Makes a little more than 1/2 cup
Mustard butter has numerous and varied uses. It is a handy thing to have on hand, and if you use it frequently, you might consider doubling the recipe and freezing half. It's good in emergencies, when you need to put together a good meal quickly. Toss it with pasta, use it to flavor a grilled cheese sandwich, broiled chicken, fish, or tomatoes, or with potatoes prepared in almost any fashion.
Blend together the butter and mustard by hand, using a fork, or in a food processor. If you are using a processor, add the remaining ingredients and pulse until the butter is smooth. Add salt to taste. If you are mixing by hand, mince the shallot, garlic, and parsley together and combine with the butter mixture. Add a few turns of black pepper and salt to taste.
Mustard butter can be stored for several days in the refrigerator, but it must be covered. Place it in a crock, or roll it in plastic wrap into a cylinder and chill it. It can then be sliced off in small, serving-size rounds or coins.
Single herb: Omit the Italian parsley, and add 2 teaspoons of chopped, fresh herbs to the butter and mustard mixture. Sage, rosemary, thyme, dill, oregano, and basil are all particularly good, but keep in mind that with the addition of fresh vegetable matter—especially basil, because of its high water content—the butters become more perishable.
Herb blends: Balanced mixtures of herbs are always good. Increase the total amount to one tablespoon, using one teaspoon of Italian parsley, along with equal amounts of oregano, thyme, and marjoram.
Cilantro: Omit the Italian parsley, add 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh cilantro, 1 teaspoon finely minced jalapeño or serrano pepper, and 2 teaspoons of lime juice. Gorgonzola Butter: Add 2 ounces of imported Gorgonzola cheese and 2 teaspoons of fresh minced rosemary to basic mustard butter.
Copyright 1996 by Michele Anna Jordan, author of The Good Cook's Book of Mustard. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.
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