Pot Luck

Filet Mignon with Texas Maitre D' Butter

Maitre d' hotel butter is a flavored butter traditionally made by mixing butter with parsley, lemon, salt and pepper. A pat of the green butter once was a typical garnish with a piece of fish or a chop. It's known as compound butter these days, and the flavorings vary widely. After you mix some up, you can roll it into a log, keep it in the freezer and slice some off when you need it.

Substituting cilantro for parsley was a favorite twist on green butter during the heyday of Southwestern cuisine. My personal favorite is chile butter made with a whole ancho. Chile butter is especially good with grilled corn on the cob. I also topped a grilled filet mignon with ancho chile butter recently. It sure sparks up a steak.

Recipe after the jump.

Chile Butter (from The Tex-Mex Grill, Broadway Books, 2010)

One dried chile 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened Sea salt to taste

Stem and seed the chile and soften in hot water for ten minutes. Cut the chile flesh into slices. Combine the chile, garlic, butter, and salt in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Put the butter mixture in the refrigerator for an hour to allow the flavors to develop.

Remove the butter from the bowl with a rubber spatula and place on a length of foil or parchment paper and roll into a one-and-one-half-inch-wide log, squeezing to remove any air pockets and rolling to shape the cylinder evenly. Freeze until ready for use.

For steaks, allow the butter to soften until it's easy to slice. Then cut the butter into disks (don't try to unwrap it, just cut through the foil and then remove the foil). Put a cold disk of flavored butter on top of a sizzling steak. For grilled corn and other uses, let a portion of the chile butter thaw and spread as needed.

Will keep in the freezer for several months.

Variation: Herb butter: Use four tablespoons minced cilantro or parsley instead of the chile and add a little lemon juice.

Makes eight ounce-ounce portions.

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Robb Walsh
Contact: Robb Walsh