I love compound butters as a way to jazz up a meal. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to test that theory. If you think about it, you have a bunch of foods that normally would be the same thing year after year. Veggies tastes like, you know, veggies; mashed potatoes can be, well, boring; butter on cornbread – been there, done that. So let’s shake things up with some herbs and spices. Let’s, as Emeril famously says, “kick this food up a notch.” Here are four examples to make your Thanksgiving meal a little more exciting. The best part is the simple preparation of these little flavor bombs. A great place to get fresh grown herbs and greens is Pennington Market Farms in Bristow, VA. I hope you like them.
Honey butter – Mix 1 stick room-temperature butter with two tablespoons of honey; make a log with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you serve it.
This goes great with corn bread or on baked sweet potatoes. Sure, you can use it on rolls too.
Herb butter – Mix 1 stick of room temperature butter with 1 teaspoon of chopped chives and 1 teaspoon chopped parsley. Make into a log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. (You can add other herbs if you like.)
This is great on mashed potatoes, green vegetables, fish, and pumpernickel bread.
Cajun butter- Mix 1 stick of butter with 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, 1/2 tablespoon black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Make into log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
This is good on vegetables and to baste the turkey. Now if you are adventurous, you could throw this on some sweet potatoes fries or toss it in your stuffing.
Creole – Mix 1 stick butter with 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, 1/2 teaspoon ground sage, 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme, 1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon oregano. Make into a log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
This is your coup de gras. Place pats of this butter under the breast skin of your turkey; it will help the breast meat stay moist. The other thing it will do is even the cooking time between white meat and dark meat. This also can be used on carrots.