Red Chile Butter

All three dried chiles used in this recipe are mild in terms of heat, but each one brings a distinct flavor to the mix. They can be found at Mexican markets and some gourmet grocery stores.

Steak, pork chops, salmon, shrimp, roasted winter squash, baked sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, warm corn or flour tortillas, and popcorn are all good uses for this earthy, Mexican-inspired butter.


1 ancho Chile, stemmed

1 pasilla chile, stemmed

1 guajillo chile, stemmed

8 tablespoons (1 Stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 garlic clove, grated on a microplane

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin


Heat a medium-size, heavy sauté pan or griddle over medium heat until very hot. Add the chiles and toast, pressing down on them firmly with a spatula, for 10 to 15 seconds, or until golden brown. Turn the chiles and continue to toast, pressing down on them firmly with a spatula, another 10 to 15 seconds, or until fragrant, golden brown, and pliable. Remove the toasted chiles to a bowl, add enough boiling water to cover, and let soak for 10 to 12 minutes, or until rehydrated. Transfer the chiles and 2 tablespoons of the soaking liquid to a blender and blend until smooth. Force the chiles through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the skins and seeds.

Blend together the chile puree, butter, garlic, salt, and cumin in a medium-size bowl. Form into a log and refrigerate until firm before slicing and serving, or use another shaping method.

Makes 8 servings

This recipe is from the cookbook Flavored Butters. I bought it a few years ago and it is filled with fantastic compound butter recipes.  

Printed with permission from
Flavored Butters
How to Make Them, Shape Them, and Use Them As Spreads, Toppings, and Sauces
By Lucy Vaserfirer