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Old 04-21-2021, 12:17 AM   #1
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Clarifying Butter

I tried my hand at clarifying butter and have ended up with a layer of white stuff at the bottom of the jar. Also a bit - just a bitty bit - of whitish stuff on top.

I may have overdone it. I don’t know.

Is there supposed to be white stuff on the bottom?

Julia said I am supposed to use this to saute my chicken. I tried to follow her instructions but may have messed it up.

I couldn’t find tarragon (two stores!), anyway, so I am going to substitute thyme. I hope I can get the butter right before I start.

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Old 04-21-2021, 01:47 AM   #2
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Okay, I poured it through a strainer again and it seems like the white stuff is gone.

I think I can use it.

Any clue what I did wrong??

The white stuff tastes very tangy, like if you mixed it with mustard it might be yummy on a turkey sandwich.
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Old 04-21-2021, 09:09 AM   #3
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The white stuff at the bottom is the milk solids. Clarified butter doesn't burn as easily as butter, because those are no longer in the butter. I have read that in the Middle East, the leftover milk solids are often used as a spread on toast. So, it sounds like you did it right.
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Old 04-21-2021, 09:29 AM   #4
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Sounds like you did OK. While it's clarifying, skim the white stuff off the top. Then strain the yellow part (the clarified butter) through a cheesecloth lined strainer to keep the milk solids out of the finished product.

Butter will burn in a hot pan. Clarified butter won't.
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Old 04-21-2021, 09:36 AM   #5
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Is clarified the same as ghee?
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Old 04-21-2021, 09:43 AM   #6
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Is clarified the same as ghee?
Yes. Although some ghee is cooked longer to deepen the flavor of the finished product.


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Old 04-21-2021, 11:42 AM   #7
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I would say that ghee is clarified butter, but that not all clarified butter is ghee.
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Old 04-21-2021, 12:08 PM   #8
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When I make the clarified butter that just gets the white milky stuff out (I use this type for dunking seafood and the like), I put a couple of sticks in a 2 c pyrex cup, and put it in my oven, with the pilot lights, that keep it at about 120° (a regular oven set at 150° would probably work, with no foaming) . This is not fast, but in a few hours, the butter will be totally melted, and the milky liquid will be on the bottom, and I can suck it out with a baster. This way, none of it foams up at all, which happens, even at low temps, on the stovetop or microwave, and that foam does end up being left in the butter, though it's not really much. This is how I melt chocolate, too, unless I want it right away!

For ghee, which is good for sautéing, and has a strong butter flavor, due to the browning, simply melt it in a fairly large saucepan, as it foams up, and whisk it occasionally, to lessen the foam, then to loosen the particles from the bottom. Once it starts browning, bring the temperature up to 280° - much more, and it tends to burn. Pour into a metal bowl, to cool some, and while still liquid, pour through a very fine strainer, or a cloth strainer (I've tried coffee filters, but only about half goes through, before it's clogged!). I keep this in a pint mason jar in the fridge at all times, and use it in a lot of things, not just Indian foods.
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Old 04-21-2021, 01:03 PM   #9
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When I make the clarified butter that just gets the white milky stuff out (I use this type for dunking seafood and the like), I put a couple of sticks in a 2 c pyrex cup, and put it in my oven, with the pilot lights, that keep it at about 120° (a regular oven set at 150° would probably work, with no foaming) . This is not fast, but in a few hours, the butter will be totally melted, and the milky liquid will be on the bottom, and I can suck it out with a baster. This way, none of it foams up at all, which happens, even at low temps, on the stovetop or microwave, and that foam does end up being left in the butter, though it's not really much. This is how I melt chocolate, too, unless I want it right away!

For ghee, which is good for sautéing, and has a strong butter flavor, due to the browning, simply melt it in a fairly large saucepan, as it foams up, and whisk it occasionally, to lessen the foam, then to loosen the particles from the bottom. Once it starts browning, bring the temperature up to 280° - much more, and it tends to burn. Pour into a metal bowl, to cool some, and while still liquid, pour through a very fine strainer, or a cloth strainer (I've tried coffee filters, but only about half goes through, before it's clogged!). I keep this in a pint mason jar in the fridge at all times, and use it in a lot of things, not just Indian foods.
The foam is the water in the butter evaporating in bubbles from the heat. It's not left in the ghee as long as you continue heating the butter until it stops foaming (butter is around 20 percent water and the rest is butterfat and milk solids).

My microwave has settings for melting and softening butter and cream cheese, so I use that.
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Old 04-21-2021, 01:33 PM   #10
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The foam is the water in the butter evaporating in bubbles from the heat. It's not left in the ghee as long as you continue heating the butter until it stops foaming (butter is around 20 percent water and the rest is butterfat and milk solids).

My microwave has settings for melting and softening butter and cream cheese, so I use that.
What brand microwave do you have? I would love one of those.
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Old 04-21-2021, 02:04 PM   #11
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What brand microwave do you have? I would love one of those.
I wasn't aware that you couldn't use any microwave to melt and soften such things. Works for me, anyway.

I have never thought to clarify butter in mine tho. I learn something new every day.

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Old 04-21-2021, 02:23 PM   #12
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What brand microwave do you have? I would love one of those.
It's a KitchenAid. Has lots of cool settings - it has an infrared cooking light that browns food, although I haven't tried it out. I keep forgetting about it
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Old 04-21-2021, 04:36 PM   #13
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I melt butter in the microwave. I haven't noticed whether or not it foams. I would try using about 30% power and seen how well that works.
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