Compound (Butter) Interest
There are so many points of debate within the world of steak cookery and consumption, it's hard to pick one topic to focus on. Everyone has an opinion on what makes a great steak eating experience. Some people are purists, wanting nothing more than the taste of the beef, while others take the creative route, marinating, crusting, saucing, or otherwise embellishing the meat for added flair.The method one chooses for actually cooking the meat is another great area for discussion, with outdoor grilling or indoor cast iron searing heading up the opposing camps.
As for me, I'm a steak eater that swears loyalty to both sides; sometimes all I want is a plain, perfectly charred piece of meat, while other times I like to get busy with a pre-cooking marinade and a savory sauce for serving. Most of the time I find myself outside grilling the steaks (over charcoal, never gas!), but there are occasions when my screaming hot cast iron skillet has turned out some wonderfully crusty chops, too.
Something that I believe almost everyone can agree on, however, is the fact that a little butter melting on top of a perfectly cooked steak is an indisputably glorious sight to behold. At Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago, where I'm a chef instructor, we teach our students right from the first day of beef cookery how to make an array of different compound butters (beurre compose in French) to top off grilled and sauteed meats, poultry, and fish fillets. It's quite possibly one of the simplest and most user-friendly sauce options out there. Any ingredients you happen to have on hand, chop them up small, fold them into some room temperature butter, season with salt and pepper, and voila!… an almost instant sauce. Some obvious ingredient options might include things like fresh herbs, grainy mustard, anchovies, garlic, shallots, roasted peppers, citrus zest, strong cheeses, spices, fresh cracked pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, or capers.The possibilities are endless, but one general rule I try to have my students stick to is to use no more than three main flavoring ingredients. Any more and the focus gets lost in too much complexity.
Here's one of my favorites; for four good size steaks, cut one stick of unsalted butter into pats and allow to come to room temperature in a mixing bowl. Season lightly with salt and fresh cracked black pepper, then crumble in a handful of you favorite blue cheese (Maytag goat blue from Iowa is always a winner), and a tablespoon or so of minced chives. Mix well, roll it into a log in a piece of plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm. As soon as your meat comes off the heat for its resting period, slice the butter into disks and place a few on top of each steak. Enjoy!
Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges
- Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
- Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
- Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
- Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
- Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
- Flexible Scheduling
- Financial Aid
- Transferable Credits
- Each campus features a public restaurant where culinary students work under the direction of professional chefs for real-world experience.
- Hosts Platt College’s Food Fight, a friendly dessert competition for students held once a month.
- Offers programs in culinary arts, nursing, and healthcare.
- Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (AFC) and Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
- 5 campuses in Lawton, North and Central Oklahoma City, Moore, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
- Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
- Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
- Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
- Has student housing available.
- Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
- Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
- An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
- 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
- Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
- Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
Baker College is the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. Our mission is to prepare you for meaningful employment.
- Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
- Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
- Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
- Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
- Flexible Scheduling
- Financial Aid
- Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
- Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
- Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
- Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
- Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida