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New Orleans Seafood Cookbook
by Ralph Brennan
Whole butter is a blend of fat, milk solids and water. Clarified butter, also called drawn butter, is simply the butterfat obtained by separating it from the solids and water. This clear golden liquid often performs as a sinfully delicious dip for cooked artichoke leaves, lobster and other shellfish.
Cooks prefer clarified to whole butter for sauteing or pan-frying because it has a higher smoke point, meaning that, at higher temperatures, it doesn't burn as quickly as whole butter does.
Occasionally, both whole and clarified butters are used in the same recipe. Similarly, clarified butter and another fat, such as olive oil, are sometimes used together in a dish.
This recipe can be multiplied or divided.
For about 1 1/2 cups

• 1 pound unsalted butter


1. Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat just until melted.

2. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking about two minutes until a layer of clear golden liquid (which is the clarified butter or butterfat) has developed between the foam on top and the milk solids and milky water that have separated from the butter and sunken to the bottom of the pan.

3. Remove the pan from the heat, and skim and discard the foam on top.

4. Ladle the clarified butter into a clean pan or large glass measuring cup, being careful not to include any of the milk solids and water as you work.

5. Discard the milk solids and water.

Serving Suggestion: Use the clarified butter immediately or let it cool briefly, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for later use. It will last up to one month.


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