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Golly gee it’s Ghee March 24, 2009

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Food, random stuff.
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Ghee is some neat stuff, isn’t it?  I’ve never really cooked with it much, though it interests me greatly. The buttery flavor of, well, butter, without the low smoke point.

Dude.  You can saute in this stuff.  😯

Cool. 8)

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I have got to get me some of this stuff.

So off to the store I went, and sure enough, right there in the “Indian” section of Tops International, was a pint jar of ghee.

For just $7.32.  😯

Over seven bucks for clarified butter?  I don’t think so.  Especially when just a couple of aisles away, regular butter is on sale for less than $2 a pound.  🙄

We’ll just see what we can do with that, then.  How hard can it be?  I mean, you just melt some butter, right?

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I started by melting a pound of unsalted butter in a heavy-bottomed pan over low heat.  (I’ll salt whatever I’m cooking with it – besides, the whole point is to remove everything else from the fat anyway.)  As the butter started to foam, I skimmed as much off as I reasonably could – I couldn’t help myself – it’s just like when making jam, I guess.  😳

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Let the butter boil gently until it’s done crackling and foaming – about half an hour or so, I think.  The foam is made up of water mixed with some milk solids – probably the whey that’s left from the butter-making process.  Other solids cook (deep fry?) and sink to the bottom of the pan.  What we ultimately want is the in-between oil part – the actual pure fat.  😯

The entire kitchen smells rich and buttery.

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Jarly seemed to approve.  Which is why we left it to simmer on the back burner – just in case  😉

Once we reach that sweet spot between melted butter and burned butter – about 20 minutes on a fairly low flame, we shut off the flame and let it rest for a few minutes.  I don’t know about you, but I’m just as happy not to be messing around with boiling oil.  Just saying. . .

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I strained the ghee through both a couple of layers of cheesecloth and a coffee filter.  No point in risking bits of charred, uh, butter stuff getting in, right?

A couple of notes – a pound – 16 ounces – of butter made just 12 ounces of finished ghee.  I happened to have a couple of 12-ounce jelly jars lying around, so that was that.  Also, if you don’t have one, you should invest in a canning funnel, even if you don’t can.  It’s the handiest thing for pouring stuff into jars – any stuff, whether it’s salad dressing or, well, ghee.

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Once I skimmed off as much of the foam as I could, we strained the butter, then let it set and cool.  And, of course, Mr. Patience did finally get a taste of the foam that got skimmed off the top.  It actually tasted more like buttermilk than butter – not that he objected.  😆

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And there we have it.  Twelve ounces of our own homemade ghee, in all its buttery goodness, ready for flavoring, frying, or whatever else ghee is ready for.  😛

PhotobucketAs I understand it, this is shelf-stable for anywhere between a couple of months and a year – no refrigeration necessary.  We should never, ever use wet utensils in it, which only makes sense, if you think about it.  After all, we just evaporated all the water from the butter – of course we don’t want to put any back in.  😯

I’m not exactly sure what we’ll use all this for – I know there are plenty of Indian and Middle Eastern recipes out there that are just begging to be tried.  😉

And I can’t help thinking that ghee might be just the thing to use for grilled cheese sandwiches. . . 😯

Does anyone have a favorite way to use ghee?  ❓

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Comments

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