Friday, July 16, 2010

Dinner Diary: 7/13/10 -- Hanger Steak with Compound Butter

  • Sautéed Curly Kale with Red Pepper and Garlic
  • Charred Shishito Peppers from Jacqueline and Fe's Garden
  • McCall's Hanger Steak with Compound Butter

Returning to the idea of reinventing dishes with sauces and other clever finishing touches, I dug deep into the recesses of my memory on Tuesday night.

Back in Santa Cruz, when I worked in a restaurant, we made a fair amount of compound butter. We used it to finish many dishes, but Stilton butter on New York steak was the biggest hit.

Compound butter is easy to make. You can use it on steamed vegetables, grilled chicken, pastas, and it is especially nice on steak.

You simply soften butter, preferably a high fat content European butter, and add assorted flavorings of your choosing. Garlic, shallots, fresh herbs, wine, and blue cheese are some of the typical stars of compound butter.

Smash it all together and slather it on whatever you please. Corn on the cob would be spectacular with compound butter smeared on it.

You can refrigerate it for a few days or you can roll into a log in wax paper and freeze it for future use. Simply slice off a round for your next grilled rib-eye or baked salmon fillet.

Tuesday Night's Compound Butter

6 tablespoons softened European butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
A handful of fresh parsley and tarragon, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Cream the butter a bit, until well softened. Add the garlic, shallot, and herbs. Mix until well-combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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