(adapted from The New Essential of French Cooking)
Compound butter is not as scary or complicated as the name sounds!
A compound butter is simply a stick of butter seasoned with herbs, lemon, and garlic or shallots, and is an incredibly versatile item to have on hand in the kitchen.
You can make it and store it in the freezer (my favorite!) and slice it to add richness to any dish or let it melt into mashed potatoes, polenta, or on the top of a steak or a roasted chicken.
Simple to make, a compound butter will add something new to any dish you make!
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon minced shallots or 1 garlic clove minced
2 tablespoons chopped herbs: fresh thyme, rosemary, parsley, chives, basil, etc.
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon fine salt, more to taste
In a bowl, mash together butter, shallots or garlic, herbs, lemon juice, pepper, and salt.
Spoon the butter onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap, form into a log and wrap well. Chill for a minimum of 3 hours before using.
Alternatively, put everything but the butter into a food processor and pulse until combined, then add the butter and process until combined.