Looking for an easy way to upgrade your holiday meal this year? Say hello to compound butters, AKA butter mixed with any number of tasty flavorings and served alongside bread, meat, veggies, and everything else you can imagine. The best part is, they couldn’t be simpler to make — no recipe required! Start with a high-quality butter (salted European-style is a good choice) at room temperature, and mix in your favorite additions to taste. Begin with a little bit, and taste as you go. Then roll it into a log using a piece of parchment paper or smooth it into a glass jar, and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. You can also use this recipe for compound butters as a guide. Compound butters can easily be made ahead and even frozen. To get you started, we’ve included some of our favorite combinations below. But don’t be afraid to use your imagination!
1. Lemon Zest + Thyme: The simple and bright combination of fresh lemon zest and thyme leaves is delicious melted over roasted chicken or your Thanksgiving turkey. You can also rub it over the skin prior to roasting.
2. Honey + Chipotle Pepper: Honey butter is magical on its own, but a small dash of powdered chipotle pepper will give your cornbread or biscuits a little punch. If that feels a bit too bold, simply use ground black pepper.
3. Chive + Blue Cheese: When steak or beef tenderloin is on the menu, consider topping each piping hot portion with a tablespoon or so of this. Bonus points if it oozes over onto the mashed potatoes. Mmmm…
4. Orange Zest + Ginger: We love this combination alongside pork tenderloin or on top of French toast. Fresh or dried ginger both work well.
5. Cinnamon + Maple Syrup: Is there anything more cozy than warming spices and the smell of maple syrup? Package some up along with fresh scones as a thoughtful holiday or hostess gift (but definitely save a batch for yourself).
6. Rosemary + Garlic: The possibilities are endless for this duo. Make sure to mince your garlic very finely. Try it over simple roasted potatoes, or any other veggie.
7. Sage + Black Pepper: Sage is a classic complement for hearty winter squashes. Use finely chopped fresh sage or sage pesto, and serve with roasted or pureed squash. It’s also great in place of a sauce over butternut squash ravioli — but don’t forget the Parmesan!
8. Truffle Oil + Parsley: For an affordable way to sneak a little decadence into your meal, mix your butter with truffle oil and fresh chopped parsley. Drizzle it over pasta, burgers, and even scrambled eggs.
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(Photos via Your Home-Based Mom)