Infuse Butter With Chili Powder For A Spicy Kick To Your Favorite Meals

infused compound butter in dish
infused compound butter in dish - Artit_wongpradu/Getty Images

Just as you can infuse oil with herbs, spices, and other seasonings, you can just as easily make flavored butter for the ultimate sweet or savory upgrade to everything from bread to grilled meats. If you're looking for a spicy kick to your favorite meals, chili powder is a widely available seasoning staple to enhance your butter with flavorful heat.

Chili powder-infused butter is a type of compound butter, the term that refers to infusing butter with any ingredient, whether it's salt or a complex multi-ingredient spice mixture. Despite its daunting name, compound butter is quite easy to execute. All it involves is mixing a spoonful of chili powder into softened butter until evenly combined. Then, you can either refrigerate the butter in the bowl you've mixed it in to use as a simple spread, or you can form the softened butter into a log by spreading it over and rolling it into plastic cling wrap.

The beauty of chili powder is that it is a blend of various pulverized dried chilies, so you get a wealth of different pepper flavors with a nice spicy finish. There are also various types of chili powder sold bottled or in bulk sections of grocery stores, as well as Asian, Indian, and Mexican specialty markets. Butter's dairy richness will balance the heat and complement the underlying notes of the different peppers in whichever blend you choose. Plus, you can always add other complementary seasonings for more complexity.

Read more: 12 Popular Grocery Store Butter Brands, Ranked

Ingredient Suggestions And Meal Pairings

steak with chili butter on top
steak with chili butter on top - Shebeko/Shutterstock

Before getting into the multiple ways you can use compound butter to upgrade dishes and meals, you can first upgrade chili powder compound butter by adding other seasonings. If you're using Aleppo pepper chili powder, for example, smoked paprika, garlic salt, and lemon zest would complement the spice with a trifecta of smoky, aromatic, and citrus.

Ancho chili powder would work well with lime zest, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder. You could swap standard chili powder for red pepper flakes, blending them into butter along with oregano, basil, salt, and lemon zest. Another option is to swap chili powder for the same portion of chili crisp to pair with onions, salt, and honey for a sweet and spicy compound butter.

Whichever spice blend you use to elaborate a chili-infused compound butter, you'll find an endless list of recipes pairings. You can use chili butter as the saute sauce for your favorite vegetables or stir it into mashed sweet potatoes for a spicy finish. A disc of compound chili butter would make a decadent and sophisticated garnish to melt over a sizzling grilled steak or filet of fish. Use it as the base for a more flavorful egg scramble. Of course, you can also make it the star of its own fashionable butter board adorned with sweet caramelized onions, fresh herbs, pine nuts, and cured meat to serve with an assortment of sliced bread, crackers, pita chips, or Terra chips.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.