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Butter! Compound Butters for Corn, Steaks, and Everything Else

Posted by Didi Davis on

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.

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
black pepper, to taste

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. 

Yummy Butter for Corn on the Cob: Any type of chile salt. Try Aleppo Chile Salt or Margarita Salt in place of unflavored sea salt.

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

For Breakfast:

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
Use of content requires permission.

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