There you are, staring down at the piece of raw meat on your bench and it's just laying there awaiting it's fate without the decency to even suggest what might be done with it. So many possibilities, but if you've left dinner until the last minute and have no idea what to do with it - give these little gems a go. If you have good quality meat, you'll need little more than some flavoured butter to kick it up a notch. You can trick up some butter ahead of time to have stored in the freezer ready to roll. Savoury butters are fantastic on a roast, steak, chicken, fish, pork, vegetables, sauces and anywhere you would usually use plain butter. Sweet butters are great on cakes, pancakes, toast, fresh homemade bread, muffins and to use in pastries, biscuit doughs etc.
The method for these is mostly all the same. Soften the butter, blend in the other ingredients with a fork or a mixer, put the butter onto some gladwrap and roll up into a log shape, twisting the ends to keep it tight. Store in the fridge for a few days or the freezer for a month or so. Just slice off medallions into single serves or melt it all down to garnish a whole dish.
Roasted Capsicum & Basil Butter - 100g butter, 1 small roasted red capsicum peeled, 1 tbs lemon juice, 1 tbs chopped basil, salt & pepper. Spread on crusty bread or focaccia, melt over a meaty fish or as a vegetable garnish.
Mai'tre D'Hotel Butter - 100g butter, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tbs lemon juice, 1/2 tbs parsley chopped. This is a classic French butter served with fish, meat and vegetables.
Caper & Anchovy Butter - 100g butter, 30g anchovies, few capers, dash lemon juice. Be sure to rinse the salt off the anchovies and capers. Use with grilled fish or cold white meat.
Trick it up some more: try thyme and lemon with fish, sundried tomato and olive on bruschetta, caremelised onion and balsamic or worcestershire and tabasco on steak, or a mixture of your favorite herbs to use on almost anything.
Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Butter - 100g butter, 2 tbs brown sugar, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Great for making cinnamon toast, baked apples, brushing over tea cakes or melting over pancakes.
Ginger & Orange Butter - 100g butter, 1tbs orange juice, 1tsp orange rind, 1tbs crystallised ginger chopped finely. Awesome on fresh bread, scones, fruitcake and used as the butter in a fruit crumble.
Citron Butter - 100g butter, 1 tbs lemon/lime/orange/grapefruit juice and 1tsp of the juice, add icing sugar to taste. Perfect for pancakes, on top of an orange cake, etc.
More: Mix butter with ground almonds for making cakes and pastries or cinnamon/nutmeg/allspice for stewed fruit desserts.
Just think about your flavours and view it as a glorified seasoning. The combinations are infinite, and there isn't much out there that can't be made better with the addition of some creamy butter.