Fusion of Fast Flavor - Cilantro, Lime & Feta Compound Butter

Compound butter is just a fancy way of saying butter with yummy stuff mixed in. If you really want to strut your culinary stuff, announce this sophisticated (yet simple) creation in the manner a snooty waiter might in an expensive French restaurant --  beurre composé. Now that you’ve got that rolling off your tongue, it’s time to let your taste buds have a little rendezvous with remarkable flavor. Compound butters are so quick and easy to make, there is absolutely no cooking involved. Just mash together room temperature butter with any number of herbs, spices or aromatic liquids – you can even get creative with cheeses or finely chopped nuts.  After the ingredients have been incorporated into the softened butter, just plop the mixture onto plastic wrap and roll it up into a “log” or pour into ramekins and then chill.  Voilà, after the butter firms up, you have a secret weapon ready to save the day by adding huge flavor in a hurry to steaks, seafood, pastas, vegetables and any other food that is better buttered!

If you agree that everything is better buttered but are concerned about busting your diet - don’t worry! While it’s true that butter is high in fat, nutritionists report that natural, animal-derived saturated fat is essential for the absorption of powerful disease-fighting antioxidants. Butter helps your body make use of those healthy, colorful vegetables on your plate. When you use a compound butter, it is so densely packed with flavor that you only need to use a small amount to create a big taste explosion – a little dab will do you.

Cilantro-Lime-Feta Compound Butter Mixing Bowl

 

 Cilantro-Lime-Feta Compound Butter Toasts

I am continuing my love affair with compound butters and Litehouse Food’s Instantly Fresh Herbs by whipping up make-ahead batches to keep in the freezer.  As a general rule of thumb, compound butters will last about four days in the refrigerator but up to six weeks in the freezer.  What a busy-day blessing to know I can grill up something simple or sauté seasonal vegetables and turn a bland, boring meal into a dinner my family will be drooling over.

 Cilantro-Lime-Feta Compound Butter Salmon

This week, I already had the following five ingredients on hand - - butter, feta cheese, limes, Instantly Fresh Cilantro and salt. So I decided to make Cilantro, Lime and Feta Butter. Storing the Litehouse Foods Instantly Fresh line of freeze-dried herbs in the pantry is like having a never-ending garden at my disposal. The Cilantro, Lime and Feta Butter has a tart and tangy flavor; I have found many ways to incorporate this savory butter into my menu. For a delicious prelude to dinner, I spread the fresh butter on slices of sourdough baguettes. I then melted two tablespoons of the Cilantro, Lime and Feta Butter into a sauté pan and mixed it with the lingering juices from cooking the vegetables to make a light, contemporary shrimp and summer veggie pasta.

 Corn on the Cob with Cilantro-Lime-Feta Compound Butter

The next night, I finished off the remaining Cilantro, Lime and Feta Butter by softening it back up, mixing in a bit of cayenne pepper, and using it to add some spicy heat to a batch of grilled corn on the cob.

Cilantro, Lime & Feta Compound Butter

Serves 28 (based on 1 Tbsp. serving size) | Finish in 10 minutes plus chilling time
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It's okay to splurge every now and again!

Ingredients

½ lb unsalted butter (2 sticks)
2 Tbs.p fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. lime zest
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. Litehouse® Instantly Fresh Cilantro
1 package (4-oz.) Litehouse® Feta Cheese Crumbles

Directions

In medium bowl, let butter soften to room temperature. Add Litehouse® Feta Cheese Crumbles, Litehouse® Instantly Fresh cilantro, lime juice, lime zest and salt.  Mix together with spatula until combined; cheese should still be lumpy.
 
Spread a 1-foot long piece of plastic wrap on the countertop.  Scoop out butter and spread into a “log” into the center of plastic wrap. Pull up long sides of plastic wrap and roll butter into a tight cylinder; secure ends with string or twist ties.
 
Refrigerate for 3 hours or freeze for 1 hour to firm butter up. Lasts up to 4 days chilled and up to 6 weeks in freezer.

Makes 1 ¾ cups.


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