Compound Butter for Freezing

Compound-Butter

Making compound butter is an easy way to preserve fresh garden herbs. Try making butter with a single herb or a mix of several. I like to use combinations of sage, thyme, oregano, rosemary and basil. This post was updated on October 7, 2014.

Stalwart rosemary, buttoned-up thyme, flirty sage, cheerful oregano: I can’t pull off Thanksgiving without them. Frustratingly, I know that they will go into hibernation mode, turning dark and shriveled for the winter, about a month before the holiday feast. It is their time to truly shine, and I’m going to be stuck buying them from the grocery store instead of using them fresh out of the garden? A tragedy. And that’s why I’m making herby compound butter now, and freezing it until November. I’m making two batches with oregano, thyme and rosemary, and another with just sage.  Later, I’ll slice them to stuff under the skin of our turkey, to brown and simmer with winter squash and to blend into mashed potatoes.

Thyme

Making your own herb compound butter is incredibly easy. Here’s all you need:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh herb leaves

To make your herb butter:

  1. Blend the butter with the herbs until completely mixed.
  2. Press the butter onto a sheet of plastic wrap into a long, narrow log. It doesn’t need to look pretty; it will get smoothed out later!
  3. Fold the short ends of the plastic wrap in, then tightly roll up the butter in the plastic wrap lengthwise, just like the way you roll a burrito. Roll the wrapped butter back and forth on the counter to create a smooth, round log.
  4. Wrap the butter log in a piece of aluminum foil. Label and freeze.

To freeze your herb butter:

Wrap the compound butter tightly in plastic wrap, then in foil. Butter picks up odors easily, so the foil will protect it from developing off-flavors from the other foods in your freezer. The butter should be used within 2-3 months.


Chicken Tinga Taquitos with Avocado Cream for #SundaySupper

Chicken Tinga Taquitos | Savvy Eats

The summer after freshman year of college, Dan and I both spent the summer in Madison, working in research labs. Work-wise, it wasn’t the best experience – my advisor would disappear for days at a time, and it was over a month before I actually received any training for what I was hired to do. But in all other aspects, it was one of my favorite summers: we spent our evenings and weekends riding our bikes around Madison, attending various festivals and events and watching movies at one of our sublets (usually mine. Dan lived with three guys who weren’t the most hygienic, so we both preferred to hang out at the house where I was subletting a room).

It was our first summer on our own, away from our parents and the dorm dining halls, and we didn’t know how to cook much. So we always kept a box of taquitos in the freezer, and ate them for dinner a few times a week, usually with baby carrots or some frozen vegetables.

As I taught myself to cook and started paying a little more attention to the nutritional value of what I was eating, the taquitos slowly got phased out of our freezer. We hadn’t eaten them in years, up until the week before we left for Jamaica last month.

I was trying to empty out our freezer, since we were going to be away for nine days.  The Wednesday before we left, I grabbed a big container of salad greens and a box of taquitos to get us through some of the last few pre-vacation dinners.

Chicken Tinga Taquitos

While the taquitos were less unhealthy than I expected them to be, and still pretty tasty, I knew I could make something even better. So as soon as we got back, I challenged myself to come up with an even better taquito recipe…and with these chicken tinga taquitos, I’m pretty sure I succeeded!

And this avocado cream? It is more of an avocado ranch dip. And I just want to use it on everything – as a dip for taquitos, sure, but also on salads and in scrambled eggs. It may just become a regular staple in our refrigerator. While it does contain some mayonnaise, much of the mayo and all of the sour cream and buttermilk from a typical ranch dressing is replaced by avocado and fat-free Greek yogurt, making it much lighter and healthier. So I don’t have to feel quite as guilty for using it on everything!

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