Chef Benoit Bordier of the restaurant Jean in Paris updates the traditional French beurre compose, or compound butter, with a visually appealing, deconstructed version, which he makes by topping pats of butter with seaweed (or, alternatively, earl grey tea leaves), thyme, orange zest, fleur de sel, and pepper. The butter melts beautifully over just-grilled seafood and meats.
- 1 tsp. Japanese seaweed called hijiki or earl grey tea
- 1 cold stick or block of cultured butter (like Fromagerie Jean-Yves Bordier Beurre de Baratte or Evans' Farmhouse Creamery Butter)
- Pinch each of thyme leaves, orange zest, fleur de sel
- Freshly ground black pepper
Tightly wrap a dinner plate with plastic wrap to form a taut, flat surface and set aside.
Soak hijiki in a small bowl of cold water for a few minutes; drain and then squeeze the seaweed dry. (If you're using earl grey tea, it's not necessary to soak it.)
Cut 4 very thin slices from the end of the butter with a knife warmed under hot tap water; gently place butter pats on the taut plastic wrap. Sprinkle each pat with a little hijiki (or tea) along with a pinch each of thyme leaves, orange zest, fleur de sel, and pepper and chill until firm.
Using the blade of a butter knife, carefully place the butter pats atop beef, poultry, or seafood.