June 18, 2019
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Reduce food waste in your kitchen using these tasty tricks

Sam Schipani | BDN
Sam Schipani | BDN
Compound butter and mix-ins.

One of the easiest ways to make your home kitchen seem as if it’s a gourmet restaurant is to make your own compound butter for everyday meals.

Compound butter is simply a mixture of butter with sweet or savory mix-ins to give it an extra punch of flavor. Compound butter is not only easy to make, but it will also instantly elevate your food.

Best of all, making compound butter can help you utilize some of those pesky food scraps you have lying around. Wondering what to do with your orange peels? Zest them and put them in butter. Puzzling over your excess of chopped scallions after cooking? Mix them into butter. Lamenting the meager dash of spice at the bottom of the jar? Gee, that would be delicious in butter.

There are two primary methods for preparing compound butter.

Method 1: The Ice Cube Tray Method

  1. Melt ½ cup (usually, one stick) of unsalted butter in a saucepan on low. Make sure it is really low — you do not want to cook or burn anything.
  2. Once the butter is melted, add the mix-ins (see below for our favorite flavor combinations).
  3. Pour the liquid mixture into an ice cube tray.
  4. Let chill for an hour or two.
  5. Thaw for about twenty minutes before serving.

Method 2: The Mix Method

  1. Let ½ cup of unsalted butter soften at room temperature for about an hour.
  2. Add butter and mix-ins to a food processor or a large bowl.
  3. Pulse for one minute in a food processor, or mix on medium with a hand mixer until the ingredients are combined.
  4. Use a rubber spatula to transfer the compound butter to food wrap (where you can shape it into a log) or a sealed container.
  5. Let chill for an hour or two.
  6. Thaw for about twenty minutes before serving.

Here are some compound butter flavor combinations we love, and some great ways to use them.

  • Spicy Cilantro Lime Butter: 1 jalapeño, finely minced + ¼ cup cilantro leaves and stems + 1 teaspoon lime zest + dash of kosher salt. Use on grilled vegetables, scrambled eggs, grilled fish, grilled steak, grilled chicken or sauteed shrimp
  • Sweet Honey Orange Butter: 2 teaspoons orange zest + 1 tablespoon honey + 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Use on toast, fresh cornbread, warm muffins and scones or fresh pancakes and waffles
  • Garlic Herb Butter: 1 clove garlic, finely minced + 2 tablespoon fresh chopped herbs (rosemary, basil, thyme, parsley, oregano, etc.) + 1 teaspoon lemon zest + dash salt and pepper. Use on dinner rolls, grilled fish or baked chicken
  • Sweet and Spicy Orange Butter: 1 teaspoon orange zest + 1 teaspoon cinnamon + ½ teaspoon chili powder + dash of kosher salt. Use on sauteed vegetables, warm tortillas, grilled steak or grilled chicken
  • Lemon Dill Butter: 1 tablespoon lemon zest + 1 tablespoon dill + dash of kosher salt. Use on pasta, grilled fish, grilled chicken or sauteed shrimp
  • Maple Cinnamon Butter: 1 tablespoon maple syrup + 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Use on toast, fresh waffles and pancakes or baked sweet potatoes
  • Garlic Green Onion Butter: 2 tablespoons green onion, chopped + 1 clove garlic, mined + dash of kosher salt. Use on baked potatoes, grilled ears of corn, scrambled eggs or dinner rolls
  • Savory Rosemary Butter: 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary + 1 teaspoon smoked paprika + dash of kosher salt. Use on grilled ears of corn or grilled fish
  • Sweet Strawberry Butter: ¼ cup diced strawberries + 1 tablespoon honey + 1 teaspoon orange zest + dash of kosher salt. Use on warm muffins, biscuits and scones or fresh pancakes and waffles

Do you have a favorite compound butter recipe? Add it to the comments below.

 



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