I am very particular about frosting. I find a lot of frostings to be too sweet and often times are piled on too thick on cakes. Then there’s also the frostings (generally I’ve encountered them on store bought cakes) that don’t have much flavor at all but are weirdly artificial and greasy in texture. No thank you. This means that I pretty much have to make my own frosting if I want it to be to my tastes. Fortunately basic frosting is really easy to make at home. We’ve covered basic icing on the blog before, but while some people using “icing” and “frosting” interchangeably to me they are different things. Icing is more thin and glaze-like, whereas frosting is more thick and fluffy. This is primarily due to the addition of fat in the form of butter. Icing is mostly just sugar and milk, while frosting has sugar, milk, and butter.
This is a good place to mention why making your own frosting is better than using the kind that comes out of a can. While flavor-wise store-bought can frosting isn’t terrible, its ingredients aren’t really great. In order to be shelf-stable it tends to be full of things like hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, preservatives, and artificial flavors and colors. Even if you’re someone who is anti-butter I would think one ingredient you don’t like is better than a whole list of potentially sketchy ingredients.
Every time I make a recipe that calls for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce I always have a bunch leftover, since I usually only use one or two at a time. This time instead of just immediately handing the rest to Erik to use in some flames-shooting-out-of-your-mouth dish for him to make for himself I decided to be thrifty and figure out some other things I could use them in.
One of the things I came up with was a chipotle compound butter. This butter will be good on anything you’d use regular butter on that you want to give a bit of kick to.
Compound butter may sound kind of weird and scary. It sounds like some kind of chemically scientific thing that’s probably really fake and bad for you. But really it’s just butter that has stuff added into it to give additional flavor. You could just as easily call it “flavored butter” but for some reason compound butter was the name it was given, so that’s what we call it.
You may have seen the Land O’ Lakes Sauté Express butters in the grocery store. These are essentially compound butters. They’re also pretty pricey, and you know how we feel about things that are too pricey here at Poor Couple’s Food Guide. Luckily making your own compound butter at home is ridiculously easy. It’s cheaper, and you can make any flavor you want.
Last week I gave you the rundown on pantry staples. This time I’m here to tell you about refrigerator staples. To be honest I’m not sure if that’s actually a term, or if I just made it up. But the concept still stands, so work with me here. Refrigerator staples are different from pantry staples in that in general you can’t buy them and expect them to still be good months later. They are by their nature more perishable and require more maintenance, so to speak. However there are a few things I think are important to keep on hand.