The Perfect Ingredient!


Ok, so I am one of those cooks that believes butter is the perfect ingredient to make
everything taste better. I would rather have the slightest taste of real butter and
eat less of any given thing, than substitute or go without the heavenly taste of
butter. When my children were younger, we were in NY on a trip. We were
in one of my husbands favorite restaurants… you know the kind, the ones with
fabulous flat breads, cheeses, crackers and cold hard
butter served  as a teaser at every meal.

Our daughter Maggie, who had always claimed she hated butter, made herself a
piece of flat bread and added a serving of  this mystery spread that we were all
raving about. We all sat and watched as she gobbled it up and claimed it was the
best thing she had ever tasted!

She then pointed to the butter  and asked what on earth is that stuff? We all began to
laugh when we explained that it was simply BUTTER! For years, the kids couldn’t
resist teasing her whenever they ate something with butter on it….exclaiming
“Mom, what on earth did you do to these vegetables? So, thus began another
child of mine who also loves and appreciates the magic of butter!


It does not happen very often but have you ever had a recipe that called for Clarified
butter, sometimes referred to as drawn butter? The first time I saw that reference in a
recipe I thought to myself, “I need some Clarification here.” (no pun intended).

Here is a little cooking tip if your wanting to feel like a bit of a gourmet. When you
melt butter, there is a foam, the white foamy particles will rise to the top. Butter
contains certain solids. Once you remove these solids, what is left is the pure
butter fat. The beauty of pure butter fat is that you can cook things at a much
higher temperature, for a longer period of time without having your
butter burn. Which is wonderful for some sauces and roux’s.

Clarified butter has a longer shelf life, as it is the solids in butter that make it
go rancid. Additionally, clarified butter doesn’t become grainy like regular
butter that has been previously melted. The simplest way to make clarified
butter is to slowly melt it in a saucepan. Once it is melted, take a spoon and
try to remove as much of the white foamy particles that you can. There will
probably still be some left. Take some cheesecloth and slowly pour the
butter through it into another bowl. You now have Clarified butter.

I store my Clarified butter in a mason jar. You can keep it in your refrigerator
for up to three months, or in your freezer for up to six months.

Why use Clarified butter?

Clarified butter is reserved for the most delicate sauces and dishes. The whey,
and other commercial additives in butter, causes butter to burn when at a high
temperature. You can use regular butter by adding 1 to 2 Tbsp. olive oil, peanut
oil, or other high smoking point oils to cook at a high temperature to achieve
the same results as Clarified butter. 

How to make your own butter!

You can make your own butter, using a very simple technique. Begin by using
unpasteurized Heavy cream. Put 1 1/2 c. heavy cream in a quart jar and start
shaking, off and on for an hour. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. The
solids is butter. Continue until there is no more cream left. This is
real butter with no preservatives and is very perishable.
Be sure to freeze what you don’t use.


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