A mixture of butter and other ingredients makes a compound butter, which can be used as a kind of insta-sauce on top of cooked meat, vegetables or fish. A classic variety is maître d’hotel butter, which uses thyme and lemon juice as flavoring agents.
But a cilantro-and-lime-juice compound butter is a marvelous thing to apply to fish, and you could even think of adding a tiny dice of jalapeño pepper to the mix. Lemon-basil is terrific as well — you could add some garlic to that and omit the shallots. Some cooks take maître d’hotel butter and add Roquefort cheese to it as a topping for steak.
Compound butter is a theme on which to improvise. The following recipe provides the basic instructions.
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon herb leaves, minced
- 1 small shallot, peeled and minced
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
- Splash Champagne or white-wine vinegar
- Nutritional Information
Note: Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available data.
Nutritional analysis per serving (2 servings)
460 calories; 46 grams fat; 29 grams saturated fat; 1 gram trans fat; 11 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 5 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 2 grams sugars; 1 gram protein; 122 milligrams cholesterol; 11 milligrams sodium
- Put the butter on a cutting board and, using a fork, cut the other ingredients into it until the butter is creamy and smooth. Scrape the butter together with a chef’s knife, and form it into a rough log. If making ahead of time, roll it tightly in a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.