On a picnic morning
Without a warning
I looked at you
And somehow I knew…
— The McGuire Sisters
They are different names for the same type of flavor enhancer. In classic French cuisine, beurre composé is considered a sauce itself and also is used to finish sauces right before serving. In Southern states it is known as cowboy butter, because it is “simple enough for any cowboy to make.” Softened butter is simply mixed or whipped with herbs, spices, and liquids. Reshape it in plastic wrap, refrigerate to solidify, rewrap in parchment paper, and keep in a fridge for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 6 months.
Frozen whipped butter is easier to slice and it melts faster. All butters with liquid or puree flavoring ingredients have to be whipped for perfect emulsification. Finely chopped ingredients are better to be mixed in, obviously. Spices and dehydrated herbs and vegetables don’t need any additional care. Fresh greens have to be quickly blanched before chopping. When I need 2 or 3 portions of compound butter, I use my frozen herbs leftovers. It is easy to puree 2-3 tbsp frozen herbs and some kosher salt with mortar and pestle.
Melt savory butters on blanched vegetables, grilled steaks, fried fish, sautéed shrimp, steamed sweet potatoes, bakes Russet potatoes, grilled fresh corn, cooked rice, pasta, grits… continue? Melt sweet spiced butter (instructions, #3) on hot pancakes, on slice of freshly baked corn bread. Mix it in your breakfast oatmeal or and other porridge, pumpkin or squash puree. Core, stuff, and bake whole apples with this butter. I bet you’ll find many good uses for it.
What picnics have to do with compound butters? Spread a thin layer of miso compound butter on Central Market’s Seedsation bread, layer thinly sliced radishes or/and cucumbers, and compose sandwiches. Take this sandwiches, your family and friends, and go to admire bluebonnets in Pace Band Park. Don’t forget your camera!