11 August 2015

BBQ Grilling: 3 Tasty Compound Butters To Complement Your Recipes

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Compound Butters
AP photo/Matthew Mead -- Compound Butters

Her first recipe is for an herb butter.  Do you have some favorite herbs that you just can't cook without?  This recipe is all about your favorite combination of herbs, though she does suggest a few to get you started.  While you could substitute a Vidalia sweet onion in place of shallots, well, shallots are that much sweeter, and, oh, so wonderfully flavorful so try to find them in your area.  Shallots, a favorite of classically trained chefs, are usually in plentiful supply in the spring and summer months, often into autumn.

Are you more in the mood for a citrus butter?  Chef Moulton combines the zest and juice of lemons and limes for a sublime summer taste that everyone will enjoy.

How about something more substantial for those manly men who enjoy a great grilled steak?  Oh, this recipe is for you!  Combine this steak butter with Dijon mustard, a fresh finely minced garlic clove and Worchestershire sauce (we prefer Lea & Perrins at our house though you could use the brand you like),  

If you can't grill outside just use a grill pan on the stovetop to get those prized grill marks, turn it over and place it in the oven to finish.  When ready to plate make sure the steak plate has been heating in the oven. Place a large slice of this steak butter onto the plate and then place the steak on top of the butter.  Talk about awesome taste as the butter melts on the very hot plate, spilling out like a gravy for your steak!  That's the method all the old steakhouses of the 1940's and 1950's used before restaurants went to open charcoal or wood fired grilling.

The beauty of all these butters is that all you have to do is roll them into logs and wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze until ready to use.  Just slice off the amount you need and return it to the freezer.  How simple is that?  You can make these up way ahead of when you will need them.

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Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Compound Butters
AP photo/Matthew Mead -- Compound Butters

Compound Butters

Makes:  2 sticks

From: Chef Sara Moulton. Here are three delicious variations on compound butter. Pick your ingredient mix, then follow the instructions.

Herb Butter
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons and softened
2 teaspoons minced shallots
3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon, dill, chives, parsley, basil or a mix
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Citrus Butter
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons and softened
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Steak Butter
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons and softened
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


1. In a medium bowl, use a fork or a rubber spatula to combine all ingredients, mixing well.

2. On the counter, spread 2 sheets of plastic wrap, each 10 to 12 inches long. Transfer one half of the butter to each sheet and use a plastic spatula to shape the butter into a log about 6 inches long and 1 inch thick. Wrap the plastic wrap around the butter, using it to smooth the log, then twist the ends in (like a sausage) until the log is about 4 inches long by 1 1/2 inches thick.

3. Wrap the log of butter in foil and chill or freeze until you are ready to use it. Cut off tablespoons and place on grilled steaks, chicken, fish or vegetables.

(As these articles post this week I'll add the links, so check back often!)

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