NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

November 6, 2013

Getting great pork chops is all about the size

(Continued)

Now that you’ve mastered grilling the chop, you are ready to take your outdoor cooking repertoire to the next level by making a compound butter. A compound butter is simply softened (unsalted) butter that is flavored with herbs, spices, and almost any flavor ingredient and seasoning.

Compound butters can be sweet or savory and are a quick and easy way to dress up any meal. The beauty of a compound butter is that when it melts on hot food, it seasons the food like a complicated sauce, but without any of the time needed to make one. Even better, the flavors are much brighter because they haven’t been cooked.

Since pork chops are synonymous with fall for me, I like to serve a chipotle-pumpkin seed butter on top of my chops. The orange-red of the butter studded with green pumpkin seeds smiles with autumnal colors.

The butter balances and rounds out the smoke and the heat from the chipotle chili and the adobo sauce, and the toasted green pumpkin seeds add texture and eye appeal to the butter. I use fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt in all of my butters to add a nice little crunch to the butter and the finished dish.

The butter can be made up to a week in advance and refrigerated or frozen until ready to use. I like to refrigerate the butter until it is hard, slice it into medallions and freeze them in an airtight container. That way, I have “coins” of compound butter any time I need them. The butter also is really great on grilled or baked squash; almost any vegetable; and any fish, poultry or meat, so I usually double the recipe.

PORK CHOPS WITH CHIPOTLE-PUMPKIN SEED BUTTER

Start to finish: 1 hour

Servings: 4

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