Story and photos by Manos Angelakis

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Compound Butters

Compound butters are something I like to make in my kitchen and keep on hand to boost the flavor of oven-grilled fish or chicken or slather onto pasta with cheese and even melt over a nice steak. I like rolling them into logs and cutting slices to melt on just about anything grilled. I normally start with very good quality, unsalted butter; I allow the butter to soften at room temperature for several hours before starting the recipe.

I liked having compound butters at hand after I enjoyed a meal of tournedos that had compound butter melting on top at Le Pré Catelan in the very early ‘60s, in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne, in Paris. Later on, when Gaston Lenôtre was invited to train the cooks at Rio Palace, in Brazil -- the hotel was one of the clients of my marketing company (nowadays Copacabana Palace) -- I watched him make logs of compound butter in that kitchen and copied his technique.

Both dried and fresh herbs can be used to season the butter. If you are using fresh herbs, rinse them thoroughly and allow them to air dry for several hours prior to chopping.

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Compound butters can be stored in the refrigerator for several days, preferably in a sealed container or as a plastic covered log. They can be frozen for a couple months. When frozen, thaw before using.

Oregano, Garlic & Lime Compound Butter

Ingredients:

1stick (1/4 lb.) sweet butter, at room temperature
1/2 lime zested, plus juice of the lime
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves minced
1/3 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon 5-spice
1 large pinch of cracked Malabar Tellicherry Peppercorns
1 large pinch of kosher salt

Lemon & Dill Compound Butter

This classic lemon/dill/chives combination is especially good on fish, chicken, or shrimp. Add it to hot pasta with some good, aged parmesan, for a flavorful dish.

Ingredients:

1stick (1/4 lb.) sweet butter, at room temperature
1 lemon zested plus juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh dill leaves finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh chopped chives
1 pinch of cracked Malabar Tellicherry Peppercorns
1 large pinch of kosher salt

Roasted Garlic, Parsley and Chive Compound Butter

Try this butter on baked potatoes or red meats.

Ingredients:

1stick (1/4 lb.) sweet butter, at room temperature
3-4 large roasted garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives
2 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
1 large pinch of cracked Malabar Tellicherry Peppercorns
1 large pinch of kosher salt

Fine Herbs Compound Butter

Similar ingredients as above but mix 1 teaspoon each of shredded fresh chives parsley, tarragon, chervil and 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary.

Method for all:

Mix the ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap or kitchen parchment on a counter. Spoon the butter mixture onto the bottom third, then roll into a log. Refrigerate for one hour, or until firm.

 

 

 

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