Orange Tarragon Compound Butter

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orange tarragonWe’ve all been there. You want to add a little pizzazz to your finished dish but just don’t have the time or inclination to go that final step and make a sauce. Enter the Compound Butter. Like a knight in shining (glistening?) armor, these handy little life savers can come straight from the fridge or freezer to the rescue, adding a distinctive depth and pop of flavor. A compound butter is simply a combination of softened butter and any mix of herbs and spices you can think of. Bolder flavors, like chilis, cumin or masalas can be paired with heavier proteins like beef, chicken, lamb or pork, while lighter fare, such as seafood or vegetables are better topped with a blend utilizing lighter herbs like dill, parsley or cilantro. Here, we combine the slightly sweet Orange Tarragon with fresh parsley, tarragon and orange zest for a delicate topping that will take your dish to a whole new level. It pairs well with roasted or grilled vegetables, fish and seafood or pasta. If you can, make the butter a day ahead of time, to let the flavors meld to their utmost. Then, if you want to freeze the butter, chill first, then cut into individual slices before rewrapping and freezing. You can also use a small scoop to make butter balls, or press the butter into decorative silicone molds.

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