Dab a dollop on freshly scrambled eggs. Slather some onto whole wheat toast and top it with gravlox. Use it to finish pan sauces. Warm it with some lemon juice and serve it as a dipping sauce for seafood.

What you don't use right away, store inside an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer. 

Alternatively, you can roll the butter into a log, wrap it in parchment or waxed paper, and chill it in the fridge until it hardens. Then use a sharp knife to cut off a portion when the need arises. Or cut it into single serving slices for the freezer. It also works well to portion the butter into an ice cube tray or silicone mold.

Once the cubes are frozen, release them from the mold and store them inside an air-tight container in the freezer.

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