With these economic times, my kitchen is feeling the pinch so it is time to dig out those standby recipes for compound butters to help flavor the cheaper cuts of meat some of us are having to purchase. My favorites are Bercy Butter, Matre d’hôtel in two versions, Marchand de Vin, Garlic Butter and Paprika Butter. When making these compound butters, allow about ½ ounce per serving and make sure these dollops are placed just before serving o top of the piping-hot meat or fish.
Matre d’hôtel Butter
Cream 4 oz or 113 gm of unsalted butter Add a teaspoon or a little more of chopped parsley the juice of ½ lemon, salt and pepper to taste. A variation of this is to substitute the parsley with chopped chives for great chive butter.
Cook 2 teaspoons of finely chopped shallots in ½ cup of dry white wine until reduced to about ¼ of the original quantity: cool. Cream 4 oz of butter with 2 teaspoons of chopped parsley and the wine-shallot mixture, season with salt and pepper.
Marchand du Vin Butter
This is the same as the Bercy Butter except a good red wine is used instead of white. Garlic Butter To avoid too strong a taste, or overpowering, the garlic should be cooked first. Peel 6 cloves of garlic and drop into boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain, cool, and cru sh thoroughly, then cream with ½ cup of butter.
Paprika Butter Melt 2 oz of butter and in it sauté 2 Tbl of minced onion until light brown. Remove from heat and add 2 tsp of paprika, mix well and let cool. Add 2 oz of creamed butter and cream well together. This may be forced through a fine sieve if desired, great on Veal.
Some other ideas for flavorings are: mustard, chutney, tarragon or other herbs, anchovy paste, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. An assortment of these butters works well with fondue Bourguignon.