Monday, October 18, 2010

In Praise of Butter

You have heard by now about "brown butter mashed potatoes" haven't you?  If not, then get thee to the kitchen, now!  Just make your mashed potatoes like you normally would (I use buttermilk), but this time brown a big wallop of butter in a pan.  Yes, I said "brown", sort of like burning it.  Heat it slowly, it will begin to foam and bubble as the water boils out, then the milk solids will start to brown.  Medium brown is good but don't let it burn.  Burned butter is bad.  Add that to your mashed with a few squeezes of the garlic press (the garlic will cook in the hot potatoes) and a few strikes of nutmeg across your micro plane.  You will be amazed at the increased complexity of flavors and you family and friends will regard you as the chef de cuisine.

Now, how about cornmeal in your pancakes?  Try it.  You make your pancakes from scratch right?  Flour, egg, baking soda, buttermilk, a little salt and sugar so they will brown.  If you use plain milk, baking powder is the levening agent - its an acid reactive thing.  Mix it all up to the consistency of pancake batter, you know the feel.  Now add a little cornmeal.  It's not so much for taste, but for the slight crunch that adds a little extra pizazz to your already good flapjacks.

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