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Flavored butters make meals extraordinary

Diana De Cicco is a food editor and writer based in New York City. She has a master's degree from New York University in Food Studies. Her passions are eating, traveling, and eating while traveling.

Flavored Butters

Rich, creamy, and distinctively bliss, butter is one of the most versatile staples in your kitchen. Add a veritable array of herbs, spices, fruits or vegetables and butter becomes an even more extraordinary culinary mainstay.

Flavored butters, also known as compound butters, are made by incorporating various seasonings and ingredients into softened butter. These elegant butters can be generously spread onto bread and muffins, stirred into pasta, rice and vegetables, or melted on fish, poultry, meat and potatoes.

Compound butters can be easily made in a blender, food processor, mixer or by hand. Soften your butter, add your ingredients and blend. Make a variety of compound butters and finesse your meals whenever the buttery mood strikes. Recipes and serving suggestions below.

Compound butter recipes


Roasted Red Pepper Butter
Makes about 1/2 cup

Ingredients:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Fresh minced parsley to taste
1 roasted red pepper, chopped

Directions:
Add ingredients to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Transfer the flavored butter onto the edge of a sheet of waxed paper. Roll the edge of the waxed paper over the butter and shape into a smooth log. Tie the ends and store the butter in the freezer for at least one hour before using or store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Note: When made with fresh ingredients, butter should be used within a week. Butters can be frozen - wrap aluminum foil around the wax paper - for up to six months.

Recipe variations for 1/2 cup of butter

Chili Butter
Add 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice, and 1 teaspoon pepper sauce to butter. This is divine on chicken breasts or grilled flank steak.

Herb Butter
Combine butter with ground black pepper, salt, and fresh mixed herbs, all to taste. Top steamed fish and vegetables for an unbeatable succulence.

Lemon Dill Butter
Mix 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest, and fresh dill weed to butter. Lemon dill butter is especially good on roasted salmon.

Black Olive Rosemary Butter
Add 2 tablespoons chopped black olives and 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary to butter. Try this on warm French bread or whipped into mashed potatoes.

Orange Basil Butter
Combine 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice, 4 large basil leaves and butter. Toss with warm pasta or use to sauté vegetables.

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Butter
Mix butter with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Pure bliss when melted on French toast, pancakes, or croissants. Broil it on grapefruit, peach, or persimmon halves for a special dessert.

Curry Ginger Butter
Combine 1 teaspoon curry powder and 2 teaspoons minced fresh peeled ginger. Stir this spicy butter into rice or use to baste grilled shrimp.

Blueberry Almond Butter
Mix 1 heaping tablespoon chopped almonds and 1/4 cup blueberries with butter. Perfect for pancakes, toast or bagels.

Strawberry Butter
Blend 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 4 fresh trimmed, chopped strawberries with butter. Slather on an English muffin or croissant.

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