When corn finally reaches its peak, we eat it off the cob practically every night of the week. Although there’s nothing wrong with straight-up butter and a little salt, softened butter is a perfect vehicle for any number of flavors, making it easy to get those seasonings onto your corn. It’s an easy way to get creative – and involve the kids – by experimenting with fresh herbs, dried spices, citrus, chiles – use your imagination and put away a stash of compound butters to use throughout the summer not only on corn, but fresh fish, steamed veggies and grilled steaks.
Making your own compound butter couldn’t be easier. Start with a stick – or 1/2 cup – of butter. Salted is fine. Make sure it’s at room temperature, or soft enough that you leave a fingerprint if you poke it.
The flavorings you add are up to you – try chopped fresh herbs, crushed garlic, spices, grated citrus zest, or finely grated Parmesan cheese. There are ideas for flavor combinations below. Finely chop or grate herbs and citrus so that they’re spreadable in the butter.
Beat the softened butter with the ingredients of your choice until well blended. Scoop the mixture into a sandwich-sized Hefty Slider Bag, press out the air, shaping it into a log at the bottom of the bag, seal and roll the excess bag around it. If you want smaller coins, use a larger Hefty Slider Bag.
Chill until the log of butter is solid, then unwrap and slice into coins. Store any unused butter back in the bag.
Chili-Lime Butter: to 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, add 2 tsp. chili powder and the finely grated zest of a lime.
Garlicky Herbed Butter: to 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, add 1 finely crushed clove of garlic, and 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, sage, basil and parsley – a combination is delicious.
Lemon-Basil Butter: to 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, add the finely grated zest of a lemon, juice of half a lemon, and 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil.
Honey & Blue Cheese Butter: to 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, add 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese and 1 Tbsp. honey.
Pesto Butter: to 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, add 1-2 Tbsp. basil or red pepper pesto.
Black Pepper-Parmesan Butter: to 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, add 1/4-1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese and 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper.