Most of us love our butter and jam for biscuits, toast, and pancakes among others.
Now without the jam, take that same butter and melt it in a sauce pan until it foams, sputters, and browns into a nutty, toasty silky aroma.
The French call browned butter “beurre noisette” or “hazelnut butter,” because of that delicate nutty flavor.
How To Make Brown Butter Sauce
Brown butter can be compare to toffee, tasting slightly toasted and sweet.
As with cooking caramel, so is the same with making brown butter, it is all about gauging how well browned it is. You don’t want a burnt flavor.
Use a light-colored metal pan rather than a dark-colored one so that you can actually see how brown the butter is getting without burning it and loosing that nutty flavor.
Brown butter is at its best when it’s freshly made. If you leave it in the pan after you’ve cooked it, the residual heat may end up making it darker and bitter instead of nutty.
So have your other ingredients ready before you start melting your butter.
As the butter melts and heats up, you will notice when it begins to foam.
Stir or swirl the pan occasionally to distribute the heat.
As the foam begins to reduce, stir your butter at a constant pace because from this point on, it’s really starting to brown and at risk of burning.
When the butter takes on a caramel hue and smells toasty, it’s ready to remove the skillet or sauce pan from the burner and poured into a heatproof bowl.
Keep in mind browned butter sauce is not served like a marinara sauce for example. The butter sauce is for adding flavor to a recipe, and all it takes is a small amount.
A golden-brown butter pairs well with roasted vegetables.
Crisp Gnocchi with Brussels Sprouts & Brown Butter
1 lb. Brussels Sprouts
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Himalayan salt and black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced into 6 pieces
1- 8 oz package refrigerated potato gnocchi
1/2 teaspoon honey
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated for serving
Trim ends and halve the brussels sprouts.
Using a potato peeler, peel skin of lemon in thick strips, coarsely chop to make about 2 teaspoons lemon zest.
In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add the Brussels sprouts, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.
Next place Brussels sprouts cut-side down in an even layer. Scatter the lemon zest over the top and cook, undisturbed until the sprouts are well browned underneath, 3-5 minutes.
Next add red pepper flakes, stir and cook until the sprouts are crisp-tender, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.
In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat.
Add gnocchi to skillet, softly breaking the ones stuck together, covered and cook undisturbed until gold brown on one side, 2-4 minutes.
Next add the butter and honey, season with salt and black pepper, cook, stirring until the butter is golden, nutty smelling and foaming, 1-2 minutes.
Stir in the brussels sprouts until warmed through. Plate and serve with grated Parmesan.
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