Brown is the New Butter
The way to elevate butter to nirvana status is to turn it into brown butter. With a rich nuttiness and the color of hazelnuts, brown butter (also called beurre noisette) is a versatile ingredient that starts as your typical stick of butter that’s heated and strained.
It’s an ideal ingredient to have on hand year-round, but seems especially well suited for cooler-weather cooking. Drizzle it over roasted winter squash—butternut squash, brown butter and sage is a classic combo—or cruciferous veggies such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. You can spoon it over pasta or fish, or go to the sweet side and use it in desserts. Because brown butter is more flavorful than traditional butter, you can often get away with using less.
HOW TO: BROWN BUTTER
To make brown butter, cut unsalted butter, preferably organic, into chunks and melt over medium heat in a pan with a light interior. (Light color makes it easier to see the butter’s color.) Stir occasionally so the butter cooks evenly.
Stay close to the pan so you see the butter progress from yellow to golden brown and can smell the nutty aroma. Skim off foam along the way. Once the butter is aromatic and golden brown, take the pan off the heat. Pour butter through a fine-mesh strainer into a glass bowl to remove the milk solids.
Leftover brown butter can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.