Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wednesday's Tip: Clarified Butter

Well it is Wednesday and time for another tip!! Today's tip is how to make clarified butter!! Yes you will see this in many recepies, and you think to yourself butter is butter isnt it!?!?!

What is clarified butter you ask, well it is also called drawn butter or ghee. Simply defined, clarified butter is unsalted butter that has the milk solids and water removed so all that remains is pure liquid golden-yellow butterfat. The advantages of this type of butter is its long keeping quality (several months refrigerated) and its high smoke point (can be used in frying without burning).

Well it is a 3 step processes to make, not really all that hard!! Once again the instructions for this process comes from one of my favorite magazines Bon Appetit! So here is the D/L on how to make your own clarified butter:

1. Melt two sticks of butter in a small sauce pan (un alted butter). Let it sit of the heat for a couple of minutes to allow the milk solids to fall to the bottom of the pan. Why unsalted butter you ask....well that is because you want to be able to control the salt content in your dishes. If you use butter that is salted, your dish may come out way to salty, and that is definitely not a tasty thing!!!!

2. Use a large slotted spoon or a fine-meshed skimmer to remove any remaining foam from the top of the melted butter. Discard the foam.

3. Slowly pour the clarified butter into a bowl leaving behind the milky solids. Discard solids. Keep the clarified butter covered and chilled.

So what are you going to use this butter for.....well you know those yummy lobsters and crab that you get at your fave restaurant, well the butter they give you to dip all of that delicate goodness in is clarified butter! What else can you do with it, well you can fry with it, and it is also used in different baking applications!

Rosti-Styled Latkes with Rosemary and Brown Butter Apple Sauce

Serves: 8-10

6 large russet potatoes (4lbs)

2 tbs (1/4 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup finely chopped shallots (about 6)

2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt

1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

12 tablespoons clarified butter, divided Rosemary and Brown Butter Applesauce (see recipe)

Cook potatoes in large pot of generously salted boiling water until partially cooked (tester will meet some resistance), about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes, rinse in cold water, and drain again. Peel, cover, and chill until very cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.

Coarsely grate potatoes into large bowl. Melt butter in large ovenproof cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Add shallots; sute until soft, about 6 minutes. Add shallot mixture, 2 teaspoons coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to potatoes (reserve skillet). Toss to blend evenly (do not compact potato mixture). DO AHEAD can be made 3 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 450 F. Melt 4 tbs of clarified butter in reserved skillet over medium heat. Add half of potato mixture (5.5 to 6 cups). Stir gently until clarified butter is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Spread potatoes to even layer, then press firmly with metal spatula to compact. Cook 5 minutes, pressing and flattening occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low. Place slightly smaller skillet atop potato cake. Weigh down with heavy can (like a big can of tomatoes). Cook potato cake 15 minutes, pressing occasionally.

Remove can and small skillet. Press potato cake again to flatten. Spread with 2 tbs of clarified butter.

Place skillet in oven and bake potato cake uncovered 15 minutes. Run narrow spatula around potato cake. Turn out onto platter, bottom (crusty) side up. Immediately cut into wedges and serve with applesauce.

Rosemary & Brown Butter Applesauce

Makes about 3 cups and can be made 1 day ahead

3c unsweetened apple juice

3 4" fresh Rosemary springs

1.5 cinnamon sticks

3.5 lbs (7 to 8 medium) Braeburn apples or other tart-sweet apples, unpeeled, quartered, cored, cut into 1" chunks (about 12 cups)

3 tbs unsalted butter

Combine first three ingredients and large pinch of salt in a large pot. Boil until juice is reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Mix in apples. Cover; cook over medium heat until apples are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Uncover and, if necessary, cook until liquid evaporates. Discard rosemary and cinnamon.

Transfer apples to food mill fitted with fine or medium plate and pass apples through mill (or press through coarse sieve) into medium bowl, discard skins. Melt butter int small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until butter browns, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Mix brown butter into apple sauce.

Well try this out, yes it sounds complicated but well worth it!! Hope this inspires you to delve into your kitchen and cook up some delisious treats for your family and friends!!!




LeelaBijou said...

ooh I love it! great post!

hdawnparratt said...

If you want to play you've been tagged