Mixed Greens Blog

Mixed Greens Blog
Living Sustainably in the Pacific Northwest


Compound Butter It Up

Like in jazz, it’s fusion, man. We love our butter. Compound it by adding a few special ingredients and it can make a simple dish swing.

compound butters #2 1cornbread

A pat of roasted garlic and jalapeño butter on corn bread; a compound butter on a baguette; mixed with hot pasta or rice; spread on the outside of a cheese sandwich, any sandwich, before grilling; roasted pieces of chicken embellished with a pat or two, same with fish, scrambled eggs, potatoes, zucchini, fresh corn, a pan of roasted broccoli, carrots . . . The great thing about compound butter as an ingredient is that you can make a batch, keep it in the fridge for a couple of weeks and use it as needed. Make up your own versions. It’ll add zing to a simple meal. Plus, it’s butter.

Just to get you going, here are a few ideas from The Tassajara Bread Cookbook – and Alice Waters’ basic cornbread recipe.

 Tassajara Cookbook Compound Butter Recipes

Modifications are starred.*

compound butters

Roasted Garlic and Hot Chili Butter

Ingredients: 3/4 C salted butter, softened/3 or 4 cloves garlic, oven-roasted in their skins until soft/ 1 1/2 t red pepper flakes (* Or, 1/8 t Chipotle chili powder instead)/ Salt to taste.

Directions: Squeeze softened cooked garlic into bowl with butter and chili/ Mix thoroughly with a fork/ Add a pinch of salt if needed/ Refrigerate until ready to use/ Or, on a piece of waxed paper, roll into a log, wrap and refrigerate until hard/ Cut off a pat at a time as needed.

Lime and Cilantro Butter

Ingredients: 3/4 C salted butter, softened/ Juice and zest of 1 lime/ 1/2 C chopped, fresh cilantro/ *A pinch of chipotle?/ Salt & pepper to taste.

Directions: Same as above. Mix all ingredients thoroughly, refrigerate.

Lemon Mustard Butter

Ingredients: 1/2 C (1 cube) salted butter, softened/ 1 1/2 t Dijon mustard/ 1 to 2 T fresh lemon juice/ Salt & pepper to taste.

Directions: Same as above. Mix all ingredients thoroughly, refrigerate.

Sweet Butters

Ingredients & Directions: Same as above, using 1 or 2 cubes of softened butter/ Add: 2 T honey, a little fresh lemon juice; or 3 T sweetened cocoa & 1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg/ Mix and refrigerate/ Use on toast, biscuits, waffles, pancakes, . . .

Maybe this gets your imagination going. There are a zillion ways to jazz up your butter. Compound it.


Alice Waters’ Corn Bread Recipe

From Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food Cookbook. This is a really good excuse for Roasted Garlic and Hot Chili Butter. Takes about 10 minutes to mix by hand, 20 minutes in the oven.

Ingredients:  1 3/4 C cornmeal and flour; can be a mix of 1 1/4 C cornmeal and 1/2 C flour (or all cornmeal or any other combination)/ 1 T sugar (optional)/ 1 T baking powder/ 3/4 t salt/ 1 C milk/ 1 egg/ 4 T (1/2 stick) butter, melted/ Additional optional ingredients: 1/3 C corn, 1/4 C coarsely chopped green chilies, 1/3 C grated cheddar cheese (add less salt), 1/2 Chipotle chili powder.

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees/ In the oven, melt an additional 2 T butter in cast iron skillet, 8 or 9-inch round or loaf pan/ Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix/ Stir milk and egg together/ Melt butter in microwave or on stove top/ Add milk and egg to dry ingredients and mix/ Add butter and mix/ Stir in any ‘extra’ ingredients/ Pour mixture into hot buttered pan and place immediately in oven/ Bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick test shows that it’s done in the center/ Best served hot out of the oven – with a compound butter.

A 10-inch (#8) cast iron pan accommodates a double batch just fine. Bake it a little longer.


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