secret weapon can add a touch of elegance to meat, fish, or pastas
Butter is the perfect finishing touch for grilled salmon on a bed of sautéed
corn, lima beans, and shiitake mushrooms.
keep chocolate-chip cookies on hand in the freezer for emergency entertaining. Flavored
butters are my secret weapon. No matter the occasion or the meal, they add a
touch of elegance, dressing up simple roasts and sautés or jazzing up steamed
vegetables or plain pastas.
of flavored butters (also known as compound butters) is that their essence
remains safely locked up in a state of hibernation until the instant they're
melted onto whatever you're cooking. Then, the flavors come pouring out. All it
takes is a little pat of flavored butter and the most mundane of meals - a
grilled steak, a sautéed pork chop, a roasted piece of fish -- becomes special.
making flavored butters is ridiculously easy. First, look no further than the
pantry or refrigerator for flavor inspiration. Citrus juice and zest, fresh
herbs, spices, and full-flavored ingredients like shallots, scallions, ginger,
sun-dried tomatoes, and olives complement butter's richness and give it a good
and mash these bright ingredients with a stick of softened butter until they're
well combined. You can do this by hand, or you can use a food processor. The
food processor works especially well for emulsifying liquids like citrus juice
into the butter, and it's also handy when you don't have time to let the butter
roll up the butter in plastic wrap, parchment, or waxed paper and refrigerate
for up to two weeks. For longer storage, you can slice the butter into pats and
freeze in zip-top bags, where they'll be ready to go whenever you need a quick hit
To get you started, here are recipes for Lemon-Herb Butter and Chipotle-Cilantro
Butter (two of my favorites), plus ideas for several more. Once you get the
hang of it, you'll be able to whip up flavored butters of your own invention in
no time at all.
1. Mix and
mash together all of the ingredients until they’re evenly combined.
butter by hand or use a food processor.
2. Fold the
plastic over the butter, hold a ruler against the butter, and pull on the lower
end of the plastic to produce even pressure that will squeeze the butter into a
the ends of the plastic wrap, sausage style, and tuck them under the butter log
to make a neat little package that's ready for chilling.
Add a pat
of curry-ginger butter to steamed basmati rice or skewered grilled shrimp.
chile-lime butter on sautéed chicken breasts or on sliced grilled flank steak.
steamed green beans with almond-lemon butter or melt on roasted fish.
butter on French toast, pancakes, or waffles.
olive-rosemary butter with crusty bread as an hors d'oeuvres or fold into