Top | Forgotten Skills of Cooking

Maître d'Hôtel Butter

(recipe, Darina Allen)

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This is one of the oldest classic flavored butters; I remember it as a child at the Clarence Hotel in Dublin. People add all kinds of ingredients to butter today, but originally it was served this way. It is good served with a piece of grilled fish or steak.


  1. 8 Tbsp. butter, softened
  2. 2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
  3. A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Whip the butter, then add in the parsley and a few drops of lemon juice at a time.
  2. Roll the butter into pats or form into a roll and wrap in parchment paper or tin foil, twisting each end.
  3. Refrigerate to harden.


Watercress Butter: Substitute watercress for the parsley. Serve with Pan-Grilled Fish. Wild Garlic Butter: Substitute wild garlic for the parsley. Serve with Pan-Grilled Fish or meat. Fresh Herb Butter: Substitute a mixture of chopped fresh herbs (parsley, chives, thyme, fennel). Serve with Pan-Grilled Fish. Mint or Rosemary Butter: Substitute 2 tablespoons of finely chopped mint or 1 to 2 tablespoons of rosemary for the parsley, and serve with grilled lamb chops. Dill or Fennel Butter: Substitute dill or fennel for the parsley. Serve with Pan-Grilled Fish. Mustard and Parsley Butter: Add 1 tablespoon of coarse-ground Dijon mustard. Serve with herring. Nasturtium Butter: Substitute 3 tablespoons of chopped nasturtium flowers. Serve with Pan-Grilled Fish. Garlic Butter: Add 3 to 5 cloves of crushed garlic. Slather over bruschetta or toast. Also great with grilled fish, meat, or vegetables. Anchovy Butter: Add six anchovy fillets and mash them in. Serve with grilled fish or fresh radishes.