I am all about the compound butter. Being the thrifty person I am compound butter is a way to use up all the scraps and leftover bits of stuff you normally let sit in your icebox and go all limp and brown. You know what I’m talking about.
Parsley. Let’s just start with parsley. You have a recipe that calls for 2 tablespoons of minced parsley. Unless you steal some decorative sprigs off the salad bar at the Kroger you have to buy a whole bunch. What to do with the rest of it? I read that minced fresh parsley freezes beautifully. It doesn’t. I tried it and it took on an other-worldly hue of green that was not pleasant to observe. You can pretty much apply the parsley rule to any other fresh herb you buy. (I know, you are now saying: Catherine, just grow your own herbs. I know that. My house is entirely surrounded by shade trees and you don’t need to remind me that the only plant I can grow are hostas, which I hate.)
However, if you introduce butter into the equation, you can use up those bits of parsley and other herbs in a spectacular fashion. And the best thing about this is that there’s really no recipe, no wrong turn to take. Just mince everything up and mix it in with some soft butter. Then you put your compound butter on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll it into a log. Pop it in the freezer and you have compound butter anytime you want it and you have used up an entire bunch of parsley, which is almost unheard of. I am also very partial to adding minced shallots to mine. That’s another thing I buy for a single recipe and then have to figure out how to use the rest of them before they go bad.
What do you use compound butter for? I mix it in hot cooked rice or pasta. I top a grilled steak with a pat of it. Smear some on saltine crackers and then bake them at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes and serve them with soup. Melt some and toss with cubes of leftover bread. Again bake at 350 degrees until the cubes are crisp – homemade croutons. It would also be delicious on cornbread right out of the oven.
I fear this is going to turn out like my meatloaf recipe. I make the meatloaf so I can get the sandwiches the next day. I think I’ll have to find a parsley recipe now.