Posted by: Joan Spiller | June 5, 2011

Brown Butter (sauce) – Recipe


The latest experiment in the lowish-carb (in this case) meal ideas for CJ – “kumara with brown butter”. What the heck is brown butter anyway?

The French term is beurre noisette. But in fact brown butter isn’t brown and if it IS brown you did it wrong. Throw it out, and start again. Trust me..

Brown butter is used to “dress” all sorts of things such as vegetables, fish, meat and pasta. Brown butter may even make brussell sprouts edible. Maybe?

I plan to use it to dress CJ’s main vegetable in her lunch.. the humble “sweet potato”, aka Kumara here in New Zealand..And then I’m going to use it to cook some almonds and beans in, tonight for dinner.

So I’ve grated (using the ol’ box grater) 1 large kumara (peeled, first) and cooked it in olive oil with a little salt and pepper, til it’s tender. Then I drizzle the brown butter (call it ‘sauce’ if that makes you feel less wicked?) over the top, garnish with sage leaves (cos I just love them) and a fresh grind of salt and pepper.

Done! COULD it be simpler? Well yeah it could .. cos really brown butter is a big of a fag to make..

All you need is salted butter, sage leaves and 1 clove garlic. Plus some time and patience..

Put the butter, sage leaves (whole) and garlic (peeled but whole) in a small pot, on medium heat. Melt, stirring now and then. Once it’s melted, then you have to be more watchful.

Keep the heat on, but stir more regularly .. you’ll kinda think “is it done? is it done?” but don’t take it off the heat too early or it’ll just be melted butter sauce. Not nutty flavoured butter like we want.

The best way to tell if it’s ready is when it smells like mild caramel and kinda even looks a bit like it. Of course here in NZ that is hard to tell cos there’s so much bloody milk solids and water in our butter that it gets foamy on top but skim that off and throw it away .. then you’re simply left with a beautiful brown sauce.

You could use the garlic to garnish the meal, or throw it away – over to you. I went simple: sage leaves scattered on the grated cooked kumara mix, drizzled in the brown butter sauce. Heavenly .. sweet but just .. so .. so good!

I confess, I skimmed the milk solids off the sauce and then strained it thru’ a fine mesh strainer too – just to be sure I had a clear, gorgeous sauce. I’d recommend doing this but it no longer is a simple dish huh 😉

Oh and use this hot, not cold – ugh!!

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