Chef's Blog

March 13, 2016

Reinventing Compound Butters

from Chef Allan Gazaway

While working recently with a group Chefs we developed a simple, yet very flavorful chimichurri butter that has the flavor of both traditional herbs and roasted beef. Roasted beef? That’s right. And it is stable enough to perform throughout service without separating. Here’s how we did it.

Let’s start at the beginning…in the late 1900’s there was a culinary innovation that swept menus around the country. As simple as the concept was, it seemed that it would be a standard for the ages. What better way to finish a protein than a flavor carrying pat of butter? Combining different flavors and the richness of butter seemed to be a perfect marriage.

Then the reality of service and appearance caused this new idea to be cast to the side— or rather to the bottom of the plate. When subjected to heat, compound butters inevitably melted and slipped to the bottom of the plate—creating a rather unsightly and unappealing pool.

Remember back in the day when we fought against separation of melted butters and vinaigrettes? Master sauciers experimented with gums and gelatins with varying degrees of success. Chefs like Thomas Keller and others found that xantham gum was the savior by bringing stability to our butters and emulsions. At Minor’s®, we started down this road years prior with a product called Culinary Cream™. Culinary Cream combines real cream and butter, but also utilizes xantham gum and guar gum to stabilize the most troublesome of sauces.

Fast forward to the present. Thanks to these adventuresome pioneers, we can have the same full-flavored compound butters without sweating it out over them melting and pooling to the bottom of the plate. And now, we have the ability to utilize protein flavors too.

Thanks to Minor’s all-new Ready to Flavor™ process, we can add protein flavors like chicken, beef and seafood by mixing direct into a cold application—no heating required. This increased capability of Minor’s Bases and Flavor Concentrates line allows us to do whatever we desire to achieve the very best flavor—and at any point in the preparation process. With Ready to Flavor Bases and a little Culinary Cream, we can produce simple, yet flavorful compound butters that perform as a cream sauce too.

So that’s our ‘secret’. A teaspoon of Ready to Flavor beef base and a dollop of Culinary Cream to stabilize the emulsion.

Every day as Chefs we look to provide our guests with an impactful experience, and in that pursuit we have to utilize every tool available to us. Having been a restaurant owner and Chef, the ability to reach back to some of the simple things, and reinvent classic techniques, is a very exciting proposition. Life is nothing without flavor! Bon appetit.

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