As at the mint, the producer of currency coins stored as a reserve, part of your kitchen mis en place is to keep a pantry supply at the ready. It’s not hoarding, but simply preparedness. Keeping your reserve butter coins logs rotated and fresh will ensure when you reach for a log choice it has not passed its best-before date.
If you keep a ready-to-use frozen supply of compound butter coins available, you can add a je nais ce quois factor to many dishes, sometimes changing up the overall taste to an exponential flavour level. Choose from hundreds of basic or unusual combinations of flavour-filled frozen butter coins to use at a moment’s notice. Keeping your reserve butter coin logs rotated and fresh will ensure when you reach for a log choice it has not passed its best-before date.
It is helpful to put a food-friendly sticky date label on various butter coin logs as you place them among your reserve. To make it easy to knock off one butter coin or several, I find it is useful to store the plastic-wrapped pre-sliced coin logs in a food-friendly lid-covered metal container in the freezer, with a fresh white paper towel that is easily replaced from time to time. Of course you could use a plastic-covered container to keep your logs separate from other freezer food items and within easy reach.
Whether adding a reserve butter coin to a barbecued steak or to a homemade biscuit or fork-pulled-apart dumpling or even added to a bowl of hot soup or chowder, the tasty addition will melt easily and enhance other flavours.
Making the butter coins for your reserve is an easy task, maybe a rainy-day project or a multitask while braising or doing other cooking where you are confined temporarily to your kitchen.
I’m sure you will be pleased with your new-found treasure box butter coin reserve and find unlimited use for your supply.
Crispy bacon compound butter
Chop bacon that is fried particularly crispy and quite dry into almost crumbs. Use about a half cup.
Add to a half pound of unsalted room-temperature butter. Mix well. You might enjoy adding coarse Dijon. Maybe even a little horseradish. Stir in a tablespoon of the liquid bacon fat from the skillet.
To take it up a notch, crumble in a teaspoon of minced fresh rosemary, or other favourite herbs or spices. My dried deep-fried pantry sage might work for your tastebuds. A little nutmeg always works.
Roll and refrigerate the compound butter log as you do other compound butters. Cut into cold coins beginning by cutting the cold hard butter log in half, and half again until you have equal size coins, then rewrap and freeze in your compound butter coin reserve container.
This bacon compound butter is a great flavour enhancer when topping fish, oysters, roast beef, steak or poultry. It’s a great addition to your barbecued treats. Test it on your breaded pork loin Tiroler schnitzel. Or even on my whipped mashed potatoes.
You can tap off as much as you need and return the log to your freezer container until you need coins again. Maybe top a crostini or slip onto barely cooked light fluffy scrambled eggs or top on hollandaise over poached eggs to melt. You might add a couple of coins to your potato salad or to salmon salad. Or float a couple of coins on your favourite cream soup. Don’t stir. Swirl. Watch the coins melt. There are endless uses. Use your imagination.
For each of the following, the preparation routine is the same.
Watercress pesto hazelnut compound butter
Mash my watercress hazelnut pesto and a handful of candied hazelnuts from your pantry jar into a half pound of unsalted butter.
Wrap and twist in a log as with other compound butters. A coin is delightful on hot crepes, on polenta-filled Parmesan tuiles nests, or maybe add to a barbecued grilled fish papillote.
You might enjoy these coins tossed in warm hollandaise or even in a savory sabayon.
Maple compound butter coins
Heat two cups of maple syrup in a stovetop saucepan. Add a quarter cup of soya sauce. From your refrigerated glass sterilized jar of homemade oven-roasted golden garlic purée, stir a half teaspoonful into the hot syrup.
Slice mixed colours of tomatoes quite thick and dip the slices in the maple syrup sauce. Line a platter with the dipped tomato slices carpaccio style.
Serve with homemade bread made using just flour and ice cold butter cubes. Rest the chopped frozen butter coins in a bowl of ice cube water. Work quickly with your hands, incorporating a little butter at a time into the flour. Rest the dough ball and bake as you would regularly in a very hot oven.
Use a ratio of a pound of flour to a half pound of butter coins. Chop the butter into bite size pieces and moving quickly, incorporate the butter bits into the flour.
You will see butter protruding.
Might I suggest using herb butter coins or jerk compound butter coins? Any of your coin reserve compound butter coins will work.
Bake your butter coin bread until crispy. Grill slices cut on the diagonal as crostini and top with Celebrity brand creamy goat cheese marinated coins. Place roasted multi-coloured cherry tomatoes cut in half, topped with paper-thin slices of raw garlic fresh from the very hot oven. Add a mini slice dot of mozzarella cheese on top of each roasted hot tomato half.
Pistachio compound butter coins for frozen reserve
If you love pistachios you might have a jar of candied pistachios or cracked bark. Using either, crush to create small bits and mix in a half cup of nuts to a half pound of unsalted butter.
Prepare as usual to make compound butter coins.
It’s a perfect coin to use on a slice of hot from the oven date nut loaf made using pistachios. This compound butter is good on side servings of your favourite veggies or even on fruit compote topping.
Compound butter – Francophile blue Italian style
The French love charcuterie and this blue cheese compound butter makes a nice addition to use on grilled garlic crostini positioned around the board edge.
To a cup of unsalted butter, mash in a room temperature half cup of your favourite blue cheese; perhaps Castello from Celebrity brand.
Squeeze just a drop of fresh lemon juice on the butter mix (poke a small hole in a lemon so you can save the whole lemon to use on another day) and add a spritz of Bacardi Lime. If you have it, dust with Mediterranean Sumac as a lemon enhancement.
Roll the compound butter as usual into a log and refrigerate. Cut into coins, rewrap and freeze the log.
Use the blue cheese compound butter on your perfectly barbecued steak when ready to serve. Let the compound butter coins melt and naturally drizzle down through the meat. How do you spell delicious?
The coins have so many uses: maybe even on garden fresh corn cob in season, just barely cooked.
You can warm the blue cheese compound butter and drizzle over grilled rock lobster tail meat. Serve in a tuile nest.
Drizzle the melted blue cheese compound butter coins over oven-roasted vegetables.
See my original recipe for warm blue cheese dressing in the comments below this story.
Corn cob compound butter coins
Mash a half pound of unsalted butter and add pulsed fresh poached corn cob kernels. Simply run a knife down a cooked corn cob resting on a clean white dish drying towel to release the kernels and pulse coarsely using your food processor.
Add sweet paprika, a few hot chilli flakes, fresh ground pepper and a pinch of crushed deep-fried dried sage from your pantry storage. If you love rosemary, add a tiny pinch. Both can overpower so be careful. Use any herbs and spices your palate enjoys.
Roll a log in cling wrap as with your other compound butter collection. Freeze, cut into coins and rewrap and freeze hard.
Knock off a coin or two to serve on homemade steaming hot creamy corn chowder. Don’t stir. Just let the frozen butter coin melt in the individual hot chowder bowls or cups.
Maybe something a little different: top your chowder with a round of frozen pre-made store bought butter puff pastry and add a corn cob butter coin when you take it from the hot oven just as the pastry puffs golden.
You might discover other uses for these tasty corn cob compound butter coins. Maybe on an au gratin veggie mix, or on a corn fritter or corn waffle or corn pancake.
Spritz the corn cob butter coins with a little Benedictine or cognac perhaps just when ready to serve. Or choose Tennessee Jack Daniels whiskey to round out the butter flavour.
Jerk compound butter
In sizzling unsalted butter, sauté a tablespoon each of minced white onion, garlic clove and celery. Add a minced scotch bonnet or a small jalapeño pepper. Stir in a half teaspoon of tomato paste (not sauce).
Grill a thick slice of fresh pineapple, both sides. Mince in your kitchen machine and stir into sizzling sauté pan.
Add salt and fresh ground pepper, a pinch of ground cloves and nutmeg. Squeeze just a little fresh lemon juice and a pinch of lemon zest.
Let it come to room temperature, add a tablespoon of minced fresh parsley, and mix into three quarters of a pound of cool mashed unsalted butter.
On cling wrap, shape the butter into a log about an inch in diameter. Freeze but not rock hard. Slice into half-inch coins. Rewrap and freeze solid. You can knock off coins as needed, always at the ready. (See my Jerk butter chicken recipe.)
© Lady Ralston’s Compound Butter Coin Reserve ~ because Butter makes it Better.
The working title for Carolyne’s Gourmet Recipes cookbook is From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks. This kitchen-friendly doyenne has been honoured and referred to as the grande dame of executive real estate in her market area during her 35-year career. She taught gourmet cooking in the mid-70s and wrote a weekly newspaper cooking column, long before gourmet was popular as it is today. Her ebook, Gourmet Cooking – at Home with Carolyne is available here for $5.99 US. Email Carolyne. Scroll down to the comments at each recipe column. Carolyne often adds complimentary “From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen” additional recipes in the Recipes for Realtors Comments section at REM.