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   In its classic French version, beurre maître d’hôtel contains simply butter, chopped parsley and lemon juice. But many New Orleans cooks like to add a few personal touches, such as garlic, thyme, shallots and even Herbsaint, the anisette liqueur that originated in the city.
   Compound butters can provide a delightful finishing touch to an almost limitless number of dishes, especially grilled fish and poultry, and meats cooked in various ways. They also come in handy for finishing simple sauces and whenever you want to add a little extra flair to vegetables and starches.
   Maître d’hôtel butter, like all compound butters, can be shaped into a log and rolled in parchment paper and plastic for storage in the refrigerator or freezer. When needed, it is sliced as you would slice a log of cookie dough.
For about 9 tablespoons


• 1/4 pound unsalted butter, left at room temperature until very soft
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
• 2 tablespoons minced Italian (flat-leaf) parsley leaves
• 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1-1/2 teaspoons minced shallots
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients together in a medium-size mixing bowl, whisking until well blended.

Serving Suggestion
Use immediately, or roll in waxed or parchment paper into a log that is about 5 inches long and 1-1/4 inches in diameter, then wrap the log snugly in plastic wrap. The butter will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or frozen for up to two months.

Recipe from RALPH BRENNAN’S NEW ORLEANS SEAFOOD COOKBOOK by Ralph Brennan with Gene Bourg, photography by Kerri McCaffety (Vissi d’Arte Books; March 2008; $45.00/hardcover)


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