From its garlicky yogurt bed to its perfectly poached egg to its pretty quick prep time, there’s so much that I love about Annie Petito’s recipe for çılbır, a hot meze and light meal cooked in homes all over Turkey. My favorite part, though, has to be the dish’s stunning finishing touch: A spiced red-orange butter that’s poured over the plated egg and yogurt just before serving.
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In addition to making for striking color contrast, this butter infuses the whole dish with richness, toastiness, and gentle spice. Better yet, for all that complexity, this topper consists of only two ingredients: If you’ve got a jar of red pepper flakes in the spice drawer (Turkish pul biber are most traditional; Aleppo pepper works too) and a couple of tablespoons of butter in the fridge, you can whip up a batch in minutes. Here’s how:
How to Make Turkish Spiced Butter
- Heat two tablespoons of unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it sputters.
- Stir in 1 teaspoon of pul biber or ground dried Aleppo pepper.
- Remove the pan from the heat and serve immediately.
With a method this simple, there’s no need to limit making spiced butter to when you’re making çılbır: Pretty much anything can benefit from a ruddy drizzle. Here are a few more ideas for how to put this butter to work in your kitchen.
4 More Ways to Use Turkish Spiced Butter
Stir Into a Dip
The striking red of this butter instantly jazzes up a monochrome dip like yogurt dip, feta dip, or hummus.
Drizzle over roasted vegetables
Roast a batch of broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, or potatoes and top with a drizzle of spiced butter for the simplest of side dishes.
Spoon over corn on the cob
Top roasted fish fillets
Mild white fish serves as a blank canvas that lets this vibrant condiment shine.
And of course, if you end up with extra butter, It’s quick and easy to whip up a plate of çılbır to go with it.