Make Ahead

Mustard butter, live

August 21, 2010
Author Notes

If you want to taste, or rediscover, the difference between store-bought and made-from-scratch, then you should make your own butter. You can simply spice and compound, season it mustard-style, perhaps add black sesame, and then add finely chopped live herbs to give this more personality, if you like. As a new fan of the bánh mì, I wanted to customize my own condiments. Since I do not like wasabi mayonaise, which one local restaurant offers, mustard butter is the path I have taken. You could finely mince any herb, vegetable or fruit of your choice to create a distinctive personality for your mustard butter.You could choose mustard greens, pea greens, onions, dill, or any fresh ingredient that would enhance the flavor you envision. I also like to include a bit of anchovy. You can add a few drops of fish sauce or tamari to enhance the flavor. In one of my versions you can see pea pods added in. The freshly made butter will be runny in process, but you can use the created buttermilk in other recipes. Tumeric will give you a brilliant yellow color and slightly bitter edge. See my variations. You can use this more as a pâté, it is so good. I rarely use as much butter as I have shown in some of the bánh mì photographs, but wanted you to see both the "rich slather" and the more "delicate dab" styles for the bánh mì. You can see the wide range of colors possible, as well, which suggest the range of flavors. If you start with 1 cup of heavy cream, you will have roughly 1/2 cup of actual butter and 1/2 cup of buttermilk. A great illustrated step by step tutorial is available about making butter with a stand mixer on cooking with engineers at: - Sagegreen —Sagegreen

Test Kitchen Notes

Making your own butter is very satisfying, and easy too. Just keep whipping heavy cream until the solids separate from the liquids, add mustard and play around with the herbs and spices Sagregreen suggests until you've perfected your own signature mustard butter. - Stephanie —The Editors

  • Makes 3/4 cup (with mix-ins)
  • 1 cup heavy cream, organic preferred
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoons ground mustard seed, to taste
  • 1/2-1 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • sprinkle of tumeric for color and more bitter flavor
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, optional, to taste
  • 1/4 cup finely minced herbs/vegetable/fruit, such as white scallion, lime leaf basil, cilantro, pea pod tendrils, mustard greens
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped anchovy, optional, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon mirin, rice wine vinegar, cider vinegar or even lime or lemon juice
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • a few drops of fish sauce, tamari or other flavoring, optional
In This Recipe
  1. In a blender process the cream until it turns to a soft butter. You can pour off the excess liquid, the buttermilk, (which you can use for something else) and then mash the drained butter with a fork or potato masher. Or see the mixer method clearly illustrated, step by step, in the link to my comment below from "cooking for engineers."
  2. Add the mustard, mustard seed, any other spice you may want for variation, and sesame to the butter. Incorporate as much liquid as you can by whisking it in. Chill for an hour before continuing if that is a problem for you.
  3. To your finely minced fresh herbs/vegetables/fruit, add the mirin, vinegar, or citrus juice, other flavorings, and salt. Toss and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain excess liquid. Can you eliminate this step? Yes, but this dressing enhances the add-ins, if you have the time. Add the optional chopped/finely minced anchovy.
  4. Mix in your "dressed" or "undressed" concoction to the butter. An another alternative is to process these together in a blender, if you want more of a final pureed vs. rustic style. Sometimes I do a combination of the two.
  5. Dab or slather this on your torpedo roll or scoop it upon a grilled steak (beef or fish).
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