It’s the season for seasoned butter
For the mixtures, I always used a simple rule of thumb:
- something green (usually an herb)
- something acidic (lemon, lime, orange)
- something salty (a plain or smoked salt, capers)
- something with heat (jalapeno, chili flake, cayenne)
- something to give color (like turmeric or paprika, if it didn’t have color already).
So I’d end up with things like a Mexican butter: lime, cilantro, jalapeno, smoked salt; Cajun butter: lime, Cajun seasoning, fresh oregano, cayenne, smoked salt); Italian butter: lemon, fresh basil, regular salt, chili flake. It’s hard to go wrong if you follow this formula.
Experiment with leaving the herb in pieces vs. pulverizing it. You get a lovely overall green color when you pulverize it, but sometimes it was nice to see the bits of herb, too.
- Freeze some of the butter in ice cube trays, to use as a “flavor bomb” to drop into soups, onto hot pasta, casseroles.
- Roll the butter into a log (like chocolate chip cookie dough) and freeze it. That way, you can slice off coins of butter and use as you want.
- Melt it on any grilled food — steak, salmon, veggies. Present it at the table with the dollop of butter melting and dripping down the food, like a restaurant.
- Sautee a chicken breast or piece of fish with a tablespoon of seasoned butter in the pan.
- Use seasoned butter instead of regular when you prepare rice.
- Drop some into your mashed potatoes.
- Spoon some onto a baked potato.
- Smear it on a baguette then grill it or broil it. Mix in a little minced garlic to the butter, for instant garlic bread.
- Put a lump in the center of your hamburger patty before cooking.
- Melt a dab onto steamed vegetables for a quick way to bring big flavor to them.