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Lighter and less complicated than a sauce, compound butter imparts brightness, depth, and complexity to cooked seafood, meat, or vegetables.
Just a tablespoon dolloped on broiled salmon is an ingenious way to add a burst of flavor without adding fussy prep or exotic ingredients. Easy to make and keep on hand, one batch of compound butter provides 8 servings and stores in the fridge or freezer.
- 1 stick butter, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, tarragon, or parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
- In a small bowl, combine the butter, herbs, mustard, and lemon zest, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy.
- Using a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture into the center of a sheet of wax paper, parchment, or plastic wrap; shape into a log and twist the ends to seal.
- Refrigerate until firm (can freeze for up to two months).
- Soften to room temperature.
- Adjust oven rack to top third of oven and preheat broiler.
- Remove thawed fish portions from packaging, and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Coat each portion liberally with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange fish portions skin-side down in a medium cast-iron skillet, leaving space between portions.
- Broil 4–6 minutes, to an internal temperature of 120 F.
- Transfer to a serving platter and top each fish portion with a tablespoon of compound butter.