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DIY: Compound Butters Make Everything Better

Craft up your own couture butter and totally change your meals.

As we enter day 62 of COVID quarantine (#cuomo is counting, so are we) Dinner may have started getting boring. Your go-to meals might be the ones you are avoiding. This one little trick could make them exciting again: compound butter.

Compound butter is just what it sounds like - a mix of butter and flavor-enhancing ingredients. Here is the best part: you choose the ingredients. Compound butter acts much like sauces do. They enhance flavor and texture of many foods and, hey, it's butter!

We often make them in class when we have grilled or roasted veggies and meats on the menu. You can make them at home with whatever is on your spice rack or in your pantry. Just soften some good butter (we like grass fed European style) and mix in the goods. We love a good anchovy butter spread on homemade sourdough. And garlic and rosemary butter melted on grilled chicken instantly elevates this simple snack.

Here are some suggestions but we encourage you to go for it and try whipping up some of your own customized butters.

With plenty of umami, this creamy anchovy butter will enhance the flavor of steaks, burgers, lamb chops, venison, and more. Add a pat to the top of your meat while it rests, or stir it into sauces or braises. 

Bleu cheese fans will find many ways to enjoy this compound butter with its creamy richness and salty bite. Great for topping grilled steaks, burgers, and pork or veal chops. We used Roquefort but any semi-soft bleu cheese will work.

Complex and tangy Korean gochujang enriches this compound butter and brings just the right amount of spice and dimension of flavor, as well as bright color. Try it with grilled steaks, burgers, chicken, pork chops, and more.

Use your favorite herbs in any combination for this simple compound butter. The herbaceous flavor will enhance steaks, chops, duck breast, lamb, chicken, and more. Add a generous pat on top of your meat while it rests.

Dried and reconstituted mushrooms combine to create an earthy compound butter with richness and depth of flavor. We like a generous pat on grilled steaks and chops, but you can add butter to venison, buffalo, and game meats.

This compound butter has classic summer flavors and pairs well with grilled beef, pork, and veal. Make it for your next backyard meal, and add a generous pat on top of your steaks and chops while they’re resting. You might even sneak a bit for the corn.

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