Compound butters are an easy alternative to more complex sauces. Make them ahead of time and keep them in the freezer, slicing off a pat as needed. They can be modestly to highly flavorful to enhance the main ingredient.
Compound butters are meant to be decorative: not simply melted butter, but punctuated with seasonings and/or color. In addition to the recipe below for crawfish butter, try these compound butter recipes: citrus butters, savory butters, spiced butters and sweet butters.
Served with anything from toasted French bread to grilled fish, oysters or shrimp, this delectable butter will spice up your meal with a Cajun zest. Thanks to chef Michael O’Boyle of Chicken Fried Gourmet in Shreveport, Louisiana, for the recipe.
3 sticks unsalted butter
1 pound crawfish tails (if you can’t find crawfish, substitute another shellfish)
5-6 cloves of whole garlic
1 shallot diced
3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning*
1/3 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of dried basil
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
*You can make your own: Combine 2 tablespoons paprika, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon dried oregano and 1 teaspoon dried thyme. Use leftover spice on popcorn.
1. Leave butter to soften at room temperature for 1 hour before starting recipe.
2. Sauté crawfish with 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add wine and garlic and simmer till evaporated. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
3. In a food processor combine butter, crawfish and rest of ingredients. Process until all ingredients are incorporated evenly throughout butter.
4. Spread butter mixture out on a plastic wrap and roll into a log. Wrap with a second coating of plastic wrap and seal the ends by twisting. Place in a sealed bag and freeze till solid.
5. Slice off as needed and think of different ways to use it in your everyday cooking: fry breakfast eggs in it, flavor mashed potatoes and cooked vegetables, use on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise.