I once saw a chef whispering his secret for great steaks as putting a pat of butter on top once it is plated. I tried it and I’ll be if that didn’t make my steak even better than without!
It should not be a surprise. Fat and sugar make everything better. Our palettes are literally made for it.
But we must of course be judicious and choose when and how much.
You have no doubt seen people making and using compound butters on almost every cooking show or video by now. I must encourage you to stop avoiding it. This is a real game changer.
I first tried a Honey-Cinnamon butter for hot rolls. Perfection.
Next an Thyme-Rosemary one for said steak. Seriously can’t live without now.
Then a Berry butter for pancakes… still needs syrup, but wowza.
Yesterday made a Sage butter and a Sage-Black Pepper butter to test for Thanksgiving. (Yes, it is coming up and I am already testing for it, but I promise not to stress you out or make you feel guilty about holiday meal prep. Plenty of competition out there already for that.) We toasted some ciabatta and found the herb and pepper butter to be divine.
So: for you, I prescribe thinking of the flavors that you favor and creating your own compound butters. Try them on meat, on vegetables, on breads, on pancakes and waffles. You can use herbs, or spices, or fruit, or honey/maple syrup/molasses. Go ahead and use up your dried herbs and spices; don’t be intimidated into using only fresh herbs. It really requires no recipe, you’ll want to try it and taste it to suit, but here is a link to give you an idea of ratios.
So create some. Don’t start out too fancy. Maybe just one item in there, taste, and then expand. Place in freezer, labeled of course. And rev up your meals.
Oh, and here is a bonus. Since you are going to have these in your freezer, you can quickly and cheaply give a very well received hostess gift on the spur of the moment. Every hostess will appreciate this homemade gift and you will be a star – no boring bottles of wine or store-bought pies from you! (You can even mix up a vegan version in case your hostess is vegan: homemade or with store-bought vegan butter.)