No matter how good the meal is, one of my favorite parts of the restaurant experience is the bread service. And while the bread itself is usually the star, it wouldn't even make an impact without a killer butter to smother all over it.
But the euphoric bread and butter experience doesn't have to be relegated to just dining out. Check out these 5 Fancy Butters You Can Make At Home:
Filled with fresh herbs and spices, this butter makes the perfect garlic bread. But don't stop at just bread; try a dollop on top of grilled chicken, let it ooze over a juicy steak, or spread it over fresh sweet corn.
To make: Lightly sauté 2 cloves of minced garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil and let cool. Combine with 1 stick unsalted butter, 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, 2 tbsp lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper. For a spicier take, add crushed red pepper.
This chunky, salty butter is best served on a warm, crusty loaf of bread or smoothed onto seeded breadsticks.
To make: Let 1 stick butter soften at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a food processor, chop 1-2 cloves garlic. Add softened butter and 1/4 cup pitted Italian olives (green, brown). Shape and set in fridge to harden.
This sweet, nutty butter is fantastic on toasted raisin bread, but it may be even better scooped onto warm, fluffy pancakes.
To make: In a food processor, chop 1/2 cup toasted walnuts. Mix in 1 stick room temperature butter, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 cup good-quality pure maple syrup. Shape and set in fridge to harden.
Paprika & Roasted Red Pepper Butter
Serve this smoky, savory butter with toasted pita chips or spoon onto baked fish or chicken.
To make: Bring 1 stick of butter to room temperature and mix with 3 tbsp chopped roasted red peppers, 1 tsp hot smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Shape and set in fridge to harden.
Rum Raisin Butter
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Try spreading this sweet, raisin-filled butter onto Challah bread or freshly baked muffins.
To make: Whip 1 stick room temperature butter until fluffy. Mix in 3 tbsp chopped raisins, 2 tbsp spiced rum, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tbsp honey. Taste and add honey as needed. Shape and set in fridge to harden.