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You will find lots of compound butters featured in French cuisine, from the classic parsley butter, known as beurre maitre d’hotel, to more exotic combinations including anchovy and salmon butters. A compound butter is a very easy way to add an elegant touch to any meal. Use your imagination to think up new taste combinations and ways of serving these butters.

Herb Butter

You may be able to find beurre maître d’hôtel, or parsley butter; in a gourmet food store. It
usually comes in a log and you slice off a round to serve it. Parsley butter is a classic accompaniment to a grilled steak in France, but it would go very nicely on chicken and fish as well. Or you could mix it with steamed vegetables.

Nothing is to stop you from making your own parsley butter. It is very simple and you many enjoy the ease of having a flavorful butter ready in the refrigerator to quickly add to dishes. This recipe, once made with fresh butter, can last in the refrigerator for up to one month.

1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
juice of 1/2 lemon
pepper to taste
Mix thoroughly all of the ingredients. Place the butter on a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log, about 2 inches in diameter. Place in refrigerator and once it has hardened, slice off rounds as needed.

The French like to stick to the classic parsley, but nothing is to stop you from trying different fresh herbs in your compound butter. Some suggestions are basil, cilantro, chives, tarragon, thyme and dill.

Seafood Butters

Compound butters made with fish are also frequently found in France. They may be spread on small squares of bread and then topped with various ingredients to form canapes. Here are two different compound seafood butters for you to try:

Shrimp Butter

1/2 cup softened butter
3 ounces small shelled shrimp
pinch of pepper
two pinches paprika
Place all ingredients in food processor and mix until smooth.

Anchovy Butter

1/2 cup softened butter
2 ounces anchovy paste
pinch of pepper
Place all ingredients in food processor and mix until smooth.

Other Compound Butters

Here are some other ideas for compound butters that you might like to try:

Roquefort or Gorgonzola Butter. Mix about two ounces of cheese in 1/2 cup softened butter. Delicious with beef.
Tapenade Butter. Tapenade is a crushed olive paste. Mix 1/4 cup with 1/2 cup softened butter. Serve with grilled fish.
Thyme Butter. Serve with cold chicken.
Chive Butter. Serve with soft boiled eggs.
Mustard Butter. Mix one or two teaspoons French mustard with 1/2 cup butter. Good with raw vegetables.

We are all familiar with peanut butter and its use in cookies and desserts, but there is more than one use for this versatile type of nut butter; for example, it is used to remove gum from hair easily. But the most favored use of peanut and almond butter is in sandwiches, combined with fruit jelly or jam; it is a healthy nutritious lunch. There is nothing like a good old peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

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