Browned butter is one of those special ingredients that can enhance almost any dish, from baked goods to vinaigrettes to roasted vegetables. In French, browned butter is called beurre noisette (hazelnut butter) and for good reason. Browned butter has an unmistakably nutty aroma. When you make browned butter, your kitchen will fill with the heavenly scent of toasted hazelnuts!
Heat a enamel-coated skillet on medium heat. Use a pan with a lighter bottom, so you can see the color of the butter change. Cut your butter into small, even pieces to ensure all of the butter is melted before the milk solids start to brown. I started with one large clump and quickly realized my mistake!
Add the butter to skillet. As the butter melts, stir frequently. The butter will begin to bubble and foam at the top. This is just the water evaporating.
Keep swirling the liquid around. The milk protein solids will start to cook. Small specks of browned bits will form at the bottom of the pan. You will see the liquid change from a pale yellow to a deeper golden brown hue.
Keep a close eye on the color of your butter. It takes just a few seconds to go from perfectly browned butter to burnt butter!
Once your start to smell the nutty aroma, remove the skillet from heat. The butter will continue to cook if it remains in the hot skillet, so transfer it right away to prevent burning. Either use immediately or pour into a separate container.
If you have a lot of scorched bits at the bottom, try straining your browned butter through a fine-mesh sieve. I personally don’t mind the dredges, but some might not like that extra-burnt flavor.
Though it is best enjoyed immediately, you can store browned butter in a tightly-sealed container in your refrigerator. It should last for 1-2 weeks.
So, what’s your favorite way to cook with browned butter?
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