Jalapeño-Tarragon Butter

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 fresh red or green jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (remove seeds and devein for milder butter)
1/4 cup fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dry, or 1/4 cup fresh marigold mint
1 tablespoon orange zest

Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender, or soften butter and mix by hand. Refrigerate, covered.

Note: May be made a day ahead. Use leftover for cooking omelets or sautéing mushrooms for chicken or pasta, or serve with fish or scallops.


1/2 pound lump crabmeat, lumps intact
1/4 pound salad shrimp (optional)
1/4 cup diced baked ham
3 ounces dry white vermouth
Salt, to taste
4 to 6 ounces angel-hair pasta

In small skillet or sauté pan, melt 3 tablespoons jalapeño-tarragon butter. Add crab, shrimp, and ham, and stir-shake until heated through. Add vermouth, and stir-shake until slightly thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add salt.

Cook pasta. Toss with 2 tablespoons jalapeño-tarragon butter. Spoon sauté over pasta on warmed soup plates.

From Set to Fete Domain, November/December 1989