Catering, a lot of times, is making average food taste and look special. Plating, garnishes, and of course taste; but many times it is the little tricks or special touches which make a dish. Compound butters is one way to really "jazz" up a recipe.
Make green beans, broccoli or asparagus extra tasty with a lemon or orange butter with shallots and fresh herbs; serve grilled pork chops with a blackberry, shallot butter; try turkey cutlets with a cranberry orange butter; steak with a red wine, rosemary, shallot butter. And my favorite pumpkin butter (plain pumpkin puree, allspice and butter). Try fine chopping pecans and add with maple syrup and orange zest with butter. Great for waffles, pancakes or even on pork chops. Apple jelly with butter; orange marmalade and butter; and mango or peach puree is wonderful mixed with mint and shallots on seafood. Try some sherry wine, shallots and sage - great on chicken and one of my favorites again on chicken is parmesan, basil, thyme, oregano and scallions mixed with butter.
These butters can be used as a garnish or to you can cook with them. Baste your chicken or steak as they grill or bake with the flavored butter.
And serve the butter in a bowl, or make a pretty log by wrapping the butter mix in saran wrap, twist the ends and form a small log. Re-chill 2-3 hours and then you can cut them in small rounds.
Tip: Make sure to use room temperature or softened butter, I prefer unsalted, you can always add salt; and taste as you go. There is no right or wrong in the amount you use.
So what are some of your favorites or recipe in which you use a compound butter?
And one more tip ... This is especially fun to make with kids. Homemade Butter. I learned that in 3rd grade, and other than twice ... I have made it every single year for Thanksgiving, even if it is just me. Tradition!
1 pt heavy whipping cream (nice and cold and fresh; check the date)
1 large mason type jar with a tight fitting lid. I use a mayonnaise jar
Clean out the jar well and dry. Then put in in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
Take the jar out and add the cream. Wrap with a small wash cloth because it will be too cold to hold without that.
Shake, and I mean shake, shake, shake, and shake.
First you will get thick cream, then whipped cream and then you think nothing will ever happen. You are just shaking a white mess that doesn't even seem to move ... but it does. Just keep shaking. Then all of a sudden ... you start to see it separate, then a few minutes more and butter turns into 1 solid in the jar and the liquid separates. Presto - Butter ! Drain well, and use a spoon to press down on the butter to get all the liquid out. Season with salt if you like, or make your favorite compound butter. Refrigerate until ready to use. With just salt it will last a couple of months in the refrigerator
I make a butter with Sage, and Orange, re-form into a cylinder in plastic wrap, refrigerate and cut into coins the morning of turkey day, separate skin from meat and slide the sliced coins into that pocket
My son loved my butter with brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon and ginger. I would make a small bowl when we had sweet potatoes. I also use this with butternut squash too which is really good.
I made my homemade butter and flavored it with apple preserves and gave it to my neighbor with oatmeal bread and banana muffins.Mary wrote:I would love a gift of homemade bread with a small jar or two of different butters.
Too late for me to put together (i.e., find containers) this year, but definitely an idea for the future.
I also gave another neighbor honey butter, made with 2 different honeys and preserved orange to a friend along with a wheat bread.
I use good old canning jars and put a piece of material on the top tied with a bow. for the orange honey I dried a piece of orange out in the sun; and did the same for the apple butter too. They were happy
I actually used to sell my Double Honey Orange Butter with muffins to a local market until unfortunately they relocated 50 miles away. Better for them, not for me. With the cost of gas it was not worth it to go up there every few days; and the price of gas was a fortune. Maybe we can start up again, as they are expanding and the price of gas has come down.