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Making Ghee

March 9, 2010

Subbing vegetable oils for butter can help you sculpt your body, too

I have time to kill, I’m a foodie, and butter is good for you.  Three legitimate reasons why I decided to buy a pound of unsalted butter and try my hand at making ghee.

Best thing to do is follow Alton Brown’s recipe, here.

The basic instructions:

  1. Melt the butter in a pot.
  2. Boil until it foams twice.
  3. The ghee is done when the butter becomes golden and the milk solids at the bottom are brown (watch like a hawk at this point – burnt ghee will taste weird).
  4. Strain through cheesecloth into a glass, air-tight container.

I watched it a little too much like a hawk, and strained the stuff before it was ready.  Referring to Youtube and pictures, I went back and re-melted the butter and did it properly.

What it shouldn't look like

What it should look like. Notice the golden-brown awesomeness.

And the left-over brown bits?  I had to taste them.  They taste like fried paneer, which is pretty much exactly what it is.  Since we’re removing those milk solids, I don’t think you’d want to chow down on those, though.

I’m using ghee as a cheap alternative to extra-virgin olive oil in baking, sauteeing, etc., especially since that stuff should be reserved for nice things and not be heated to high temperatures.  I don’t have access to a quality butcher to render fats, or coconut oil, so ghee will have to do.

Butter is quite healthy for you – just don’t go eating a stick in a sitting.  It’s high in saturated (good in moderation) and mono-unsaturated fats (the good kind), low in poly-unsaturated fatty acids (the bad kind).  Ghee is clarified butter.  Since its milk solids are removed, this dramatically increases its smoke-point, making frying and sautéing possible without dribbling olive oil in the pan.  It’s also palatable for lactose intolerant people.

The taste?  Wonderful and nutty.  The smell is something that you just wish you could smother popcorn with, but sadly corn is the devil.  So they went of vegetables, instead.

The recipe takes 10 or-so minutes.  Give it a try.

Vi sees.

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