Brown Butter Recipes

From Issue # 1, July 2020

Brown Butter Maple Granola / Mette Nielsen

Brown Butter

Quantity: about 1 Cup

Ingredients: 1 pound unsalted butter, cut into chunks

Put the butter into a saucepan and set over medium heat. Melt the butter and cook, stirring, until it becomes foamy and turns golden. Keep an eye on it as it begins brown. The longer it cooks, the browner and nuttier it becomes - just don’t let it burn. 

3 levels of brownness:

Golden Brown Butter:  When you first start to see the milk solids appear, pull the pan off the stove. Use golden browned butter in vinaigrettes, or toss it over steamed asparagus or green beans; use it as your base to slow cook scrambled eggs; rub it over chicken, turkey, or pork before roasting. Recommended for summer.

Brown Butter: Continue to cook the butter until the milk solids turn dark brown.  Toss this with with pasta; stir into barley, wheat berries, or wild rice; drizzle it over fish, steamed vegetables (especially corn), or brush it over roast vegetables (especially carrots and winter squash); mash it into potatoes; slather it over roast chicken; swirl over creamed soups. Brush it over apples or pears as they bake. Recommended for fall and winter.

Dark Browned Butter:  Cook past dark brown, and at the edge black, remove from heat, then chill. Use in cookies, pound cake, pastries or muffins in place of regular butter. 

Quantities

Pasta Use about 8 tablespoons (1 stick) browned butter per pound of pasta. (You want it to coat generously).

Vegetables Use about 8 tablespoons (1 stick) browned butter per pound of vegetables.  Especially good with the following: fennel, mushrooms, shallots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, sunchokes, turnips, winter squash, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, chicories endive, radicchio, escarole.

Mix it up with seasonings. Combine brown butter with any of the ingredients below for saucing, baking, roasting or sautéing.

Fresh Herbs: Fills the kitchen with their glorious aroma as they sizzle in the butter: sage, thyme, rosemary, bay, parsley, oregano. Do NOT use basil, tarragon, cilantro, as these will wilt. 

Aromatics: ginger, turmeric, horseradish, lemon grass, garlic, shallots, onions, curry leaves, kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass.

Spices: curry powder, cumin (whole or ground), fennel (whole or ground), coriander (whole or ground), mustard seed, star anise,

Citrus: orange, lemon, lime, tangerine, thinly sliced or zested

Fruit: cranberries, apple, figs, dates

Sweets: maple syrup, honey, brown sugar

Vinegar: balsamic, sherry, red wine, apple cider

Brined foods: olives, capers, anchovies


Recipes

Jalapeño Honey Cornbread

Makes a 7 x 9-inch, 8 x 8-inch, or 9 x 9-inch pan

This slightly sweet, spicy, rich cornbread is sparked with chopped jalapeño. The butter is browned in the oven first, greasing the pan and then adding a nutty sweetness to the cornbread. 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1-1/2 cups coarse or medium grind cornmeal

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon coarse salt

2 large eggs

1-1/2 cups plain yogurt, buttermilk, kefir (or whole milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white wine vinegar)

1 tablespoon honey

1 small jalapeño, seeded and diced

            Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Put the butter into the baking pan and into the oven to melt and then begin to brown watch that it doesn’t burn, about 3 minutes. Remove the butter and pour most of it into a small dish, leaving the rest in the pan.

            In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, and honey then whisk in the browned butter.

            Stir the wet ingredients into the dry just until combined, fold in the jalapeño, and pour into the buttered pan. Bake until golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Brown Butter Vinaigrette with Dark Greens

Serves 4

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

2 to 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons honey

Coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper

8 cups torn dark greens – kale, arugula, watercress

½ cup dried cranberries, raisins, or chopped apricots

¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds

Cook the butter in a small skillet over medium heat until the butter foams and then browns, being careful not to let it burn, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the vinegar and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Toss together the greens and dried with just enough of the vinaigrette to lightly coat.  Serve topped with the toasted nuts.

Browned Butter Maple Granola

Makes about 6 cups

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup raw walnuts

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup raw sunflower seeds

¾ teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon cardamom

½ cup unsalted butter

½ cup maple syrup

1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, currants, cherries, blueberries … mixed or single)

Heat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom.

In a small skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter and cook until it turns brown and smells nutty, about 5 to 6 minutes. Be sure to stir frequently scraping up any bits from the bottom so they don’t burn. Take the pan off the heat and immediately add the maple syrup, stirring until it dissolves. Pour this over the granola mixture, mixing it until evenly incorporated. Taste and adjust the seasonings.