Com­pound but­ters

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N oth­ing goes bet­ter with fresh baked bread than gen­er­ous lash­ings of but­ter. When that but­ter hits the warm bread and melts is a sight to be­hold, mak­ing mouths wa­ter all around the ta­ble. So what ex­actly is com­pound but­ter? It is soft­ened but­ter, mixed with var­i­ous sweet or savoury in­gre­di­ents. While the con­cept is sim­ple, the po­ten­tial fla­vor com­bi­na­tions are end­less. Pair scones, rolls, pan­cakes, waf­fles or fresh bread with but­ters fla­vored with or­ange or le­mon zest, maple syrup, honey, cin­na­mon or gar­lic. Pair your meat, veg­eta­bles, fish and bread with but­ters mixed with herbs, spices, cheese or cit­rus zest. Here are some of my favourite com­pound but­ter recipes; I have a roll of the first one in the fridge right now! Method

Start with un­salted but­ter so that you’re able to con­trol the amount of salt when you add the sea­son­ings. This is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant with sweet com­pound but­ters. To achieve the fluffi­est but­ter, you can whip it with a hand mixer, but I pre­fer to use a bowl and a fork to blend in the in­gre­di­ents. Once you’ve com­bined ev­ery­thing, spoon your but­ter onto a sheet of plas­tic wrap and shape into a log, then store in the fridge or freezer. Cayenne Pep­per But­ter

I ove, love, love spicy food, so of course I had to find a way to in­cor­po­rate a lit­tle heat into my but­ter. Com­bine half a cup un­salted but­ter, one ta­ble­spoon minced fresh rose­mary, one tea­spoon cayenne pep­per and half a tea­spoon salt. Dol­lop on top of cooked steak, chicken or fish, sauté shrimp in the but­ter, serve with grilled corn on the cob at your next braai or brush melted on grilled veg­eta­bles. Cin­na­mon Maple But­ter

This but­ter makes a de­li­cious ad­di­tion to pan­cakes and French toast. Com­bine half a cup un­salted but­ter, one ta­ble­spoon maple syrup and three­quar­ters of a tea­spoon ground cin­na­mon. You can also spread this on your toast. Gar­lic and Herb But­ter

Per­fect for spread­ing on fresh baked bread, this is my go-to com­pound but­ter for most recipes be­cause it makes a great flavour base for al­most any type of meal. Com­bine half a cup un­salted but­ter, two ta­ble­spoons chopped fresh herbs such as pars­ley, thyme, rose­mary and oregano, half a tea­spoon salt, one minced gar­lic clove and half a tea­spoon fresh cracked black pep­per. Serve with din­ner rolls, dol­lop on top of chicken or steak, serve with steamed, roasted or grilled veg­eta­bles or use to fry eggs and stir fry’s.

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