Friday, August 1, 2014

Making Homemade Ghee (and Making Butter Dairy-Free!)

I am grateful for you, readers, all puns aside.  I started this blog how many years ago having no idea that people from around the world would be reading my cooking and eating thoughts and adventures. And now when I write, instead of thinking I am writing to my mom and sisters as I did in the beginning, I find myself imagining who some of you may be, and I write to you.  And my mom and siblings.  Ye all have made my world expand, and it's wonderful.  Thank you.

Speaking of ghee, Chef Reiton has been yearning to make ghee (pronounced "gee" like "ye" hence my horrible puns) for an eternity.  Ever since he bought his cookbook titled "Oriental Step-by-Step Cookbook" (seriously), he has wanted to make this high heat-tolerant oil used in pan frying, sautéing, etc.  When he found out a few months ago that ghee is also paleo, he had a batch made within the week.

Having used up that batch a few weeks ago, I made another batch the other day.  I tried to document the melting process as best I could for you.  Here's the step-by-step process for making about 1 2/3 cups of oil from one pound of organic unsalted butter.  (This process takes awhile, so it's a good project to do while you are making something else in the kitchen.)

Unwrap four sticks or one 1-pound block of unsalted organic butter in a 2-quart saucepan. Set the pot on a burner set to the lowest heat setting.  As the butter begins to melt, you will see the whitish milk solids separate from the clear, yellow oil.  DO NOT STIR.

Soon the milk solids will rise to the surface, and the oil will begin to simmer.

As the oil simmers, the milk solids will begin to brown.  Some of them will settle to the bottom of the pot.  This is okay; the oil will be strained at the end.  

When the solids are a nice nutty color, strain the oil through a mesh strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth.

The result? An oil that is extremely heat tolerant and free of milk solids that tastes deliciously of butter.  

Pour your ghee into a jar, let it cool, then cap it and store it in the fridge.

Now, for my veteran ghee makers out there: did I overdo my browning? I don't remember my husband's being as dark... It tastes good; I just want it to be "right."  Let me know if a comment if you have the answer.

Good luck to "ghee" all!

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