I've Been A Bad Blogger
Okay, so this recipe and the next (the pesto bread) are actually late. It is Sunday night and I am just blogging them now. I made the recipes on Thursday and Friday respectfully (so that part of this blog I'm still good on), but I have a project for school that needs to get done ASAP. In the spirit of full-disclosure, I've got to tell you that I've backdated these blog entries.
Compound butter sounds like a hoity-toity thing, but it's super easy thing to make. It's basically soft butter mixed with some herbs, spices, and/or other flavorings. Some people will reform it into a log to make it look pretty, other chefs like to use a pastry bag to pipe out stars. In either case you need to take your soften butter and put it back in the fridge to harden up. Then you can either cut the log or serve the hardened stars on your bread and butter plates or top cooked meats (or fish). The great thing about compound butter is that the flavor possibilities are endless. You can go very simple with one flavor (like dill) or make it as complicated as you want (with olives, paprika, marjoram, lemon zest, cayenne pepper, anchovies, and oregano). And, you can make a huge batch and put what you don't use in the fridge (tightly wrapped of course). Then, the next time you have company, you can pull it out last minute and wow your guests.
TOUCHING YOUR MEAT
The touch method of knowing how to cook meat is really not that hard. There are three basic touches:
With your hand slightly closed, touch the pad of your palm. Feel how soft that is? That is rare.
With your hand now outstretched (but not really tight), touch that same part of your palm. That is medium.
FAST: The butter didn't take more than 5 minutes to prepare. (If you need to soften the butter quick, give it a 1 minute zap in the microwave.) Even though the butter is quick to throw together, you'll need to let it become solid again in the fridge. My butter took about 45 minutes to come back to a hard solid. The steak was really quick. I like rare to medium rare so I only "grilled" it for 7 minutes total.
EASY: The butter is super easy to make. The best part is you can make a big batch of compound butter and store it in the fridge. Then, you can use it not only for meats, but as a flavored butter for a great loaf of crusty bread. Depending on your skill with a grill, the steaks can be no problem or a pain in the butt. I usually do the touch method of knowing when the meat is done, but some people will use a thermometer. Just make sure you don't stick your meat too much, or you'll release all of the juices.
FRESH: If it had some chopped up fresh parsley or thyme, then I would give this a big yes. But, it really isn't what I would consider fresh.
OVERALL: Surprisingly, the anchovy lemon butter really isn't that bad. However, if you don't like anchovies, you are not going to like this butter. You can try adding fresh herbs all you like, but the anchovy taste is going to pop through. Personally, I like anchovies and I actually liked this butter on my steak. I think adding some fresh chopped capers would have given the butter even more zing and an Italian flare.
Okay, we've got some pesto bread as an appetizer. See ya then!