Brown Is The New Black: What Is Brown Butter and How To Use It

Brown Is The New Black: What Is Brown Butter and How To Use It

My life can be divided into two parts. The dark ages– the days (years, decades!) when I was completely unaware that butter could be transformed into a sultry, nutty substance called brown butter. The enlightenment– the realization that butter can indeed be turned into brown butter, and the subsequent use of it in just about everything, an attempt to make up for lost time.

I suppose I could be using other markers to divide up my life, but this seems like a fairly important life event, akin to a graduation, or a marriage, or the birth of a child. Okay, okay, perhaps not quite as significant. But pretty damn important.

Start the butter in a cold skillet. Use a pan that isn’t dark, since seeing the color of the butter change would be difficult if the bottom of the pan is black. Use a medium-low flame to melt the stick of butter into a puddle of liquid.  Swish and swirl the pan to help make sure it melts evenly.

Then, turn the flame just a hair higher, to help that butter become all wonderfully foamy. Cheerful and excited noises should be emanating from the pan. Make sure to carefully watch the particles at the bottom of the pan, they quickly become golden brown. When they do change color, remove the pan from the heat. If you aren't careful, you can quickly burn the particles.

So now that you've made it, what do you do with it?

The answer is anything and everything! 

: It melds wonderfully into sweet treats– running the gamut from chocolate to fruit.  Brown butter can go into chocolate chip cookies and rice krispie treats, and muffins and quick breads,  and brownies. Need more ideas?  Here are some sweet recipes using brown butter:

Brown Buttter Peach Crumb Bars

Thousand Layer Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Caramelized Banana Bread with Browned Butter Glaze

Browned Butter Rice Krispies Treats

Sandy Apple Muffins

Brown Butter & Graham Snickerdoodles

Lattice Pie with Pears and Vanilla Brown Butter

Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Icing

Hazelnut Brown Butter Brownies

Brown Butter Cake with Goat Cheese Cream and Blackberry Sauce

Savory: Then there is the savory stuff.  Pasta.  And more pasta.  And yet more pasta.  It is clearly difficult to not put the stuff on pasta.  But it also works on veal.  And chicken.  And vegetables.  And as a salad dressing.  It even works on seafood!  Here are some savory brown butter recipes:

Brown Butter Spaghetti with Baby Kale and Roasted Butternut Squash

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Brown Butter and Lemon

Asparagus with Garlic Brown Butter

Brown Butter Gnocchi with Spinach and Pine Nuts

Warm Summer Vegetable Salad with Brown Butter Dressing

Brown Butter Macaroni and Cheese

Fennel-Dusted Chicken with Brown Butter and Capers

Scallops with Hazelnuts and Browned Butter Vinaigrette

Tanerine-Brown Butter Vinaigrette

Veal Scallopini with Brown Butter and Capers

Beef Tenderloin with Ginger-Shiitake Brown Butter

Around The Web