Sunday, 4 September 2011

September 2011 - mixed flavoured butters (les beurres composes)

The basic principle is the same in all cases : you must soften the butter and incorporate into it one or several flavours. The trick is that you need to mould it in a cling film in order to get a sausage form so that you can store it during several weeks in a freezer in a airtight container,  cut slices thick enough for your needs when you prepare your dishes.
During September, I will give you some of the basic mixed flavoured butters but it is up to you to create other according to your taste up to your imagination.
Some of those butters may seem to be too much salted when you prepare them ; this is absolutely normal because they will substitute for the seasoning of your meat or fish.

1. The clarified butter (beurre clarifié)

"Clarifying" is the process of removing milk solids from butterfat, giving you a clear golden fat that can be heated to a higher temperature without burning than whole butter. This, combined with the fact it can be stored without going rancid, has made clarified butter the cooking fat of choice many cuisines.
It is useful to have it in your kitchen, I use everyday this butter to fry my meat or fish in the saucepan and also for hollandaise or bearnaise sauce.

1. Place butter in a saucepan over a very low heat. Let the butter melt slowly, do not stir the butter while it is melting.

 2. As the butter melts, it will separate into three layers. The top layer is a thin layer of foam (if the heat is too high), the middle layer contains the bulk of the liquid (weighing in at about 80% of the total), and the bottom layer is where the water and most of the milk solids are. This natural separation is what makes clarifying possible.

3. Skim the foam off the surface of the butter if you have some, discard the foam. Be cautious to avoid dipping the ladle into the butterfat while skimming, as the fat should remain intact.

4. Carefully and slowly pour the fat into another container. You can see the water underneath the clear yellow butterfat. If you notice any of the water slipping into the fat, you may need to re-decant your new batch of clarified butter. If there is any water in the clarified butter, and you try adding it to a hot pan, the water will immediately boil when it hits the pan, causing the hot clarified butter to splatter out of the pan and potentially burning the cook.

5. If the clarified butter sits for a moment, you might notice more foam float to the top; use a spoon to remove this last bit of foam.
When I need some, I heat it up, use what I need and then put the balance back on the shelf. I've made this butter over 5 months ago and its still good. 

Use clarified butter to make these recipes :
Hollandaise Sauce
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 egg yolks
few drop of water
clarified butter (melded)
salt and pepper
few drops Lemon juice

Put the vinegar, water yolks, salt and pepper in a stainless-steel or a glass bowl and set it over a pan of simmering water, the base of the bowl should not come into contact with the water. Whisk together until the mixture is thick, pale and creamy and become like a mayonnaise. Remove from the heat and slowly trickle in the clarified butter, whisking continuously, until the sauce is thick and shiny. Taste your hollandaise sauce and add the lemon juice. Serve straight away or keep it in a warm place until ready to serve. It will keep 1-2 hours.If you scramble your eggs, just add a drop of cold water in your egg out of the heat and whisk them.

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