Compound butters are flavored butters. They come in as many varieties as there are combinations of ingredients! I've been to fancy restaurants where the bread basket arrives, brimming with warm crackers, bread sticks and mini-loaves of whatever goodness may have danced through the baker's imagination the night before. It's not uncommon to see this cornucopia of carbs to arrive with a variety of flavored butters! Sometimes they are sweet, sometimes savory, sometimes they are spicy. Sometimes they are infused with cheeses and herbs. Other times they are very very simple and really only used as a vehicle for some new ashy sea salt that's making the rounds.
One of my favorites comes from a restaurant in San Francisco. It's an homage to Winnie the Pooh. The breakfast dish is sweet corn hushpuppies and pooh butter (Whipped Butter, infused with Honey ... get it?)
This is a fairly simple and basic compound butter, more to serve as an introduction to compound butters. It's simply orange zest (the orange part of the skin
(not the white part))
, rosemary (most any fresh herb would be great, though!)
, salt, pepper and ... of course ... butter.
This is fantastic on fish, steak, pork, chicken
, as a sandwich spread, tossed with fresh hot veggies, etc. There isn't many places where a little fat and a slight burst of fresh herby-citrus essence wouldn't be welcome. Make a log and bring it to your next neighborhood block party! (just make sure you have a way to keep it cool ... otherwise ... it gets messy, quickly!)
Mix it, form it in plastic wrap, roll it, tighten it, chill it, slice it, serve it!