Compound butter is so delicious and surprisingly easy. While compound butter might sound like a complicated condiment, it is simply butter combined with another food — herbs, spices, greens, or mushrooms. There are many approaches to making compound butter and it depends on how you want to use them.
Log vs. Jar
You may have seen compound butters stored in the jar. This is achieved by completely melting butter and mixing in the ingredients while still liquid and quickly poured into a jar. The jar is placed in a refrigerator or cool place until solidified. This technique is good if you are planning on using butter as a spread. The jar functions much like a butter tub and can be scooped out with a knife or spoon.
Pictured above is the butter log technique. This is achieved either with a food processor or a simple hand-mashed inclusion. It is then spooned into parchment paper or saran wrap and formed into a log which is then placed in the fridge to harden. This style functions like a stick of butter and can be sliced to go on steaks, bread, into pans for pastas and other dishes. While this may seem like a slightly more effort, I prefer this method both because the butter consistency seems to change a bit more when it is completely melted and also because I like utilizing slices or pats of butter on meats and pastas.
Food Processor vs. Hand-mixed
The first time we made compound butters we wanted to start slow and try hand mixing (or really mixing with a fork). This method is great if you only want to make a small amount or you don’t own a food processor.
To hand mix: soften butter and put into a bowl. Lightly saute the item you want to mix in (this is highly recommended for mushrooms since you should not eat them raw, however we also like to saute our ramps to make them softer to come across in the butter). The amount depends on preference however we use approximately 12 mushrooms per 3 sticks of butter. And 15 ramps for the same. Scrape sauteed produce into softened butter and mash and mix with a fork until evenly distributed. At this point you can shape into log, square, or spoon into a tub or jar.
To food process: Use the food processor to chop produce (or hand chop) and lightly saute. Then add the amount of butter you are interested in using and blend until fluffy. Add in the sauteed ramps or mushrooms and blend until fully incorporated. Use a spatula to remove butter and put into a log shape on parchment paper or saran wrap. I prefer parchment since it does not stick as much.
Make The Butter Your Own
Make your butter to your own liking. I enjoy slightly bigger pieces in my butter so I roughly chop ramps or mushrooms. Some chop their ramps very finely in a food processor to make a smooth green better. Experiment and see what you like best! You can also experiment with add-ins such as garlic or herbs. Enjoy.