Chef's Blog

June 25, 2016

Start with Flavor, Finish with Flavor

from Chef Kevin Wassler

We stand there glaring at the pot, or the sauté pan, or the mixing bowl. “It’s missing something.” That ‘something’— an extra flavor component— would make this dish perfect. What if you were to combine all of those flavors into one convenient package?

Preparing compound butters to keep at your disposal allows you to reach for that extra element that you were missing. The simple combination of softened butter and a blend of various flavors lets you add another ingredient to your dish.

Prepared ahead of time, compound butters will help you finish with flavor— and Minor’s Ready to Flavor™ Bases and Flavor Concentrates are great starting points for creating house-made compound butters. My secret? Add a little Culinary Cream for stability, and you’ll ensure your butters will stay on top of the featured item, not separated and pooled at the bottom of the plate.

Using softened butter, add in your choice of Base or Flavor Concentrate to reach your taste balance. Then add in your optional ingredients: fresh herbs and citrus; mustard and honey; bacon and blue cheese. Roll into parchment paper and refrigerate for future use. They’re outstanding toppings for steaks and burgers— or even to finish off sauces for chops and fish.

Some concepts I’ve been using in the kitchen:

• Beef Base and horseradish for a butter to finish off grilled rib-eye. Add in fresh chopped parsley, chopped shallots, and white wine or lemon juice to peak some of those other flavors.
• Add Roasted Garlic Flavor Concentrate and Sautéed Vegetable Base to create a butter for sautéing vegetables.
• Spicy Maggi Seasoning adds a zesty touch to a butter for seafood and chicken. Maggi Red and Green Thai-style Curries step up that spiciness.

Flavor combinations that will answer that question of, what’s it missing?

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