Compound Butters - Garlic Butter and Beyond!

As we are moving tomorrow supplies are pretty scarce here.  I however did find a little leftover roast chicken in the fridge so made myself an old favourite for lunch, chicken salad.  My camera is packed (bad planning or what!) but here is a picture of one I ate earlier when I was in the islands.

poolside chicken salad on hot chilli bread

Chicken salad is of course no revelation but what made it special was piling it onto crisp hot chili bread - an offshoot of yer actual garlic bread. I make lots of these variations.  As this blog and indeed my entire cooking philosophy are based on spontaneity and using what’s available these, once again, are not recipes but ideas and guidelines – use your own taste buds!   

Garlic Butter

Mix a little crushed fresh garlic (garlic is less bitter if you remove the green germ in the middle of the clove before crushing), salt and pepper to taste and perhaps a little parsley or mixed herbs..  Parmesan is good mixed into this too.

roasted garlic cloves

Roasted Garlic Butter

See here for roasted garlic details and mix not only a soft and delicious roasted garlic clove but also a little of the garlicky oil into the  butter. Add salt to taste and a generous amount of black pepper which goes well with the roasted garlic taste.

Roasted Garlic & Blue Cheese Butter

As above but crumble and mix in a little blue cheese of your choice.

fresh red chillies

Hot Chilli Butter

For this I add an abstemious tad of chilli pickle - I love this stuff and use it is all sorts of mouth watering ways.  Fresh chilli, hot sauce, cayenne etc. are all options – you get different results but they’re all good!

fresh lemon half and wedges

Lemon Butter

This one goes beautifully with fishy things; fish pâté, potted shrimp, crab paste etc. etc.   Stir the finely grated zest of a lemon and the juice of about half of the same lemon (zest first and then juice; it’s easier that way) into the butter and season to taste.  Pepper goes well with this - Lemon Pepper Bread - and parsley looks pretty.

coriander leaves

Fresh Coriander/Cilantro Butter

Add a handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves and a hint of chilli (powder or hot sauce) - this is great with Mexican beany dishes.

spoonful of caramelised onionsCaramelised Onion Butter

Cook thinly sliced onions very gently in oil or butter till utterly soft then stir over higher heat till turning golden and sticky - see here for more on caramelising onions.  Cool a bit and then stir these gorgeous onions into the butter.  This is extra good with blue cheese and/or black pepper added to it.

corsely ground black pepper

Black Pepper Butter

Well, you know, just add a generous amount of freshly ground and preferably crunchy black pepper to the bread together with some salt.


As you can see this is very flexible – just add herbs, spices, cheese, zest, mustard, tapenade or whatever to soft butter and go for it.

For hot flavoured breads either use the traditional method of part cutting a baguette, spreading with the butter, wrapping in foil and baking or, quicker and easier and crisper, butter slices of yummy bread and toast till lovely. 
garlic bread on bread board

These butters are also great chilled and used to top steak and grilled fish, mashed into potatoes or popped into baked potatoes.  

For sweet variations see my earlier post ~ Maple Sugar Toast, Cinnamon Toast & Other Delicious Variations.

It is high summer here, and probably elsewhere too - a great time to be in Cornwall but then most times are.

cornwall high summer

We are moving inland to “clay country” which is a strange kind of place.  This is the heart of the china clay industry where the landscape is much changed by mining but in some ways, in some places, is very lovely. Mining company Imerys have done a good job of grassing over tips (“sky tips” the pointy ones are called as they gradually got higher and higher towards the sky) and landscaping.  Travelling around the area is an exciting mix of “oh how pretty” and “wtf!” as we politely say these days.   In a couple of hundred years I think the whole place will be lovely so I’ll have to wait for another incarnation to really appreciate it. 

We have been living near Padstow on the North Coast of Cornwall which is a stunningly gorgeous area but the whole of Cornwall is great and I am looking forward to exploring the beaches, villages, lanes and pubs of southern Cornwall.  Also looking forward to having storage space, a hot shower, flushing toilet, running water, separate bedroom, working oven etc. etc.  Might do some baking!

PS.  I was going to post the above … um … post a few hours ago but it has been such a ridiculously golden evening we had to go down the pub and I even went to the trouble of unpacking my camera for the trip.  

Cornish roof

cornish sea view

cornish sunset

cornish coast

cornwall sundown

No comments: