Chefs have a tasty little secret: butter makes everything better. A dollop of flavored butter or margarine turns a ho-hum dish into a spectacular entrÃ©e. Keep these handy butter logs in the freezer â€“ a quick slice, adorning a warm piece of beef, pork, poultry or fish, finishes the dish with finesse â€“ just like a chef. Preparation for all butters:
- Beat on medium speed, or food-process, until well blended and smooth.
- Place a piece of plastic wrap on a cookie sheet.
- Spoon butter onto plastic wrap. Leave 2â€ of wrap at each end.
- Fold long side of wrap over the butter and â€œrollâ€ into a smooth log-shape.
- Seal the ends and place in freezer.
- Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before slicing.
- Use a knife warmed under warm water and slice into Â½â€ thick slices.
- Rewrap remaining log and return to the freezer.
Pesto Butter 1 cup butter or margarine, softened Â¼ cup fresh basil, chopped (1 tsp. dried basil) Â¼ cup finely chopped walnut pieces Â¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1 tsp. minced garlic Cognac and Mustard Butter Â½ cup butter or margarine, softened 2 Tbsp. chopped, fresh parsley 2 Tbsp. chopped, fresh chives 2 tsp dried tarragon 1 tsp. dry mustard 1 tsp Cognac or brandy Curry Butter 1 cup butter or margarine, softened 1-1/2 Tbsp. curry powder 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice Â½ tsp. ground ginger Avocado Butter 1 cup butter or margarine, softened Â½ of an avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into small chunks 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice 1 Tbsp. chopped, fresh parsley or cilantro 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce Â½ tsp. minced garlic 2 drops Frankâ€™s Hot Sauce or your favorite hot sauce Citrus Butter 1 cup butter or margarine, softened 2 Tbsp. frozen orange juice concentrate 1 Tbsp. freshly grated lime peel (the green rind) Pinch of ground nutmeg Roasted Garlic and Dill Salmon Butter 1 cup butter or margarine, softened 1-1/2 tsp. dried dill weed 1 roasted head of garlic (see below) Roasting Garlic: Remove the outer layers of skin from a whole head (bulb) of garlic. Snip the pointed tips of the individual cloves straight across the top of the head (about Â½â€ deep). Leave the skins of the individual cloves intact. Place the garlic head in a small oven-ready pan. Drizzle with Â½â€ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil. Let sit for a few minutes and drizzle another 1/2-teaspoon olive oil over the head. Cover with foil and bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour. Cloves should feel soft when pressed. Let cool. Separate the cloves from the head and squeeze the roasted garlic into the softened butter and blend. Dollops, rather than a log, can also be frozen. Place the mixture in a favorite mold or spoon a dollop onto waxed paper. Freeze and then rewrap with waxed paper or plastic wrap between layers.