Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pesto Compound Butter

This past weekend we were doing steak night and our basil plant needed to be trimmed, so I had the idea to try my hand at compound butter.  It sounds fancy, but it's really not complicated at all, and I wish I'd tried making it sooner!  I don't have many photos since I didn't think to take any while I was putting it together, but it was so good that I had to share it.

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To start, I whirred up a quick version of pesto in the food processor - just garlic, basil, olive oil and salt & pepper.  I've found that the trick to getting a good consistency is to put in the garlic cloves first and process them well before adding anything else, otherwise you can get big chunks of garlic.  

Once I had my pesto sauce, I grabbed a half stick of butter from the fridge and microwaved it at 20% power for 30 seconds to soften it slightly (if I'd planned this in advance I would've just left it out on the counter awhile, but using the microwave at low power is a great shortcut).  Once I had soft butter, I added in a couple tablespoons of the pesto and stirred it all together until well combined.

Next, I scooped it out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, then folded over the wrap and started forming it into a log shape.  Once I had the basic shape, I squeezed the ends of the plastic wrap in my hands and whirled it in small circles until both ends were fully twisted up, then folded them under the butter and put it back in the fridge.  I could've probably spent a bit more time on this and gotten a uniform log, but I knew it wasn't going to affect the taste!

When it was time to serve, I unwrapped the butter, cut off a couple slices and placed them on top of the steak to melt down.

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It was so delicious!  Something about the butter and beef was beyond decadent, and the pesto was a great flavor addition.  I also spread it on the grilled corn, and it was fantastic there too.

I'm looking forward to spreading this on some garlic toast - I just snagged some of the new Udi's french bread baguettes at Publix yesterday - and I know I am going to have fun trying out different combos now that I've gotten the idea in my head.  It's certainly going to make our meats and veggies a lot more interesting!  I'm thinking of a roasted garlic and herb butter next...

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