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Types of Butter to Cook With

Types-of-Butter-to-Cook-With

The Types of Butter to Cook With varies wildly. Butter is a fat made by churning the cream of milk, most often from cows. India, the European Union, the United States, and New Zealand are the top butter producers. Due to its rich, creamy mouthfeel and sublime flavor, which no other product can come close to matching, butter is by far the preferred fat to use for many cooking applications, including everything from sauce making to baking or even just spreading on bread.

Used widely in cooking, for frying, baking and as a spread, butter is considered a staple food in many countries.  Butter is most commonly made from cow’s milk although can be produced from the milk of other mammals, like goats and buffalo.   Being derived from animal sources (dairy), butter is high in saturated fat. Butter is also often salted to improve the flavor when used as a spread.  Butter is not suitable for vegan diets. Many people substitute margarine for butter believing it to be more healthy, however not all margarines are created equal.  Be careful to choose margarines that contain no hydrogenated or trans fats and that have a low saturated fat content, otherwise butter may well be better for you.

Types of Butter to Cook With – Varieties

The typical butter is unsalted and in the category of sweet cream butter. You will also find salted butter, which has a small amount of salt added as a preservative. Clarified butter and ghee are the pure, golden butterfat from which the milk solids and water have been removed. It can be heated up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit before it starts to smoke and is preferred for making a roux. European butter can have as much as 86 percent fat. It is more flavorful, contains less water, and is better for making flaky pie dough or puff pastry. Europe also has more cultured (or sour) butter, which is lightly fermented to give it a tangy flavor.

Types of Butter – Compound Butters


Compound butters are both versatile and easy. They can be whipped together at a moments notice and are an easy way to add flavor to fish, poultry, and meat. Compound butters can also add flavor to vegetables or rice

Tarragon-Lime-Butter

Tarragon-Lime Butter

Beat butter with large fork in medium bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in scallions, tarragon, and lime juice until combined; season with salt and pepper to taste. Dollop 1 tablespoon butter per portion of fish, poultry, or meat and serve.

Tarragon-Lime Butter Ingredients

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened scallions, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Salt and ground black pepper

MAKES ENOUGH FOR 8 SERVINGS OF MEAT, POULTRY. OR FISH

Garlic-Herb-Butter

Garlic-Herb Butter

Beat butter with large fork in medium bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in garlic and herbs until combined; season with salt and pepper to taste. Dollop 1 tablespoon butter per portion of fish, poultry, or meat and serve.

Garlic-Herb Butter Ingredients

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
Salt and ground black pepper

MAKES ENOUGH FOR 8 SERVINGS OF
MEAT. POULTRY, OR FISH

Parsley-Caper-Butter

Parsley-Caper Butter

Beat butter with large fork in medium bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in parsley, lemon zest, and capers; season with salt and pepper to taste. Dollop 1 tablespoon butter per portion of fish, poultry, or meat and serve.

Parsley-Caper Butter Ingredients

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter,
1/4 softened cup minced fresh parsley
4 teaspoons grated lemon zest
4 teaspoons capers, rinsed and minced
Salt and ground black pepper

MAKES ENOUGH FOR 8 SERVINGS OF
MEAT, POULTRY, OR FISH

Blue-Cheese-Butter

Blue Cheese Butter

Beat butter with large fork in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. mix in blue cheese and brandy until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dollop 1 generous tablespoon butter per portion of fish, poultry, or meat and serve.

Blue Cheese Butter Ingredients

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 teaspoons brandy
Salt and ground black pepper

MAKES ENOUGH FOR 8 SERVINGS OF MEAT, POULTRY. OR FISH

Tapenade-Butter

Tapenade Butter

Beat butter with large fork in medium bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in chopped olives, thyme garlic, anchovy, brandy, and orange zest until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dollop 1 generous tablespoon butter per portion of fish, poultry, or meat and serve.

Tapenade Butter Ingredients

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
10 oil-cured black olives, pitted and chopped fir
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 anchovy fillet, rinsed and minced
1 tablespoon brandy
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh orange zest Salt and ground black pepper

MAKES ENOUGH FOR 8 SERVINGS OF
MEAT, POULTRY, OR FISH

Rosemary – Parmesan Butter

Beat butter with large fork in medium bowl light and fluffy. Mix in cheese, rosemary, garlic and red pepper Oakes until combined; season salt and pepper to taste. Dollop 1 generous tea spoon butter per portion of fish, poultry, or meat and serve.

Rosemary – Parmesan Butter Ingredients

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
4 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and ground black pepper

Makes enough for 8 servings of meat, poultry or fish

Types of Butter to Cook With – Butter Recipes

A lot of people say that butter makes everything taste better. There’s some truth to that because it’s used in almost every type of recipe you can think of. Bread, cookies, cake, sauce, ice cream, and even beverages use butter. It works equally well in meat, seafood, and vegetable dishes, too.

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