Compound Butter

Ever have those moments in the kitchen where you have an epiphany about how to use something that’s not getting any fresher?  Well, I made some creme fraiche not long ago using Snowville cream.  I was so excited about it, too!  We got to enjoy it in a few savory applications as well as sweet ones.  I gave a good bit to friends, who all seemed to appreciate it.  I loooooooove sharing the things I make in the kitchen.  If there was a way to create a non-religious compound where multiple groups of friends could live together and share tasks it’d be awesome.  I suppose the problem would be a lot of my friends would also want to do the cooking.  Maybe we just wouldn’t do laundry…  I digress.

After the gifting and our own consumption (you really only need a wee bit–it’s so rich) we still had about 4 cups of crème fraiche and it was on day 6 of life so I thought we should use it soon.  I whipped it up into butter.  Not just into butter, but I made a compound butter.

All mixed up and nowhere to go… at least not until rosemary joins the party

Compound butter is not the butter made by people living in a compound–although that would be awesome!  Okay, focusing back to the butter… Compound butter is merely butter that’s allowed to soften, mixed with various flavorful ingredients (enter creativity!) and then formed and used after refrigerating to harden it again.

This time, we had some garlic from the Jandy’s Garlic Festival, some lemon zest leftover from the lemon-rosemary sandwich cookiesand plenty of rosemary from our small shrub on the patio.  All of these got blended up into a bowl with our freshly-made butter.

Lemon zest & garlic being prepped for their mix in with the butter in the background

Then, since this would be so flavorful, I knew we’d only need small bits of it at a time so I packed it into a zip-top back, cut a tiny hole from one corner and piped it into little S shapes on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  That went into the deep freezer for an evening and then all the little butter S-es went into a freezer bag for use later.  Some ideas:

Little butter S-es ready to be frozen and later put to good use
  • spread on bread/rolls
  • topping grilled/broiled veggies/meat/fish
  • finishing sauces
  • flavoring simple rice or pasta dishes
  • pan-searing anything that might go well with those flavors

Other flavor combos of compound butter are endless.  Some I’ve tried are orange zest-coriander, black pepper-thyme, mustard seed-kosher salt and maple syrup-nutmeg.

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