I love Clarified Butter especially for my seafood meals. Yes, the one they gave you at the seafood restaurants to dip in your clams, crabs, lobsters or shrimps etc. And it taste even better with lemon juice on the side.
It is also called Ghee in Indian cuisine. Clarified Butter or drawn butter can also be use when you want to fry something over high heat or you need to fry the food for an extra period of time which is why it is excellent for pan-frying. It is also ideal for roasting, sautéing or stir-frying. Or just use it when you want the flavor of butter instead of oil on a dish that you are making.
So, how do you make clarified butter? It is pretty easy…clarifying butter means removing the milk solids and moisture from the butter. To make it clarified butter, melt the unsalted butter gently over low heat. You have to use good quality unsalted butter, believe me it just taste better no arguing about that. As the butter melt, it will break down into three layers. The top layer is the white foam or whey proteins that need to be skimmed off with a spoon. The middle layer is the golden yellow liquid called clarified butter. The milk solids that settle on the bottom of the pan will form a milky sediment. If you continue to cook the butter after it has melted, this milk solids at the bottom will turn into brown. The clarified butter will will have this rich, fragrant nutty flavor which they call beurre noisette or hazelnut butter in French. How much butter to clarify, it’s all up to you! Just think how much you will be using. It is good to note that when you make clarified butter you will lose about 25 percent volume of butter. You can refrigerate it and it is good for three months.
So this is how it went as a dip for Steamed Snow Crab Legs, recipe to follow. I am fresh from our OBX vacation, don’t be surprised to see a lot of recipe inspiration from the sea. Ciao!
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed
- On a saucepan, heat the unsalted butter over low heat till all is melted.
- Let it simmer gently until foam rises to top.
- When the butter stops splattering, remove from heat and skim off the foam with a spoon.
- Line a mesh strainer with a cheesecloth, pour the warm butter over it to a heatproof container.
- Put on a small bowl and use for seafood dip.
If it turn brown on you, it means you overdone your clarified butter, and have turned into brown butter or hazelnut butter. It has a nutty flavor and is called in Beurre noisette in French. Don't fret though! You can still use it right away and it's a good drizzle over steamed vegetables.