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Herb butters - need your suggestions

r
Roundelay Jul 3, 2006 01:03 AM

Tarragon butter, thyme butter, rosemary butter - these are all fine, but I need to make something new, something multi-herb and delicious. What combinations do you like? For vegetables, chicken, beef, fish ... anything.

Thanks.

  1. thenurse Jul 12, 2006 02:28 AM

    Chopped capers, anchovy paste, lemon zest, garlic (and butter of course).
    Great on grilled fish.

    1. c
      cheryl_h Jul 11, 2006 08:26 PM

      Try zataar (mix of thyme, sesame seeds, salt in the Jordanian version we have) and butter, used as a glaze on grilled chicken, or under the skin for a roast chicken. You need to be heavy handed with zataar to get the best flavor.

      Also good with roast chicken is butter, dijon mustard and thyme or rosemary. If you roast the chicken over potatoes, you get a fabulous side dish from the chicken drippings.

      1. j
        JPomer Jul 11, 2006 04:50 PM

        This one is good for grilled steaks/burgers...blue cheese butter. Crumble some good blue or roquefort, and mix it into softened butter, along with salt and fresh ground pepper. Roll into log and chill. Slice and top hot steaks or burgers so the butter and cheese melts.

        Also good on grilled corn...chili powder, lime zest, a little bit of lime juice and salt and pepper.

        1. Karl S Jul 3, 2006 08:19 PM

          Shallots belong in compound butter.

          If you want to make the shallot flavor more nuanced than pronounced, you can mince and soak in wine vinegar for 15 minutes and then rinse and let dry on paper towels before incorporating.

          Shallots + fresh lemon juice (never ever use anything else for compound butter; it would be an utter waste) + parsley is a very traditional combo. Think snail butter....

          Chervil would also be traditional.

          For an Italian inflection, sage would be interesting.

          You can also use pesto (I would for this purpose highly recommend Roland pesto from San Remo in Liguria, which is much milder and finer than American pesto) -- you can emulsify the one with the other, as it were.

          As for spices, consider a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (again, premade loses the fresh essence). For sweet uses, I'd toy with some freshly ground cardamom and mace as well! For cinnamon, I'd only try true cinnamon (not the cassia bark sold as cinnamon in the grocery store), as it has a more citrusy and less woody flavor profile than cassia.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Karl S
            carswell Jul 11, 2006 01:04 AM

            Agree with the shallots, lemon juice and parsley. When making it to serve on steak, especially flavour-challenged cuts like filet, I sometimes also incorporate a sharp blue cheese like Roquefort.

            1. re: Karl S
              r
              Roundelay Jul 11, 2006 01:08 AM

              The shallots with vinegar suggestion was an excellent one - thank you! We're going to try the pesto one this weekend.

              Thanks, everybody. If you have more ideas, send 'em along ...

            2. Amuse Bouches Jul 3, 2006 07:40 PM

              I finely slice basil and add it to butter with a little garlic. Fantastic on corn, pork, chicken ...

              1 Reply
              1. re: Amuse Bouches
                r
                Roundelay Jul 11, 2006 01:06 AM

                Yes, this was a big hit, thanks!

              2. d
                dano Jul 3, 2006 06:59 PM

                buerre vert...

                1 Reply
                1. re: dano
                  r
                  Roundelay Jul 11, 2006 01:12 AM

                  I found a recipe for this in copy of Escoffier (1969 edition). It required more herbs than we had on hand at the time, but we'll try it soon - it sounds wonderful.

                2. j
                  julieswan Jul 3, 2006 03:41 PM

                  Lemon butter--use the zest and some juice
                  Lemon garlic butter
                  Lemon garlic parsley butter
                  Any spice plus butter will work for something, what do you want to cook? or do you just have a lot of butter?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: julieswan
                    r
                    Roundelay Jul 11, 2006 01:02 AM

                    As it happens, we did have a lot of butter (husband and I went separately to the market, and we both bought saled and unsalted butter, each thinking the other would forget). So now we have lots of herb butter, which suits us both fine!

                  2. l
                    LisaAZ Jul 3, 2006 01:40 AM

                    Mrs. Dash whipped into soft butter is way better than it deserves to be. (needs to "age" a bit though)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: LisaAZ
                      r
                      Roundelay Jul 11, 2006 01:00 AM

                      Hey, this IS good, thanks! We also tried Bell's Seasoning, which wasn't bad.

                    2. r
                      rtmonty Jul 3, 2006 01:13 AM

                      I like adding things like flat leaf parsley or cilantro. Some garlic paste ( use you pistel and morter) is also very nice, but use a light hand. An interesting variation is a few anchovie filets along with one of the herbs.

                      Sundried tomatoes, capers, it's pretty much anything you want.

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