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herb butter: are there easy ways?

I made chive butter a few weeks ago. Really, really good on fish and potatoes but kind of a pain in the butt to make, at least the method I used. Is there a better way?

What I did was chop the chives for a few minutes until pretty fine, then chop for a few more minutes with butter cubes. Then force through a mesh strainer. In my case, this was a basket type strainer and a spoon. This took quite an effort, and not all of the chives made it though, and plenty of the butter was wasted as it seems inevitable it is going to cling to the metal mesh of the strainer. Maybe for a restaurant doing big quantities this would be no big deal but it ended up being simultaneously wasteful and huge time consumer as well.

The final product was really good, but more trouble than I want to deal with. OK people: somebody please hip me to the easy way to do this!

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  1. If you don't mind having some chunks of butter, you don't have to do the strainer part.

    1. I don't think I understand the need for a strainer. Why wouldn't you just mix the chopped chives with soft butter, and then set aside to steep? Additionally, isn't butter freezable? You could make a larger quantity, and then freeze in small quantities for later use.

      1 Reply
      1. re: KarenDW

        This is fantastic advice. Listen to KarenDW.

      2. I usually just mix my herbs with softened butter and a spatula, then roll up in parchment paper into a log. Takes less than 5 minutes, excluding the time for the butter to sit on the counter to soften.

        2 Replies
        1. re: boogiebaby

          This is exactly what I do. I always make more than I need for the meal and freeze the leftovers in a log - you can slice off additional portions whenever you want.

          1. re: boogiebaby

            This is what I do- fast and easy.

          2. I also don't understand the need for the strainer. If you leave the butter out at room temperature for a few hours it should be soft enough to easily mix the herbs in. If you're in a hurry, you can soften the butter in the microwave using the defrost setting, just keep an eye on it so you can pull it out if parts start to melt.

            1. I have a couple of mini-food processors I use for making compound butters. It's sooooooo much easier! And when I'm done, if I wipe it out with a piece of bread, nothing is wasted except my hips. But that was done years ago.... '-)

              1 Reply
              1. re: Caroline1

                this^^.

                use a food pro to chop up the herbs, add the soft butter, whiz. roll the butter into a log, wrap and freeze. food pro bowl goes into dishwasher or continues in part of next step of prep.

                that strainer method sounds maddening!

              2. Yep, I agree with everyone else, no need for the strainer, especially if you want the herbs to pass through the strainer. I've never seen anyone use a strainer for making herb butter.

                1. Easiest way: Buy it! I love Kerrygold herb and garlic, and only a couple of pennies more than plain. That said, I agree that you don't need to strain---what do you want to strain out? I never strained compound butters back when I did restaurant work.

                  1. I just throw the chopped herbs and butter into a large Ziploc, close it up and squish away. Then I dump it onto some wax paper and roll into a log. I've barely touched the butter and you just toss the bag.

                    1. 1. choose your herb(s)
                      2. chop your herb(s)
                      3. in mini chopper goes herb(s)
                      4. nuke butter 10 seconds
                      ^^ (to barely soften) ^^
                      5. cube of butter in chopper
                      6. buzz

                      the herbs can easily be combined to make ex: garlic/shallot/basil/chive butter
                      (I'm expecting someone to say that's a compound butter)

                      if you grow your own herbs you can use garlic and shallot greens instead of bulbs/cloves