Brown butter is like butter-zilla. It's still butter, but with big flavor. And you can use it exactly the same way you use regular butter in recipes for cookies, cakes, tart shells, sauces, vegetables, fish, and pasta. It just adds another layer of flavor to your favorite sweet or savory dishes.
HOW-TO BROWN BUTTER
Step 1: To make brown butter, simply start melting butter over medium heat. Use a pan with a light-colored or stainless steel bottom so you can keep track of the color.
Step 2: Swirl the pan occasionally to be sure the butter is cooking evenly.
Step 3: As the butter melts, it will begin to foam. The color will progress from lemony-yellow to golden-tan to, finally, a toasty-brown.
Step 4: Once you smell that nutty aroma, take the pan off the heat and transfer the browned butter into a glass or stainless steel bowl to cool.
The milk solids will cook faster and you'll see them settle on the bottom of the pan like the dregs in a bottle of wine. When you transfer the brown butter to the bowl, try to leave as much of this sediment in the pan as possible. (But if you really like it, keep it.) I love the flavor of the slightly burnt milk solids with the nutty butter, so I leave them in. Try it both ways to see what you like.
Step 5: You can also strain the butter through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth to remove all the particles.
It's easy enough to brown just what you need for your recipe, but you can also brown large batches of butter at a single time. It keeps for weeks in the fridge, or you can freeze it in ice cube trays.
Now that we've covered the Brown Butter basics, put your new-found skills to the test with these recipes.