I ate too much for Thanksgiving and I need some detox.
Seriously. We finished pies and then made more pies. We took it to a whole ‘nother level.
Now I’m looking for clean food like that grilled chicken. But there is no need to leave that chicken naked, juicy as it may be.
I usually reserve compound butters for hot weather, since they provide a sauce with no long simmering on the stove and seem to just fit with a crisp glass of white wine, but after the Thanksgiving gluttony the simplicity and lightness are welcome.
If you’re going to make compound butter, you might as well make a bunch of it for the freezer. You can toss it on any grilled meat, slather it on hot pasta with veggies, on steamed vegetables, or even just rub it onto a loaf of good bread.
I’m embarrassed to admit the number of times I’ve had buttered La Brea sourdough from Costco for dinner. I’m not embarrassed to admit the number of times I’ve made an impromptu dinner for guests with herb butter, frozen spinach ravioli, and some steamed veggies. The butter just gives everything a lift out of the ordinary.
By all means, don’t stop with these ingredients and don’t feel the need to run to the store. If you haven’t got oregano, use basil. If you haven’t got a lemon, use an orange. If you don’t have a bottle of wine open, just omit it.
What am I saying? Open a bottle.
Sun-dried Tomato and Oregano Butter
The acidity of tomato, lemon, and white wine cut the richness of the butter and keep it from feeling heavy on the tongue. Once it melts, you have a lovely casual sauce for grilled chicken or fish. Adapted from Cooking at Home with the Culinary Institute of America.
4 tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbs. sun-dried tomatoes, minced (see note)
2 tbs. fresh oregano, minced
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. dry white wine
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
Use a rubber spatula to blend soft butter with other ingredients.If all of the liquid doesn’t mix in well, don’t worry about it. Just leave the excess in the bowl when you remove the butter.
Lay a long piece of plastic wrap flat on the counter.Use the spatula or your hands to lay the butter down in a roughly oblong shape.Roll the plastic around it. Grab both ends and twist tightly.The pressure will smooth out the butter and make a nice cylinder.
Chill in the refrigerator until firm. (Or pop in the freezer for a few minutes.) Remove plastic wrap and slice into pats for serving.
Melt pats onto hot meats, veggies, or pasta.
Keeps one week in the fridge or several weeks in the freezer.Wrap well, as the butter can absorb flavors from other foods.
Note:I use fairly soft sun-dried tomatoes that are packed dry in vacuum-sealed bags.Tomatoes packed in oil would work well too.If you have rock-hard tomatoes, plump them in hot water for a few minutes to soften.