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I only use unsalted butter. Seriously. I like being able to control the amount of salt that goes into what I am making. Call me crazy, a control freak, or whatever you want. The fact is that adding salt (yourself) is a great way to form your taste, to find what you like. I, personally, prefer using Kosher salt via sea salt (except for cooking pasta) or table salt because of its large crystals.
Back to butter.

One of my favorite things to do is make my own compound butter. Garlic, roasted garlic, rosemary, roasted garlic AND rosemary…You get my drift 😉
Making your own compound butter is a simple and easy way to add an extremely personal touch to whatever you are making. Is there any real comparison between this

 

and this:

?

Of course not. Homemade is better.

My point is how easy it is to elevate something simple as garlic bread, or crostinis by taking 5 minutes and making your own compound butter.

For ex let me lay out an easy garlic butter. You will need butter, garlic cloves, olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder (since powdered garlic hits your palate differently than fresh).
It goes roughly like this:

  1. grab 1 stick unsalted butter. warm it up a bit, but don’t melt it.
  2. grab (and clean if necessary) 6 garlic cloves and mince.
  3. in a bowl combine butter and minced garlic.
  4. add 2 tsp of olive oil.
  5. add 2 pinches of kosher salt
  6. add a pinch (preferably fresh ground, but it doesn’t have to be) black pepper
  7. add a sprinkle of garlic powder
  8. mix together

Don’t you love the precise measurements?
At this point you can keep adding salt, pepper and garlic powder and olive oil to suit your own taste. Be careful not to overdo it though. You can always put more in, but once you add something in you can’t take it out. Normally, after I am done incorporating the ingredients I put the butter into the fridge (or freezer if I am pressed for time) to let it set up a little bit.

This butter is useful for so many things. I’ve used it for: making garlic bread, sauteing veggies, cooking chicken, putting on noodles, in a pan sauce, or in a pasta sauce. Really, the sky is the limit. You could even melt it down and use it as a dipping sauce for something!

This is all about empowering you, the cook, to find a way of making it that you really enjoy. Own it! Make it yours! In doing that you add a personal touch to what you are doing. Adding a personal touch to your food is what makes it your food and it’s what makes it worth sharing.

What are you waiting for?

~Jon

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