So, I don’t know if you’ve run into this problem, but I find that every time I go grocery shopping I end up throwing at least 1/3 of what I purchase away. It’s a horrible habit that I’m trying to break, but let’s face it, you can’t buy half a bag of carrots, and no one wants carrots with dinner every night for 5 nights a week. It’s not always easy to use and reuse a single ingredient, and I’ve been trying to figure out ways in which I can solve this problem.
I decided to start this problem solving by making a compound butter. A compound butter is simply mixing butter and other ingredients together and then reforming it. It can then be frozen to be used whenever and on whatever you’d like. My dinner tonight was a filet mignon with a sun-dried tomato butter, glazed carrots and sauteed kale with mushrooms and onions (recipe to come tomorrow). I don’t mean to brag, but this might have been one of the most delicious dinners I have ever made.
Sun-Dried Tomato Compound Butter
Time: 20 minutes
Serving: as many as you make of it*
Difficulty Level: Easy
|1||food processor (if you don’t have one, stir by hand)|
|1 ft||parchment or wax paper|
|2 sticks||Unsalted Butter||Softened to Room Temp|
|3 Tbs||Sundried Tomatoes||Chopped|
|1 tsp||lemon zest||one lemon should do the trick|
|1 Tbs||Lemon Juice||squeeze the lemon you just zested!|
|2 cloves||Garlic||minced or pressed|
|Salt and Pepper to taste|
If you don’t have a food processor, make sure your butter is very soft (but not melted) and chop all of your ingredients smaller, and mix by hand. If you do have a food processor, put all of your items into it, and blend until fairly smooth and everything is mixed evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Lay your piece of parchment or wax paper out on the table. Then mound the mixed butter into the center. Using the top and bottom sides of the paper, work the butter back and forth so it spreads out. Then roll one side of the paper over and shape the butter into a cylinder. Once you have the length and width you want, Firmly roll both sides over. Then take the edges that aren’t filled with the mixture and twist them in opposite directions. The paper should be tight around the butter, and this will form its shape. Tuck the ends under the cylinder and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. If you’re going to use it immediately, transfer it to the refrigerator once it sets, so it’s easier to cut.
You might be thinking…thats it? Well, yes, cut it into slices when you want to use it. That’s it. It’s really easy and you might be thinking, well now I have a lot of this compound butter and when am I ever going to use it? Well, that is a good question, maybe one you should have asked yourself before you made this recipe, but in case you didn’t, here are some great ways to use this particular compound butter:
on steamed or grilled squash
on toast or a sandwich
The possibilities are endless. The only thing you have to do now is remember it’s in the freezer!
*If you only want to make a small amount, reduce the recipe based on the amount of butter you’re using.
Coming up tomorrow: Sauteed Kale with Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms and Parmesan.
That sounds really good. I’m going to do it but I don’t love sundried tomatoes. Can you suggest some other options?
Compound butters are great because you can flavor them however you like. Unsalted butter works as a perfect base because its rich and mild, complimenting flavors as well as mellowing them. Like anything you make, simple is always better – you can always add something to a dish or componant, but you can never take it away. A good way to begin a compound butter recipe is to start with one ingredient. Herbs work well, and putting them into a compound butter is a great way of achieving the flavor of the herb without over powering the protein or starch you’re pairing it with. You could try a Basil, Lemon, Walnut Compound Butter if you want the butter to be able to stand on its own and have some texture. This is a better butter for breads or sandwiches rather than with a protein. A tarragon, bourbon, orange butter would be great on chicken though!
Yum. I’m going for the bourbon butter!