Monday, September 7, 2009

Compound Butter

I was going to talk about the Eggplant Manicotti I made for dinner tonight but was too lazy to type out the recipe on a holiday weekend. I promise to regale you with this wonderful dish next week.

Today I'll tell you about my favorite thing to do with butter. And no, it's not to slather myself with it then roll in bread crumbs. My favorite thing to do with butter is to mix herbs with it.

Compound Butter is like butter on steroids. It is butter taken up 5 notches. I'm sure you've had it at fancy restaurants and thought to yourself. "This is so good. I wish I could slather myself in it and roll around in bread crumbs." Don't tell me I'm the only one. Seriously, I won't believe you.

The hardest part of compound butter is getting the portions right. Not enough herbs and it's just butter with leaves. Too many herbs and they overpower the gentle yet distinctive taste of the butter.

I've done it both ways, butter with leaves and overpowering. It makes my frugal little heart tremble when I screw up a cube of butter. Plus, it gets terribly expensive to make batch after batch of this. Don't be thinking that everything is better with more garlic. That's where I made my mistakes. Most everything is better with plenty of garlic except butter.

Here is my sure fire, never failed recipe for Garlic Butter.

Compound Garlic Butter

1 cube salted butter, the real stuff please.
1 very large or 3 small cloves of garlic.

Let butter sit out until it is soft.
Mince garlic very fine, very very fine.
Mash butter and garlic together until smooth.
Scoop into a covered container or wrap in waxed paper into a log shape.
Let stand for at least 1 hour.

Some recipes call for unsalted butter then you have to mince and paste the garlic with salt. Seems kind of stupid to me. Why not just use salted butter and mince the garlic really fine?

After trying the paste the garlic with salt trick then adding to unsalted butter and screwing it up more times than I could count. I just worked on using plain old fashion salted butter until I got it right. Now, I'm working on getting the butter to basil ratio right. When I get that one right I'll pass it along.

Spread on warm bread or, and this is my favorite, cut a loaf of crusty bread down the long way, slather on a good quantity (okay, the whole cube) on one of the cut sides, place the other side back on, wrap in tin foil and bake in 375 degree over for 15 minutes.

I could eat my weight in this stuff. This and Cheetos. I can and probably have eaten my weight in Cheetos. And not those wussie baked Cheetos. No, I crave the fully fried version Cheetos. Ah crap, now I want some Cheetos.

I'd better stop now before I convince myself that only Cheetos will make me happy and fulfilled in this life.

Try out the butter recipe. I think you'll like it.


PS: This could be a Meatless Monday recipe but it's butter. When did butter become a menu item. Not that it doesn't deserve a special place on every menu but really, it just doesn't qualify.


  1. I love any vegetarian recipe and woulda loved the eggplant thingamijig you mentioned :)

  2. I've made compound butters before but kind of forgot about them. Thanks for reminding me. I'm experimenting with some fresh herbs from the garden to make some for a meal today.

    Enjoy your day.

  3. My children think tomato sauce is a whole food group in itself. HB and I think garlic bread deserves it's own segment on the food pyramid. Yum!! Have you made your own cheesy garlic bread?

  4. I must have it! I've never tried anything like this before.

  5. I have never heard of compound butter, but now I simply must try it!

  6. I have made a number of compound butter variations. Some have sucked and some have been damn good. Either way, it is always fun to experiment with them. And can one go wrong when there is garlic involved? Cheers Michele!!

  7. Mmm... butter. I remember being in a high end grocery store in Paris and seeing a woman take a hunk of what I thought was cheese of a display and eat it. It was buuuuutter!

  8. The title alone put a pound on my thighs.

  9. OMG, butter. I could drink it. I have. We got a loaf of fresh pumpernickel at the store today and just sat there stuffing our faces with it slathered in butter. Compound butter sounds even better. Stop.

  10. i could eat my weight in cake. HOnest to God and love it the whole time I was doing it> it's the afterwards part I think wouldn't be so great

  11. Once more, a lovely recipe to print and cook!

    Thank you


  12. Assuming you weigh 115 pounds (after eating all that butter) you would have to eat just over 216 large (8.5oz) bags of cheetos. I direct you to this image:

  13. Well...butter IS meatless.

    Now I want to make butter.

  14. Oh I want garlic bread for breakfast.

  15. I always do something like this as I'm preparing a recipe. This is so much easier to do ahead of time. I put it in my recipe folder! Thanks!