Techniques

Buerre Noisette

brown butter
Browned butter is possibly the best sauce on earth. It is incredibly simple, yet most cooks are too timid to get at its full potential. We are accustomed to thinking that anything brown or black is burned. Not so with browned butter.

The French name means nutty butter, because the milk solids sink to the bottom and take on a nutty flavor. If you have the guts to let it get black, you have buerre noir, and a heap’n help’n of flavor.

Simply melt the butter over med-high heat. A sauté pan is best, as the solids sink quickly to the bottom. Do not stir, just watch and wait. You will see the fat and solids separate. Some will sink, and some will float at first. Keep the heat on and eventually they will all end up on the bottom, browning nicely. That’s it!

Browned butter makes a great sauce for all kinds of foods, including vegetables, fish, potatoes, and noodles. It can also be chilled and used in cake and cookie recipes for incredible, unexpected flavor.

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