In “Flavored Butters” ($12.95), author Lucy Vaserfirer delivers a number of variations on compound butter that surprise — French radishes, caviar, truffles — going beyond classics like garlic butter.
These butters can transform a grilled steak, steamed vegetables or pasta.
To make them, simply mix as directed, then chill before using.
Or shape them into a log first, following her directions:
To form into a log: Place the finished butter in the center of a sheet of parchment (or wax) paper. Bring the top of the paper over the butter. Press the butter into a log. Roll the log up in the paper and twist the ends in opposite directions. Chill until firm.
Blend 1 stick softened unsalted butter, 1 clove garlic, grated, 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted, ground, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and 1 pinch hot red pepper flakes.
Force 4 chipotles in adobo sauce through a fine-mesh sieve to remove skins/seeds. Blend the puree with 1 stick softened unsalted butter, 1 clove garlic, grated, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and a generous pinch toasted, ground cumin.
Put 6 dried apricot halves in a small bowl; cover with boiling water. Soak until rehydrated, 10-12 minutes. Drain apricots on paper towels, 1 minute. Pulse apricots in food processor with 1 stick softened unsalted butter, ¼ cup sliced toasted almonds, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and ¼ teaspoon vanilla.