When It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It: Compound Butters
Sometimes it takes a pet peeve to make you realize that you should not necessarily be annoyed at all.
Take compound butters, those melanges which show up so often in trendy restaurants, when a well-meaning chef has incorporated huckleberries or some other unfortunate choice into perfectly nice butter.
It was a bad omen when it, butter which clearly had been messed with, arrived at the otherwise promising Meripaviljonki Restaurant floating in a scenic North Sea inlet in Helsinki, Finland.
But, what a revelation! The extra ingredient worked into the butter was more butter, browned to a turn with a wonderful nutty flavor. It was perfect as it melted into hot-from-the-oven bread, a strong start to a delicious dinner.
“Why didn’t WE think of this?” myMEGusta emailed to a foodie friend.
“Compound” butter is simply butter into which some ingredient other than salt has been incorporated. They are actually very simple to make, just soften and mush around with the “extra”.
Herbed butters, for example, tarragon butter, can be wonderful, but have to be super fresh. These are particularly nice on corn on the cob.
The only other mixed butter which myMEGusta really enjoys is the classic Maitre d’Hotel butter. This sounds fancy, but is just butter with lemon juice and fresh parsley, easy for anyone to make, and it adds a really nice visual and flavor touch to grilled steak or seafood.
Honeyed butter sometimes appears on brunch tables, somewhat appropriate for those baskets of sweet rolls at its side. When it shows up at dinner time, we don’t touch it. Ditto for fruity butters.
But, readers may differ, so share your ideas!