Flavored Butters: Flavorsome and Festive

When we are invited to the home of friends and relatives I like to bring a host or hostess gift as a way of saying thank you in advance (paying it forward in a nice way). Of course I always bring something homemade in my kitchen.

One of my favorite gifts is flavored butter, a preparation with a long history. Compound butters (beurre composé) have been used in French cuisine for decades. They appear in the cookbooks of the famous French chef August Escoffier in the early 20th century, and again, in the cookbooks of Julia Child. A compound butter can be savory or sweet and used in dozens of different ways: As a last-minute sauce, for example, steak topped with maître d’ butter, chicken or fish topped with herb butter, corn on the cob topped with honey mustard butter, pancakes topped with maple butter…..and the list does go on and on.

This year I developed four foolproof recipes for compound butter, two savory and two sweet. Of course you can be creative and make up your own recipes; however, there are a few cautions. Don’t mix raw ingredients such as garlic in butter because that creates an airtight environment and can lead to botulism. (Garlic picks up the botulism from the ground in which it is grown and heat or cooking won’t kill botulism.) Also, don’t use granulated or brown sugar in compound butters; it won’t dissolve, leaving you with a gritty spread. Use jams, jellies, preserves, honey or agave syrup and, in a pinch (because it’s boring) confectioner’s sugar. Use unsalted butter and add salt if you need.

Soften the butter to room temperature. Place in a medium bowl with the flavoring ingredients and beat with a hand-held electric mixer until the butter is light and fluffy and the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Let the butter stand at cool room temperature for an hour or so to allow the flavors to fully develop. Refrigerate butter—in logs formed in wax paper, in small containers, or in balls—so it can be easily portioned when cold.

If you are giving the butter as a gift, then I suggest you pack it into an interesting container. Ceramic two-piece butter keepers that use water to keep butter spreadable, make a nice gift. If your host collects tea cups, find an antique tea cup and saucer in which to pack the butter. The only guideline is capacity: Each recipe makes 1/2 cup.

Apricot-Orange Butter

Yield: 1/2 cup

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup good apricot jam or preserves

Finely grated zest of one orange

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until the butter is fluffy and the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate.

Cinnamon-Allspice Butter

Yield: 1/2 cup

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup honey or agave syrup

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until the butter is fluffy and the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate.

Garlic-Onion Butter

Yield: 1/2 cup

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until the butter is fluffy and the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate.

herb butter

Herb Butter

Yield: 1/2 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until the butter is fluffy and the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate.
http://gffamilyfood.com/recipes/flavored-butters-flavorsome-and-festive/

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments


Please be respectful – unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission is prohibited. Feel free to excerpt and link, just give credit where credit is due and send readers to our website – gffamilyfood.com. Cheers!

Speak Your Mind

*

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers