How to Brown Butter

by Ronnie Watchorn

Welcome to our first installment of Kitchen Quickies, a series of short and simple how to blogs to teach you something new or refresh you on something you've gotten hazy at.
Today we're browning butter.
If butter isn't at the top of your list of favorite foods, you're likely in denial or on some fad diet you shouldn't be. (If you've given up butter, the terrorists have won.) From noodles to muffins, or even just Kerrygold on a spoon, butter literally makes everything better. (Scouts honor.)
But let me tell ya, depending on the application what you're fixing to learn makes it even better, and all you've gotta do is damn near burn it. Yup. Through the browning process you can take an everyday stick of butter and turn it into your very own culinary secret weapon.
So without further ado let's get started. Start with a stick of high quality butter. (I usually go with either Challenge or Kerrygold.) Throw it in a skillet and melt it down over medium heat and bring it to a boil.
Sounds simple but you've gotta make sure you're keeping an eye on it, stirring it regularly. It can burn in an instant. The browning process usually takes between 5-8 minutes. You'll know you're on the right track when the milk solids darken and sink to the bottom of the pan as the butter begins to get foamy and your kitchen starts smelling like hazelnuts roasting over a heavenly fire. Give it another stir and clear the foam (it should be a beautiful golden brown color) then remove it from the heat.
Here you have two options, you're pouring it out of the pan so the residual heat doesn't burn the butter while it sits, and you can either strain out the milk solids or leave them in. They give a great nutty flavor but if you're using this for a sauce or something and need it silky smooth, straining it creates that perfect one ingredient wonder to help you knock it outta the park.
When I make brown butter I usually end up making a whole box at a time. Sounds like a lot right? But this stuff freezes beautifully. Pour your browned butter into an ice cube tray (then put that tray into a zip lock freezer bag to keep it from absorbing smells) and freeze it. Once its frozen you can just drop the cubes into a mason jar or tupper wear and keep them in reserve until you need em!
This simple trick is a quick level up for sauces, pasta, baked goods, and more. Give it a try, I promise you it'll blow your mind!