As I learn to get the best results from my new Joule Sous Vide circulator, I check a number of sites and recommendations for each new item I cook. Often a writer will recommend marinating or adding oil and herbs to the cooking bag with meat or fish.
Sometimes a plan calls for searing with herbs and butter as in this guide for Butter-Basted Sous Vide Halibut from one of my food mentors Kenji Alt-Lopes over on Serious Eats.
It dawned on me that a lot of the time I spend preparing a bag of goodies for their sous vide bath includes using a Microplane or chopping ingredients to add to the bag or to use in the final sear in my trusty cast iron skillet.
Compound Butter is a Sous Vide Winner!
Kenji's recipe inspired me to make a compound butter of parsley, thyme, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and unsalted butter. I melted a bit in the microwave and mixed it with olive oil to add to the sous vide bag with the halibut. Another chunk was added to the pan when I was searing. As this melted, I tipped the pan and spooned the buttery mélange over the fish. The rest of the batch was popped into the freezer.
You can use a food processor to mix the flavor agents into your butter, but unless I'm making a large batch, I just mince my flavors together and use a fork to blend them into the butter right on my cutting board.
This technique not only allows you to prepare a bunch of small batches with different flavors, but it also makes cleanup a lot easier.
Form a log with the butter you are not going to use.
Wrap it, label it, and pop it in the freezer for your next sous vide adventure. With a selection of compound butters in your freezer, your next sous vide dish will take even less prep time.
What's on your Food Lover's shopping list?
Words: Penny Ed Cherubino
Photos: ©2017 Penny & Ed Cherubino