Compound butters are one of the most versatile things to make. Safely stashed away in the freezer ready for you to jazz up any meat or seafood fillet at short notice.
They are a cook’s best friend. Simple to make they are akin to the having frozen cubes of stock on hand in the freezer. Morsels of delicious flavor enhancers that can be used in an unlimited variety of ways.
Compound butters are best made in batches and then frozen in small amounts.
In the restaurant we would spoon large batches of the the mix onto sheets of cling wrap and then roll them up into sausages twisted at each end like when you make cookies and then frozen.
Pan fried salmon fillet with dill butter
- 1 Mortar and pestle
- 1 frypan
- 1 fish weight
- 250 gms unsalted butter softened
- 15 gms garlic cloves peeled and pounded
- 10 gms sea salt
- 12 gms anchovy fillets pounded
- 20 gms baby capers brined capers rinsed in cold water and salted capers blanched 3 times in boiling water.
- 18 gms red eshallot peeled and finely chopped
- 20 gms Dijon mustard
- 20 gms fresh dill fronds finely chopped
- 20 gms fresh Italian parsley leaves finely chopped
- black pepper freshly ground
- 1 tbls chardonnay vinegar
- 6 pieces salmon fillet skin on
- sea salt
- olive oil
- In a mortar and pestle pound the garlic with the salt.
- Add the eschallot, anchovies, capers and mustard and pound to a paste.
- Add the chopped herbs, chardonnay vinegar and several grindings of black pepper corns.
- Finally mix through the softened butter.
- The butter can be used immediately.
- Lay out clingfilm and place remaining butter in a log.
- Roll up the log and tie each end. Place in freezer for later use.
- Bring fillets out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking.
- Lightly salt the skin.
- Heat pan with olive oil and butter until the butter bubbles.
- Add fillets skin side down. Don't over crowd the pan. cook in batches if necessary.
- Cook till crisp.
- Flip fish and cook for another minute before removing from the pan to rest on a warm plate.
- Add 1 tbls of butter to the skin side up whilst it rests for it to melt.
Image credit: SBS Food, The Cook Up with Adam Liaw