Friday, February 18, 2011

Quick Herb Butters

Whipped with fresh herbs, citrus zest, spices and more, butter becomes more than just a spread. Create your own customized butters with these easy instructions and flavor variations, plus get ideas for cooking with them.

Herb Butter Basics

Start with 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter or margarine, then flavor it in three easy steps:

1.Soften butter to room temperature.

2.In a mixing bowl, combine butter and flavorings. Mash with a spatula until well combined.

3.Transfer butter to a sheet of parchment paper. Roll it into a log, twist the ends together, then chill for at least 1 hour. When ready to use, simply slice what you need and re-wrap the rest.

Flavor Variations
With compound butter, the possibilities are endless. Experiment with your favorite Watkins ingredients, or try one of our easy combinations:

•Lemon Herb Butter: 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1-2 teaspoons lemon zest and 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs— or use Watkins herbs such as dill, parsley, tarragon, thyme, oregano or a blend.

•Chili Lime Butter: 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 1-2 teaspoons fresh lime zest and 2 teaspoons red chili flakes.

•Blue Cheese Butter: 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese and 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives (optional).

•Cinnamon Butter: 1 tablespoon Watkins Cinnamon and honey (or superfine sugar) to taste.

•Fig Butter: 1 jar fig preserves—chop up any large bits of fig—1/2 teaspoon Watkins Vanilla and 1/8 teaspoon Watkins Nutmeg.

Cooking with Herb Butters
Pair your gourmet butters with fresh-baked bread, or get creative with them:

•Toss pasta with lemon herb or blue cheese butter—or a little bit of both!

•Sauté cod filets in herb, chili lime or fig butter.

•Whip mashed potatoes with savory butters, or let slices melt atop baked potatoes.

•Melt chili lime butter, then drizzle over corn on the cob.

•Spread waffles, pancakes and scones with cinnamon, fig or butterscotch butter.

•Finish steaks with slices of herb or blue cheese butter.

•Add sweet butters—fig, cinnamon and beyond—to oatmeal and rice pudding.

Tip: Butter isn’t the only condiment you can flavor in unexpected ways. From rosemary mustard to cilantro sour cream, get more ideas in my next blogt post, Spice Up Your Condiments.


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