April 29, 2020

Key Largo resident Marjorie Smith offers a savory line of locally made compound butter known as Cow's Rule Gourmet Butter.

Contributed Key Largo resident Marjorie Smith offers a savory line of locally made compound butter known as Cow's Rule Gourmet Butter.

KEY LARGO — It’s not just butter by any means. It’s gourmet compound butter enhanced with aromatic fresh herbs and spices made locally by Marjorie Smith’s Cow’s Rule Gourmet Butter. They make butter better.

Smith takes delicate sweet cream butter and transforms it into a torpedo of flavor to be used as a base level to any dish or sauce, a complement to fresh baguettes and croissants, or a dip to fresh seafoods.

Cow’s Rule Gourmet Butter offers compound seafood butters, garlic butters and more.

Cow’s Rule Gourmet Butter was born out of a friendship between an artist, Smith, and her childhood friend and chef, Audrey Noble, with whom she shares a passion for food. The two scoured cookbooks and through trial and error, formulated 16 initial different butter compounds.

“I never really thought to make compound butter. Then I saw Thanksgiving Live on the Food Network and Bobby Flay told someone to use compound butter in the mashed potatoes and not to mix it in but to leave ribbons. Then it just clicked,” Smith said.

Butter is the perfect vehicle for delivering additional flavor and Cow’s Rule entices chefs to go beyond the traditional two pats of butter.

“Our garlic and herb butter is excellent on a steak, or on pasta or on a baguette,” Smith said. “Béarnaise sauce on lamb chops is a good one, and everyone is home cooking now. You just warm the béarnaise sauce butter, crack four eggs into a blender and slowly add in the warmed butter. It takes just a few minutes.”

Ingredients in Cow’s Rule Gourmet Béarnaise Butter are lemon juice, lemon zest, shallots, tarragon and reduced white wine. Cow’s Rule Loaded Baked Potato is made with cheddar cheese, bacon, sour cream, chives and black pepper. Cow’s Rule offers seafood butters, garlic butters and more.

Cow’s Rule is a play on words.

Though a big fan of the Food Network, Smith opposes celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse’s “pork fat rules” mantra.

Smith instead believes cows rule, and subscribers of her belief should know that there are rules to eating well, too.

“We decided that cows rule because where would we be in this world without butter and cheese? And for instance, for our béarnaise sauce, rule no. 1 is to never eat sauce that comes out of a package,” Smith said.

Making butter has become a full-time venture for Smith.

“We spend a lot of time picking herbs off of stems and washing them and spinning them down. We spend a lot of time in the kitchen chopping,” she said.

Smith forecasts how much she needs to fulfill her commercial and local accounts and makes a little extra each week. At the longest, it may take her two days to make a batch of a compound butter flavor. But there’s others steps in the process.

“There is a prep day, a mix day, a portion day and a labeling day, and then there’s delivery,” she said. “There is also the provisions day. I have to go get the stuff so it really fills my week.”

Smith is working on recipes to expand into sweet compound butters.

“We have a line of sweet butters that will be introduced to the local market soon. Cinnamon sugar, pecan praline, maple walnut and cranberry lemon poppy seed,” she said.

Cow’s Rule Gourmet Butter comes individually wrapped in 4-ounce packages. According to Smith, it will freeze well for up to four months.

Cow’s Rule Gourmet Butter, which is available to commercial accounts, local pickup or delivery, can also be found at the Key Largo Fisheries market in Key Largo and can be shipped anywhere in the U.S.

For more information, find Cow’s Rule Gourmet Butter on Facebook or Instagram, visit cowsrule.us or call Smith at 305-304-4972.