Blended Bacon Butter (& Friends)

One of the first techniques we learned in cooking school was for making compound butter. It’s essentially just butter that’s softened, blended with something flavorful, reformed and re-chilled for serving.

Compound butters are so decadent and so easy — though they never fail to impress guests when you make the effort — and yet, they’re one of those delicious details I invariably forget about. Make them with bacon and anchovies for savory punch, or stick to the purity of herbs and lemon zest to keep the flavors light.

Here’s three recipes for compound butters — each supremely simple and very tasty. You’ll notice the method is the same for each, so once you’ve made one or two, you can kind of go crazy and add in just about anything you like.

The Bacon Butter is divine on grilled vegetables (try it on your corn-on-the-cob), the Herb Butter is great sliced tossed on freshly-cooked vegetables or and slipped under the skin of a chicken you’re about to roast, the Anchovy Butter especially loves steaks and broiled fish… and (surprise!) all three are delicious spread across the surface of a fresh baguette. Mmm…

Blended Bacon Butter
1 stick (1/4 lb) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup crisp bacon, finely crumbled (or proscuitto or serrano ham, minced)
1/4 Tbsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 Tbsp freshly ground pepper (or to taste)

  1. Blend the butter in a bowl with the bacon or minced proscuitto/serrano (a wooden spoon works well for this).
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Roll the butter into a tight log shape in parchment paper or plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 1 week. If you won’t use it that day, wrap well (or seal in a freezer bag) or freeze for up to 3 months.

Zesty Herb Butter
1 stick (1/4 lb) unsalted butter, softened
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp parsley, minced
1 Tbsp chives, minced
1/2 Tbsp tarragon, minced
1/2 Tbsp lemon zest
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 Tbsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 Tbsp freshly ground pepper (or to taste)

  1. Blend the butter in a bowl with the garlic, herbs, zest and lemon juice (a wooden spoon works well for this).
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Roll the butter into a tight log shape in parchment paper or plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 1 week. If you won’t use it that day, wrap well (or seal in a freezer bag) or freeze for up to 3 months.

Garlic Anchovy Butter
1 stick (1/4 lb) unsalted butter, softened
4 Anchovy fillets, minced
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1/2 Tbsp lemon zest
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 Tbsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 Tbsp freshly ground pepper (or to taste)

  1. Blend the butter in a bowl with the minced anchovies, garlic, zest and lemon juice (a wooden spoon works well for this).
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Roll the butter into a tight log shape in parchment paper or plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 1 week. If you won’t use it that day, wrap well (or seal in a freezer bag) or freeze for up to 3 months.

Happy Eating!
Miss Ginsu

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