Compound Butter: the Forgotten Accompaniment

Compound Butter: the Forgotten Accompaniment

E. Brandy

Compound butters are often the forgotten element of modern cookbooks althought James Peterson dedicates a chapter about the subject in his book Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making. I guess that talking about butter things would sound odd on a blog about healthy cooking, but as everything can be good as it is taken in small quantities, there is no reason not to write about some good plain gourmet accompaniments!

Compound butters have many qualities and benefits. You can make them in minutes with a few ingredients that you often keep in your kitchen. The compound butter can transform an ordinary meal into a real treat. Even alone, on a slice of fresh bread, this melting sweetness stands by itself.

Some particular ingredients are added to a hot or cold butter. It’s so simple! Various ingredients such as spices, herbs, herbs are used in general. They are used to get varied preparations, both in taste and colors.

We serve compound butters usually as an accompaniment to grilled meat and fish or on toasted croutons or to finish a sauce.

A distinction is made between special hot butter like Cardinal butter (lobster) or Nantua butter (crayfish butter) and cold butter made with added ingredients, – raw or cooked – like garlic butter, anchovy butter…

The Famous Café de Paris butter

Everyone speaks about this wonderful butter… Its distinctive feature is its impressive number of ingredients. Of course you can change this recipe according to your mood. Know that the original recipe has still never been decrypted and is kept secret by the Café de Paris owners in Geneva.

Recipe for 500 g of unsalted butter:

  • 60 g of fresh parsley
  • 10 g of fresh tarragon leaves –
  • 5 g of marjoram –
  • 5 g basil leaves –
  • 3 g of sage –
  • 30 g shallots –
  • 3 cloves garlic (new season) –
  • 5 g of grated and mashed horse-radish –
  • 20 g anchovy fillets in oil –
  • 8 g of salt – a pinch of cayenne pepper in powder –
  • 1 / 2 lemon juice –
  • 5 cl of cognac –
  • 1 dash of soy sauce.
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Learn more about this recipe here. Here’s a more detailed recipe on how to make the Cafe de Paris Butter, with few variation with the ingredients. Try this one and let me know how it tasted for you. Anyway, do you have a special secret tip for making your own compound butter?

Photo by Island Vittles via flickr.com

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Compound Butter: the Forgotten Accompaniment