Flavor Bombs! – 5 Unique Compound Butters

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By Brandon Muhawi
Writer for Pro Home Cooks

The decadence of butter is no secret. It’s a foundational ingredient for classic French cuisine and the trump card of many restaurants. (If you’ve ever wondered why the home-cooked imitation of your favorite restaurant dish isn’t quite hitting the same, chances are you aren’t using enough butter.) Combine butter with some supplementary savory ingredients or aromatics, and you have yourself an extremely powerful flavor bomb.

Compound butters, or beurre composé, are very common in French cuisine, but simple versions can be found everywhere. For example, the garlic butter atop grocery store garlic bread or the cinnamon and brown sugar butter served with a short stack of pancakes are both prime examples of compound butter. However, compound butter can take many forms and can be used to instantly turn some protein or vegetables into an incredibly flavorful meal. The best part? Compound butter will keep in the fridge longer than you’ll ever need it to, so having it around makes quick dinners a cinch. 

Making compound butter is incredibly easy. Place all the prepared ingredients in a bowl and go to town with a fork or whisk. A stand mixer makes this even faster! For best results, mince your supplementary ingredients and aromatics as small as possible before combining with the butter, and allow the compound butter to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before using. 

Here are 5 unique compound butters (not your average garlic-herb butter) alongside some ideas on how to use them in your meals.

Garlic Miso Butter

Throw this garlic miso butter on top of some salmon before roasting, brush it on roasted/grilled veggies, or even toss cooked pasta in it for a quick sauce! The miso provides a lovely and gentle umami in conjunction with the garlic.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 2-3 cloves (8g) garlic (crushed or minced)
  • 2 tbsp (20g) miso paste

 

Sundried Tomato Herb Butter

This sundried tomato herb butter would make a lovely quick pasta sauce with the addition of fresh-grated parmesan cheese, or spread it on some crusty bread before toasting for a great appetizer or side. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 4-5 sundried tomatoes, about 20g (finely chopped)
  • ~1 tsp (3g) fresh parsley (chopped)
  • ~1 tsp (3g) fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp (3g) salt

Lemon Dijon Butter

This butter is perfect for all kinds of seafood – shrimp, delicate fish, salmon, scallops, clams, etc. Brush it over grilled vegetables or potatoes, or spread it on some english muffins before building an eggs benedict.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp (10g) Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp (7g) honey
  • ~1 tsp (3g) fresh thyme (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp (2g) black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp (3g) salt

Sesame Gochujang Butter

Throw this butter in a saute pan with some shrimp, toss some noodles in it, or even let a pad of it melt over a steak for a slightly spicy and incredibly savory flavor profile. My favorite way to use a compound butter like this is to throw a knob of it into fried rice and tossing to finish just before serving. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 tbsp (5g) untoasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp (20g) gochujang
  • 1 tsp (5g) sesame oil

Garam Masala Butter

This garam masala butter would be lovely spread over some flatbread, tossed into a pot of chickpeas or lentils, or even atop some chicken. I won’t pretend this is anything authentic, but it sure is delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 2 cloves or 8g of garlic (grated)
  • 1/2-inch knob or 8g of ginger (grated)
  • 1 tbsp (7-8g) garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp (3g) salt

 

By Brandon Muhawi
Brandon loves to play around with bridging the gap between food cultures, using the elements of the foods he loves most to create something new. You can find some of those creations here.
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