In The Afternoon Tea Book (New York 1986), Michael Smith includes a number of intriguing compound butters intended primarily for complementing the fillings of tea sandwiches but, as he notes, also suitable for melting over grilled birds, fish and meat. This and the following recipe for pate and artichoke butter are two of our favorites.
The Editor has increased her usual quantities for these two compound butters because she found it awkward to work with smaller amounts.
-4 oz (8 Tablespoons or 1 stick) unsalted butter
-½ teaspoon salt
-1 Tablespoon homemade or canned tomato sauce, or pureed tomatoes
-1 heaped teaspoon orange zest
-at least ½ heaped teaspoon curry powder
-hot sauce or cayenne to taste if your curry is mild
- Spin the ingredients in a food processor until the texture and color are uniform.
- Push the compound butter through a strainer to smooth out the orange zest, place in a covered container and chill.
- We have nothing against canned tomato sauce for a recipe like this and do believe that Goya is by far the best product.
- You obviously could use lemon or lime instead of orange but the Editor likes the slightly sweeter orange tones with the curry.
- When you do not want the curry, make tomato butter instead. This is not at all Italian. Puree a stick of butter with about 2 ounces of tomato sauce or one of the alternatives, a half teaspoon brown (preferred) or white sugar, ¼ teaspoon mace, powdered rosemary or rubbed sage, ½ teaspoon salt, 1-2 teaspoons dry to medium Sherry or tawny Port and pepper or cayenne to taste. If the wine is chilled it will be difficult to mix with the butter.