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Here are three ideas for compound butter

And a recipe for seared pork chops that puts them to good use.
Seared pork chops with rosemary butter [MICHELLE STARK | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Oct. 15

I’m suddenly very into butter.

We all have those cooking phases, right? One week, I double down on greens. The next, I’m into yeast breads for every other meal. This month, it’s butter, in all its glorious forms: melted and drizzled, browned and nutty, combined with other things like herbs and seasonings.

That’s where this week’s recipe started: What’s the best vessel for using the compound butter I just made?

The compound in question was fresh rosemary, which grows like a weed in our backyard, and butter. The herb is tough to cook with in large amounts because it is rather strong, and unlike other herbs such as mint and basil, it can’t really be eaten raw. It’s tough and woody and holds up well to heat. A good way to use up a lot at once is to infuse it into something like sugar and water (to make rosemary simple syrup), olive oil or butter.

That opened the butter floodgates. What else could I mix with butter and slather over everything imaginable? How about maple? The fresh chives I just bought for a recipe? I now have three compound butters in my fridge.

RELATED: Why maple syrup should be your new favorite fall ingredient

To make your own, finely chop your desired herbs and add them to a bowl with some softened butter, mashing and stirring to incorporate well. Whipping the ingredients in a food processor is an efficient way to do this, too, and may even get you a deeper flavor, but it’s not necessary. If you’re working with something like maple syrup, it’s best to melt it with the butter in a saucepan, let the mixture steep a bit, then allow it to solidify before using.

Here are some quick recipes for three compound butters, all of which would work in the seared pork chop recipe featured below. A piece of steak or bone-in chicken cooked virtually the same way would also make for a terrific vessel.

Rosemary Garlic Butter

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

2 tablespoons finely minced fresh rosemary

1 garlic clove, grated or finely minced

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Let butter sit at room temperature until softened. Add to a bowl, then add rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. Mash ingredients into the butter, stirring really well until the ingredients are incorporated. Use right away, or form into a log if desired, wrap in plastic or parchment paper and store in the refrigerator.

Spiced Maple Butter

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

½ cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon salt

A pinch cinnamon

Add butter to a small saucepan. Melt over medium-low heat, then add maple syrup, red pepper flakes, salt and cinnamon. Cook over low heat for a couple of minutes, swirling the ingredients in the saucepan so they mingle. Remove saucepan from heat, stir mixture, then let it sit for 10 minutes. Use right away, or let it solidify and form into a log if desired. Wrap in plastic or parchment paper and store in the refrigerator.

Chive and Lemon Butter

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

2 teaspoons chives

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Let butter sit at room temperature until softened. Add to a bowl, then add chives, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Mash ingredients into the butter, stirring really well until the ingredients are incorporated. Use right away, or form into a log if desired, wrap in plastic or parchment paper and store in the refrigerator.


Seared Pork Chops

Seared pork chops with rosemary butter [MICHELLE STARK | Tampa Bay Times]

Olive oil

4 bone-in pork chops

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Compound butter of your choice, about 4 tablespoons

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and, when that’s hot, add the pork chops. You don’t want to crowd them too much, so cook the pork chops two at a time if necessary.

Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Lower heat to medium, flip chops and season the other side with salt and pepper.

Cook for another 5 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into a pork chop reads 145 degrees.

When done, remove the pork chops to a plate. Leave the skillet over the heat. Add a dab of butter to each chop, then let rest while you make the sauce.

To the hot skillet, add 2 tablespoons butter. Once it’s melted, add garlic and let sizzle for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper and add red wine vinegar.

Plate the pork chops. Spoon sauce over the pork chops and serve.

Serves 4.

Source: Michelle Stark, Tampa Bay Times



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