What you need:
1 1/4 cup of unsalted butter
a fine sieve, cheesecloth or a few coffee filters
How to do it:
For those of us who didn’t go to culinary school, let’s talk about clarified butter (also known as ghee) for a minute. My camera died while I was doing the butter, so sadly, I don’t have the best step-by-step photos, so I’ll try and explain well.
I’m not a butter person at all. I read online that I could buy already clarified butter “from my local Indian grocery store,” like they have those in Jerusalem… so, this was a totally disgusting experience for me: melting the butter, spooning out the foam (reading that someone suggested I store it in my fridge?!) and the straining it. Clarifying butter removes the milk solids and moisture, which allows you to cook it at higher temperatures and for longer amounts of time (which is good in Persian or Indian cooking, and probably a lot others). Sometimes it’s called for in baking as well, like with Baklava. You’ll lose about 25 percent of the butter in this process, which is why the ingredients call for 1 1/4 cup butter, though you will really only use 1 cup. If you’re nervous for health reasons, use 1/2 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of the clarified butter. Onwards.
Cut the butter into cubes and simmer over very low heat until all the butter is melted.
A lot of foam will begin to rise to the top. Once the foam stops rising to the top (about five minutes), remove the pot from the heat and skim off as much of the foam as you can with a spoon.
You can use this for later cooking or you can gag at the thought of doing so and throw it in the garbage, like me.
Next, strain the remaining butter through a sieve or thick paper towel. I used a coffee filter because I didn’t have a fine enough sieve. A cheesecloth would have worked wonders for me. I thought this part was unnecessarily tedious, so buy clarified butter if you can. Otherwise, buy a cheesecloth. Try not to lose too much butter in the process though, like I did. Bottom line, you just don’t want the white globs, so it’ll all be okay if you don’t strain it perfectly well, or at least it’ll all be okay with me 😉
Also, you can add spices at this point to make flavored clarified butter, such as, cardamon-flavored butter, ginger-flavored and even jalapeno. Here are some proportions if you’re interested in that (though I didn’t go that route).
This is the color that you want. Pour it into a tightly-lidded jar. It will keep in your fridge for up to a year. Just warm it up in a pot before using.