Try whipping up your own flavoured butters for a simple, versatile twist that will make homemade meals feel instantly special. Butter really is a blank canvas – you can mix in all sorts of flavours from garlic to anchovies, herbs, dry spices or even blue cheese. It can also be used to create a sauce for pasta (like our brown butter, see below), as a barbecue marinade or as a condiment to serve with your steak.
This fiery butter pairs perfectly with a chargrilled cob of fresh sweetcorn and is a great recipe to add to your barbecue repertoire. A teaspoon of wasabi goes a long way here, but if you can handle your heat, feel free to increase the amount. Add a dash of lemon juice and a generous grind of black pepper for a tasty addition to grilled meats or seafood.
For your next steak supper, try this minute steak with Roquefort butter recipe. As steak butters go, this is a real winner – rich Roquefort is combined with sweet red onion chutney, and just a few spoonfuls of this butter on top of straight-out-of-the-pan steak gives meltingly delicious results.
This North African spice is a great way to jazz up the flavour of roast spuds. Add a tablespoon of harissa paste per half cup of butter and then stuff into the slits of parboiled potatoes before roasting until melted. Harissa butter will also add an oomph of flavour to a classic roast chicken, just slather it on the skin before cooking.
The sweet, aniseed tones of caraway, coupled with the aromatic scent of thyme work beautifully as a buttery dressing in this quick-braised red cabbage recipe but this butter can easily be used in both sweet and savoury dishes.
Tailor this flavoured butter to suit your own taste; add a good squeeze of lemon and then keep adjusting the acidity-to-butter ratio, adding salt to taste. If you have any leftover herbs, this adds a final fling of flavour. Lemon butter works well with fresh fish, like this roasted trout or any grilled meats and vegetables.
Chipotles, which are simply smoke-dried jalapeño peppers, add a punchy Mexican-scented flavour to your butter. Brush over vegetables for a punchy glaze, then thread onto skewers and grill on the barbecue. It can also be thickly spread on chorizo, jalapeño and cornbread muffins.
Brown butter makes a great base for a pasta or gnocchi sauce. Simply melt your butter until it is foaming slightly and turns a light golden colour. Then add a handful of herbs before immediately removing from the heat. This herbed brown butter is delicious when tossed with gnocchi and mushrooms.
A miso-soy butter will make adding to your 5-a-day easy – It's a great way to elevate roasted veg, like in this Brussels sprouts recipe, or you can steam them instead (broccoli works particularly well).
Garlic butter is the classic flavoured butter and one of the easiest to make at home. Just take a few cloves of crushed garlic and a dollop of butter and, voilà, you’re ready to go. This garlic bread recipe adds some green pesto to the butter for extra flavour, but a classic recipe also tastes great and is a surefire hit with the kids.
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