Life is a bit crazy at the moment.
Summer has ended and fall is screaming loud and clear that winter will soon arrive. It’s not the thought of snow that’s gotten me crazy; I love snow! It’s that my New Year’s resolutions may have been a tad optimistic in 2011. I now have 75 days to complete the following:
- Become fluent in Spanish
- Learn to sew
- Perfect the soufflé
- Regularly practice yoga
- Become a calmer, more centered person
This <sigh> reality has caused sheer panic to run through my veins every waking moment. Oh and did I mention: I’m also running a marathon in 3 weeks (my first, no less)? I have a feeling that becoming a calm person is going to be a struggle this year.
When my elaborate plans for a fresh Salmon fillet were dashed by a long run that went well into dinner time, I decided to try something different: compound butter. Its easy to make, you have total creative control, and it lasts longer than my resolutions. I whipped up a batch to add flavor to my salmon and then froze the rest, to be used later on just about anything.
The recipe was inspired by my love for salmon and fresh basil. I used one of my favorite books, The Flavor Bible, to choose flavors that would compliment the salmon and each other. The compound butter turned out perfect and dinner was great!
Basil and Orange Confit Compound Butter
Makes about 1/4 lb butter
You will need:
~ 1 stick of butter (1/4 lb)
~ 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
~ 1 tablespoon orange zest or chopped orange confit
~ 1 teaspoon olive oil
~ Salt and pepper to taste
Let the butter reach room temperature before mixing.
In a food processor, add butter (cut into ½ inch slices), oil, basil, and orange peel.
Continue to process for a few minutes until the basil and orange peel are evenly mixed throughout the butter. Season with salt and pepper.
Cut a piece of wax or parchment paper into a rectangle (big enough to roll the butter onto). Roll the butter into a rectangular shape on the paper and fold up each side of the paper like a package. Place in the fridge to harden.
You can freeze it for as long as the original butter allows (usually at least 6 months). Then add it to spice up something boring like baked chicken, salmon, or quinoa!