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Harissa Compound Butter

Harissa Compound Butter

Compound butter is a great way to get flavor into a roast chicken. Here's a North African-inspired version


  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoons harissa paste

Recipe Preparation

Ingredient info

  • Harissa paste, a spicy North African red chile paste, is available at Middle Eastern markets and some specialty foods stores, and online.


  • Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

  • DO AHEAD: Butter can be made 5 days ahead. Wrap tightly and chill, or freeze up to 1 month.

Reviews Section

Easy Seafood Pasta in Parchment Paper Bags with Harissa Butter

Is there anything more beautiful than a plate of easy seafood pasta? How about serving it in a beautiful parchment paper bag that releases aromatic steam as soon as it’s opened? This is the perfect romantic New Year’s Eve dinner for two that can easily be doubled or tripled if you’re cooking for a crowd. The final result is pure heaven!

You can freeze the harissa butter compound for 1 month.


Time to Make: 45 minutes (Does not include the time to prepare the harissa compound butter)


8 Campari tomatoes (or a small box of grape tomatoes)

2 24-inch pieces of parchment paper


Prepare Ingredients: Preheat oven to 425ºF. Prepare the harissa compound butter according to the recipe instructions. Note: If you don’t have time to freeze for two hours, you can simply refrigerate what you need for the recipe. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until slightly under al dente, about 2 minutes for fresh pasta or about 8 minutes for dry pasta. Drain and set aside. Pat the scallops dry, remove the muscle, and season with salt and pepper. Rinse and scrub the clams. Cut the tomatoes in half. Mince the parsley leaves. Mince the garlic. Juice and zest the lemon.

Char the Tomatoes: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat until very hot and almost smoking. Add the tomatoes, cut side down, and cook for 4-5 minutes without moving until charred. Transfer the tomatoes to a bowl and mash lightly with a fork. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Wipe out the skillet.

Cook the Clams: Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the white wine and the clams. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the clams have opened. Remove the clams from the skillet and transfer to a small bowl. Add the lemon juice and zest to the skillet. Add the pasta and the charred tomatoes and toss to coat.

Prepare the Bags: Divide the pasta, clams and raw scallops between the two pieces of parchment paper (making sure you place the ingredients in the middle of the piece of parchment). Arrange two slices of the harissa butter on top of each sack. Starting in one corner, fold one side of the parchment paper over the other and work your way up to the opposite corner, rolling the parchment paper as you go so you end up with a sealed bag. Alternatively, you can cut the parchment paper into large squares and fold each corner into a sack and tie together with kitchen twine. Transfer the bags to a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the scallops are cooked through.

To Serve: Serve the parchment paper bags on plates immediately, allowing your guests to open the bag (by unrolling or by cutting the top open with a knife). Enjoy with white wine!

Compound Butter We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. This post may contain special links through which we earn a small commission if you make a purchase (though your price is the same). As a young married couple without kids, we moved to a new city eight hours from home. There, we met Mr. and Mrs. Samuels at church. We loved getting invitations to eat dinner at their house. Sam, retired from the Navy, had filled their home with beautiful things from around the world. Helen was a pearls-go-with-everything, warm and friendly lady who knew how to make her guests feel welcome. But what I remember most about the first evening we spent with them was the butter. I’d never tasted anything quite like it — real butter (at the time still quite a rarity for me) blended with fresh herbs from Sam’s garden and a little fresh garlic. I couldn’t get enough. I spread it on everything from crackers, to bread, to potatoes, and anything else I could get away with. The next week Helen brought me a tub of my own to take home and explained how it was made. “It’s compound butter,” she said. “You just mix up fresh herbs, whatever you want, into a pound of butter.” Turns out this simple technique has been used for as long as there have been great cooks. If you’ve ever had honey butter, you’ve had compound butter. The legendary Escoffier himself used compound butters to add depth and flavor to all kinds of dishes. The most widely used compound butter variation is called “Beurre Maitre d’Hotel” (the head waiter’s butter), and is used in high end restaurants around the world to accompany freshly baked bread, grilled steaks, or chops. It is fresh minced parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper creamed into fresh unsalted butter that is rolled into a log and then chilled until the flavors mingle. Slices of the butter are placed atop hot sizzling steaks just before serving where they melt into the meat to make a simple yet delicious sauce. Compound butters can be used in a myriad of ways. They are easy to make and they freeze well so they are handy whenever you need a quick flavor boost, an easy sauce, or a way to dress up simple food for company. Here are just a few ways you can use compound butter: Top steaks, lamb chops, pork chops, fish Top steamed or roasted vegetables, or corn on the cob Melt over new potatoes or mix into mashed potatoes Spread on baguettes, muffins, toast, crepes Top pancakes, waffles, English muffins, biscuits, crackers Add an extra layer of flavor to sandwiches Swirl into soups Tuck underneath the skin of a chicken, duck, or turkey before roasting Melt into wine or balsamic vinegar reduction for a quick sauce Cook with scrambled eggs Toss with rice, quinoa, or pasta for a quick side dish A food processor makes very quick work of it all, but it’s also simple to make by hand with just a wooden spoon and a bowl. You can use salted or unsalted butter, sweet or cultured — whatever pleases your taste buds. If you use unsalted butter, add a pinch or two of salt to your compound butter. Let’s use the Beurre Maitre d’Hotel as a template for making basic compound butter. French in a Flash: Moroccan Baked Scallops Recipe

I often think about how there's not much left to be discovered. I remember thinking in high school math class, "How hard could it be to figure out that a squared plus b squared equals c squared? If I were alive in 500 BC, would it have be called the Saretsky theorem?"

So I was really excited a few weeks ago when I discovered something that I didn't know: how beautifully ras-el-hanout pairs with shellfish. Okay, it may not be the Pythagorean theorem, but I was pretty excited. My jar of ras-el-hanout says it goes great with chicken, lamb, rice, and veggies, yet my grandmother never uses it on seafood. Was this a new thing? Had I made a kitchen discovery?

My great-grandfather owned a little pickle, olive, and spice shop in Casablanca, so I like to keep the tricks of his trade around my house: ras-el-hanout, harissa, oil-cured olives, and preserved lemons. With those ingredients I feel like I'm playing alchemist with my inheritance, not that France is any stranger to North African flavors (I don't like to leave France without at least one merguez frites sandwich). When I recently dusted calamari in a ras-el-hanout-spiked flour before frying it, I knew I was on to something. Ras-el-hanout's sweet spices—ginger, cloves, and cinnamon—pair perfectly with the sweetness of the seafood, be it squid or scallops, while the savory spices—cumin, coriander, pepper, and fennel—save the dish from feeling like an aquatic dessert.

These scallops are the perfect example of easy. I mash up butter with ras-el-hanout and harissa, and perch it over panko-dusted scallops, accented with lemon zest and cilantro. (I make no apologies that this dish uses every cliché Moroccan ingredient out there.) Broil the scallops for 10 minutes and you have a sweet, aromatic scallops in a spicy butter with bright, citrusy, crispy breadcrumbs. I think my great-grandfather wouldn't have minded this for dinner.

Harissa Compound Butter - Recipes

Want to become a more impressive cook instantly? Use compound butter! Also known as finishing butter or beurre composé in French, it’s unsalted butter that has been blended with seasonings.

There are endless variations. Escoffier published 35 combinations in 1903, and cuisine has evolved in many directions since his classic renderings of anchovy butter and beurre à la maître d’hotel (lemon parsley butter, which is the sauce served with escargots).

In Continental cuisine, compound butter is added to the pan to finish a sauce, placed directly atop meat, fish or vegetables to create a flavorful garnish, or mixed into pasta and rice. Just a dab transforms a dish: If you think butter makes everything taste better, think of what butter infused with great seasonings will do.

Herb butter and Roquefort butter are classics atop steak, anchovy butter has long been paired with grilled seafood) are staples at fine steakhouses. On the sweet side, honey butter and strawberry butter have long been a brunch favorite.

These are just a few of the dozens that were long a part of the standard fine-cooking repertory. The compound butter most often used in the U.S.: garlic butter.

A melting dollop of compound butter is an attractive garnish, melting over a piece of beef or fish or can be used in the kitchen to make a quick pan sauce, adding mouth feel add fat and flavor simultaneously. Whether at a restaurant or at home, it creates an easy upgrade to a simple dish.

But trends in cooking, from cuisine minceur (lighter French food) and Asian-accented dishes, have pushed the one-ubiquitous compound butter to the side.

Fear not, butter lovers: According to Flavor & The Menu, compound butter is currently trending with restaurant chefs.

The new compound butter, however, is modernized with flavors that would not have found their way into Escoffier’s (or Julia Child’s) compound butters:

Compound Butter As An Appetizer!

Chef Paquette offers a butter tasting as an appetizer—and it’s very popular. Diners get four distinct flavored butters with a French baguette. The flavors change, but recent flavors have included cashew-ginger, mushroom-taleggio-tarragon, saffron chorizo and Steak Diane, which blends the butter with a reduction of beef stock, red wine, thyme and Dijon.

More Compound Butter Ideas From Flavor & The Menu

For a topping butter, consider adding flavorful liquids like wine, reduced citrus juice, soy or mirin. Whip at high speed to marry the flavors the butter will break, but keep whipping—it will come together again.

On The Sweet Side

First, remember that any of these butters can also be used on bread, potatoes, rice, vegetables, etc.

Chicken mignon with harissa butter

Searching for dish that looks fancy, tastes delicious (hello, bacon!) and is easy to make? Then chicken mignon with harissa butter from He Needs Food should be at the top of your list. The arbol chiles and charred red bell pepper give the harissa butter gives the dish a delicious kick, while the bacon adds smoky flavor to the chicken.

If you’ve never baked bacon instead of frying, then you’re in for a treat –and actually may never go back to frying! Baking bacon results in perfectly crisp strips and less grease that seems to weigh it down when you fry it.

As the bacon cooks, make the harissa butter. Like other compound butter formulas, start with softened butter. Our recipe consists whipping the butter and mixing in harissa paste and fennel seeds. You can also season chicken with garlic and onion powder, and a small dab of harissa butter before you roll it to take the flavor up a notch.

Baste several times during cooking to keep the chicken moist, and then finish off by broiling for a few minutes until it’s golden brown. Enjoy!

Lavender, Honey, Sea Salt Butter & Original Cream Butter Recipe

This recipe is to make Lavender, Honey & Sea Salt butter, but if you want to make original cream butter, simply (a) don’t infuse the cream with lavender and (b) don’t add honey. I mean, duh – right?

Two things about making butter. One, use the BEST ingredients you can find. There are so few ingredients that every one matters! The cream is the main component, so spend the big bucks and your time to find the best available. If I could milk a cow myself for it, I would. But I don’t have a cow in my San Francisco apartment. Yet. Two, this recipe cultures the cream, which is a process of adding a cultured ingredient (it can be yogurt, creme fraiche, or in this case buttermilk). It sits for at least 12 hours on your counter, so plan accordingly. You can make the butter without the cultured ingredient and therefore not have it sit overnight, but it’s nowhere near as tasty!

Thanks to Bon Appetit for printing the base butter recipe.

1 pint high quality heavy cream
3 sprigs lavender + 2 tsp dried lavender flowers, minced
1/3 cup buttermilk
(I used Pink Himalayan salt from Portland Homestead , which is a store I love so much it makes me want to move to Portland)

First, infuse the cream by GENTLY warming the cream with the lavender on LOW heat. Do not allow the cream to boil or separate, and if you see a film forming, remove from the heat. Infuse to taste. This takes about 20 minutes or until your friend, Rhianna, says “this tastes like body soap.” Let cool completely.

In a separate bowl, mix in the buttermilk and a few pinches of salt and cover. Let sit on your counter for 12 hours and up to 24 hours. The longer it stands, the “sharper” the taste will be. Once cultured and thickened, pour into a standing mixing bowl and place in fridge for 30 minutes. Allowing to cool assists in the separation of fats and liquids.

Ok are you ready!? Because this is the fun part. Set up your standing mixer with the beater attachment and cover with plastic cling wrap. Why? Because when the fats and liquids separate, the liquids will literally fly all over your kitchen. I know this because I’ve done it. Mix on HIGH for about 6-8 minutes until the butter clings to your beater and liquid flies all over the plastic wrap, NOT your kitchen.

Mixed about 4 minutes, the cream will start to thicken more

Wheeee! Liquid has separated and flung itself all over the plastic wrap!

Place the butter in a strainer and begin to “wash” the butter. This process is pouring ice water over the butter and kneading it or smooshing with a spatula to separate the remaining buttermilk from the butter.

In a bowl, mix in the dried lavender, honey and salt to taste. Ta-da! You have homemade lavender honey butter!

Note: compound butter can be stored in parchment paper in the fridge for about a week or in parchment paper and a freezer bag in the freezer for about a month.

Chiles rellenos are amazing cold weather comfort food. They’re crispy and cheesy and smothered in sauce – what’s not to love? These were one of my favorites growing up, and continued to be a regular restaurant order as an adult, but it took me.

This blackened salmon brings a huge punch of flavor and the entire meal comes together in under 30 minutes. It’s sweet and spicy from the blackening spice, with an acidic and creamy fruit salsa to tame the fire. This recipe paired with the fruit salsa is so.

Harissa Honey Butter

Harissa is like a northern African version of sriracha, mostly in that you’ll want to spread it on everything. Creaming it into honey butter is a great start for sandwich spreads, saucing grilled meats, and generally adding to anything on the stove.

Major love for Björn’s Colorado honey which is made right up the road in Boulder! Not only do they collect the most delicious small-hive honey, they also sell an incredible creamy propolis honey that the bees make from tree & plant resins. Colorado friends, scoop up a jar at your local farmer’s market – they’re all over the Front Range!

You can easily make your own harissa by blending dried chiles, roasted red pepper, and spices. If you’re looking for a shortcut – life happens – Trader Joe’s has started carrying traditional Tunisian harissa, and of course Amazon also has a good variety.

Homemade Harissa

This homemade sriracha harissa is such a great little sauce to be able to whip out of the fridge. It really helps to elevate even the simplest of everyday meals!

Cooking for my wife

When I started dating my wife, I cooked for her about 4 times a week and for nearly 6 months I didn't cook her the same thing twice. I was so proud of myself because of the delight it brought her, but also excited everyday while walking to work thinking of new ideas & creations. Off I would skip like a bloody ballerina to the local shops and there I would be fingering the vegetables (easy on now, not in that way!) and sniffing the herbs. I was in beast mode in the kitchen. The honeymoon soon ended and it's been spag bol ever since!! Well, not quite that bad, but shortly after we moved to NYC the 70+ hr weeks with only 1 day off together. Life turned into too much takeaways, eating out and the odd very average homecooked meal.

Don't get me wrong, during the time in NYC I was fortunate enough to manage a Michelin starred restaurant. This hepled us being able to dine in multiple Michelin restaurants along with the amazing little holes in the wall. Truthfully though, a part of me was missing. Since as long as I can remember I have been cooking. It has always brought me such pleasure and relaxation. Now that we have a toddler and don't have the opportunity to get out as much. It certainly makes me try even harder than when we first met to produce fun and tasty meals for my wife and I. That is when I ain't visiting every playground in Brisbane.


When I started this food blog one of my key goals was to share tips with homecooks to allow them to elevate their everyday meals. But also to help them challenge themselves (in a good way) and take things up a notch in the kitchen. So often when we cook we are afraid to experiment and try new things. I have to say since moving to Brisbane, Australia my repertoire of dishes has HUGELY increased.

Toddlering & Exhaustion

For those of you with kids and those of you who work WAY too much you will all understand the difficulty in finding the energy to cook. After doing multiple loads of washing, hoovering the same room 4 times and spending 30 minutes before you leave the house getting everything ready to soon find out you forgot the most important thing. Your sanity!! So on the days that this is me, I find solitude in knowing that I have a well stocked larder and some great basic sauces in the fridge. These will all help me turn the most basic bitch of a meal into something semi restaurant quality - I hope!

Becoming a "chef"

Just throw a Jackson Pollock splash on the plate and hey presto, you're a chef! Right? This homemade harissa is certainly one of those sauces I always have hidden in the fridge. It's killer with most grilled meat and veg. Anything from some chicken, pork chops, salmon or even just a smear on a sandwich when all that matters is wine and the food is purely an afterthought. Check out my lamb burger recipe HERE for an example of where I have used my homemade harissa.

From start to finish in about 20 - 30 mins it's super simple & packed with flavour. Lets see some creations that you guys put together with it. Don't forget to tag me @another_food_blogger or pin me on pinterest for the chance to win. well, nothing but a smile on AnotherFoodBlogger's face!

Watch the video: Harissa u0026 Honeyed Butter. Everyday Gourmet S11 Ep19 (January 2022).