Flavored Butter

One nice way to add a special touch to a dish, is by accompanying it with a flavored butter. One of the first times I had it at a restaurant, I remembered it was a delicious revelation. Making this is incredibly easy and once you get to doing it, you’ll wonder why you’ve not done this earlier or more often! It also makes a great, unique gift for your favorite foodie for any season.

  1. To start with, pick up some good quality butter1 (about 2 sticks)
  2. Soften, but do not melt2, your butter – to room temperature is fine
  3. Take your flavoring ingredient, or ingredients3 of choice and mash4 it together with the butter
  4. Shape, and double wrap your butter in plastic wrap (tightly!) like an old fashion candy twisted at the ends (make sure it really is air tight5)
  5. Chill – keeps for up to a week and half to two weeks or so depending on your fridge, or freeze for up to a month

Flavored butters also go great with infused oils. For some ideas on this, check out Mike’s latest post here: Olive oil infusions

Both of these take ingredients which are essential and ordinary, to extraordinary!

For more thoughts and details, see footnotes below.

Notes and Tips on this tip:

  1. Unsalted butter is usually recommended, but I use salted – this is really your preference
  2. This took a little research which seems obvious after the fact: The reason why you should only use softened and not melted butter is because when you’re making butter, it has air whipped into it when it’s churned. Melting it first, removes the air and causes it to not be as soft so the texture will be changed, but otherwise it will be perfectly fine to use otherwise.
  3. For flavors, it helps to work with something that contains a lot of essential oils, and distinct flavors.
    • All of the following make great additions and you can mix and match too to make them even more special
      • Certain nuts like pine nuts, and almonds;
      • Herbs like rosemary, cilantro, and scallions;
      • Fruits like lemons, limes, and olives;
    • If you’re using fruits, zest, or nuts, try using spirits like amaretto to extract more flavor, or olive oil with herbs. Again, this works especially well if you’re using a blender
  4. Yes, step #3 is literally mash it together simply with a wooden spoon in a bowl. Another way that I’ve found works pretty well is to crust the butter in your flavoring, place between two sheets of wax paper, and roll out with a rolling pin. Stop incrementally and add more of the ingredient as necessary. If you happen to have a blender or food processor (unlike us cramped denizens of the city), you can toss everything together in a blender and pulse quickly to combine.  This will help get a finer texture and also allow you to work the butter much more quickly before it starts to warm up and melt (bad).  If you are using heartier flavoring (e.g. rosemary, delish), the blender will also break it down a bit exposing more of the essential oils for it to get absorbed by the butter.
  5. Butter readily absorbs flavors because it is a fat.  Fats tend to absorb flavors and odors very well.  For this reason, if you have something very odorous in the fridge like kimchi, fish, onions, or maybe something that might be spoiling (c’mon, admit it) and if either that or the butter is not wrapped well, the butter can readily absorb the flavor and taste rancid.  For this reason, it’s essential that you keep your now gourmet butter well wrapped and air-tight.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email