Who doesn't like adding a pat of richness to a meal in the form of smooth, luscious butter? But wait—there's a way to get even more flavor from butter. My newest exploration is making a variety of compound butters.
I had fallen in love with an especially delicious lime-habanero butter at Whole Foods (which I would heavily spread onto a croissant), but the price was too much to continue the indulgence. So why not make this at home?
Use whatever you have in the fridge: leftover lemon zest, chipotle chiles, roasted red peppers. Just mix it into softened butter and freeze until hardened. Add to a pot of white rice, pat onto cooked fish, place under the skin of a roasting chicken or slather onto corn on the cob.
I enjoy the recipe below, Holy Trinity Compound Butter, for an easy way to add a Cajun flair to a dish. The flavored butters give just a touch of heat without overwhelming a dish.
The options are limitless, but I want to know what are your favorite compound butters to make?
Holy Trinity Compound Butter
About the author: Andrea Lynn is senior editor for Chile Pepper magazine, where she not only creates a wide range of zesty recipes for readers, but also participates in numerous tastings for hot sauce, salsa, and other spice-laden products (even chocolate!). Her favorite chile? A tie between the mild yet flavorful poblano and the mighty, reliable fire of the serrano.
- Yield:1 1/2 cups
- 1/2 pound butter, softened
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce like Louisiana Original Hot Sauce
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a medium sized sauté pan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of butter, and sauté onion, celery and bell pepper until completely softened, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Cool, and transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Purée the vegetables until smooth.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the softened butter on medium speed for 3 minutes, or until lightened in color. Add vegetable purée and hot pepper sauce. Season with salt and pepper, and mix for another minute.
Lay out a sheet of waxed paper, and empty the butter mixture onto it. Fold over the lip of the paper until the butter is covered, and pull back to form the butter into a log. Roll up the rest of the paper, and refrigerate for 1 hour to solidify.