A tablespoon of compound butter will run you about 102 calories but it will go a long way in adding flavor and in making a dish more special and used judiciously, that's a calorie and fat splurge I am willing to indulge in.
In this case, a savory Lemon-Miso compound Butter takes a brown rice and veggie bowl, topped with some mild-flavored local mahi mahi up a notch in flavor and helps make it a delicious dinner. The butter recipe comes from Heidi Swanson via her 101 Cookbooks Blog.
In addition to her Nori Compound Butter I made last month, Heidi Swanson has several posts with different varieties on her blog as well as inspiration for concocting your own flavors. Some of her compound butters include: Saffron Date Butter, Garlic Green Olive Butter , Scallion Dill Butter, and Roasted Strawberry Ginger Butter.
On this blog I have posted my own recipes for Lemon Piccata Butter, Watercress Butter, and Quick Middle Eastern Spiced Butter. I typically make a compound butter out of my favorite curry powder that I use on popcorn--so good! There is no end to the possibilities. If you are vegan or dairy free, you can use vegan butter substitute and still enjoy all of the flavor.
Lemon-Miso Compound Butter
Slightly Adapted from Heidi Swanson, 101 Cookbooks
Use a food processor to whip 1 stick (4 oz.) of room temperature unsalted butter until fluffy. Pulse in 1 tablespoon miso (I used white miso), zest of one lemon (or yuzu), 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon ground toasted cumin.
Taste and adjust if needed. (I added 1 Tbsp of lemon juice) Fold in the sesame seeds. (I didn't see an amount of sesame seeds so used 1 heaping Tbsp.) Great on: brown rice bowls, roasted delicate squash, sautéed vegetables, roasted tomatoes...
Heidi recommends storing your butter in the freezer in small amounts so that you can pop it out and add it to dishes. I like spooning at least some of the butter into a small silicone mold. (The molds I have are heart shaped and hold a scant tablespoon full of the butter.) I freeze the molds, then pop out the butter and store it in an airtight container. It looks pretty and fun and doesn't melt too quickly when you top something with it. Sometimes though, the compound butter doesn't make it out of the fridge before it gets used up. For example, some of this Lemon Miso butter is going to be added to a bunch of asparagus I just bought and will be steaming for dinner. Yum!
The Bowl: For my brown rice bowl, I used:
- 1 1/2 cups cooked sprouted brown rice
- Stir-fry mixture: 1 medium leek (white & light green parts only--cleaned, and sliced, thinly), a big handful of snow peas, (trimmed, but left whole), and two scallions, chopped; sauteed in 1/2 tsp macadamia oil + 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil and topped with toasted sesame seeds.
- Pan-seared Roma tomato
- about 6 oz of mahi mahi fillet, divided into two pieces, seasoned with salt, pepper, lemon and smoked paprika and grilled.
- 1 Tbsp Lemon Miso Compound Butter
Notes/Results: satisfying, filling and delicious, this bowl made a perfect Friday night dinner. The Lemon Miso Compound Butter adds a savory and tart flavor and umami to the fish and helped perk up the brown rice. I like the combination of the miso and lemon flavor with just a touch of spice from the cayenne and the toasty cumin flavor. I wanted a bit more lemon, so I added a tablespoon of the juice to my butter and was happy with the flavor. I found that with the miso, I didn't need to add salt but you should taste your butter for seasoning and add if needed. I plan on using up this compound butter on more fish and veggies--like the steamed asparagus mentioned above. I will happily make it again.
I'm linking this post up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is Accompaniments: Heidi Swanson recipes for sauces, condiments, toppings, spice blends of side dishes. You can see what people made by checking out the photo links on the post.
And, I'm linking this post up to the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.