This was one of my favorite discoveries in culinary arts was my love for butter. A building block of French cuisine. It makes thinks taste so good, but it’s boring on its own. I love making compound butters. A compound butter is just a butter that’s had things like herbs, vegetables and spices added to it.
Making a compound butter is simple. You simply soften the butter and add things too it. When I make my compound butter I lay my mixture on parchment paper and roll it into a log. Then I freeze it for longevity purposes. Also remember to be careful with any spices or salt you put in your butter. If your dish is properly seasoned then this may make it salty.
Think about what you’re going to put your butter on. For fish I love to add lemon juice, chives and roasted fennel. All pretty neural, but beneficial flavors for most red and white fish. Now for shellfish like prawns you might want something more robust. Try espolette, lime juice and cilantro for a Spanish dish. Garlic, lemon juice and thyme for steamed mussels and clams.
For something like a steak try maybe garlic, thyme and rosemary. You can even baste your steak in the butter after or simply rub it on top when it’s cooked. Rightc after your meat domes out is when I put my butter on. Let the meat absorb as much of those flavors as possible. With shellfish I usually cook it in the butter with some white wine.
Compound butter gives your food a flavor boost as well as a nice sheen. Sometimes when you cook something like fish or chicken, it’ll look a little dry when in fact it’s not. The compound butter will prevent that. It’ll look moist and interesting. Remember butter is not a bad thing. In moderation it’s a great flavor enhancer like salt.