We’re all in agreement that everything is better with butter, yes? But to make butter—and anything you serve it on—even better, turn it into a compound butter.
Compound butters are one of the best ways to add next-level flavor using only a few ingredients. We used them in many of the recipes in our new book Five-Ingredient Dinners, and one of our favorite versions was the Spicy Honey Butter that we dolloped on grilled flank steak and zucchini.
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The combination of butter, shallot, cayenne, and honey hits all the right notes. The shallot adds bite, cayenne contributes heat, and the honey’s subtle sweetness rounds it all out. When dolloped over quick-cooking, savory flank steak and tender, delicately sweet zucchini, the butter melts and turns into a rich, luxurious sauce.
But with a compound butter this good and this simple, why limit it to steak and zucchini? Dollop this Spicy Honey Butter on grilled chicken, toss it with sautéed vegetables, even slather it on biscuits (or just about any other baked good you can get your hands on). This butter will make it all taste better.
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One of the keys to a successful compound butter is making sure that the butter is at room temperature. (Trying to mix shallot and honey into a cold piece of butter is an exercise in futility.) A straight-from-the-refrigerator stick of butter typically takes about two hours on the countertop to reach room temperature, but you can speed that up by cutting the butter into small pieces and letting it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes. To speed it up even more, place the small pieces of butter on a microwave-safe plate and microwave at 50 percent power for 5 to 10 seconds. If it gives to light pressure, it’s ready to use. If not, heat it for another 5 to 10 seconds.
Spicy Honey Butter
Makes 4 tablespoons
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Soften butter then mash with shallot, honey, and cayenne in bowl until combined.