PEAK Functions is nearing completion, and despite being in the middle of setting up the brand new kitchen, their wonderful Catering Manager, Sarah Moore, has found time to share this fantastic cooking tip and recipe with us. Thank you Sarah!

“To lock in the flavour when cooking fish, I highly recommend cooking with clarified butter.

Clarified butter (sometimes called ‘drawn’ butter) is used when you’re frying something either for an extended period or over high heat; and forthose times when you want the flavour of butter, rather than oil, you’ll want to use clarified butter, which, unlike oil, can stand being cooked longer and to a higher temperature. Clarifying butter removes the milk solids and moisture, which makes this possible.

A little jar of clarified butter in the refrigerator is nice to have on hand for scrambling eggs, frying meats, fish, and vegetables in a skillet, or stirring into a pot of just-cooked rice. Here’s the recipe:

Clarified Butter

Unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1. Heat the unsalted butter in a heavy-duty saucepan over very low heat, until it’s melted. Let it simmer gently until the foam rises to the top of the melted butter. The butter may splatter a bit, so be careful.

2. Once the butter stops spluttering, and no more foam seems to be rising to the surface, remove from heat and skim off the foam with a spoon (it can be saved and added to soups, bread doughs, polenta, pilaf, or a bowl of warm oatmeal). Don’t worry about getting every last bit; you can remove the rest when straining it.

3. Line a mesh strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth or gauze and set the strainer over a heatproof container.

4. Carefully pour the warm butter through the cheesecloth-lined strainer into the container, leaving behind any solids from the bottom of the pan.

Storage: Clarified butter will keep for 3 to 6 months in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen for a similar length of time.

Note: If you continue to cook the butter in step #2, it’ll turn a nutty-brown color and take on a pleasant aroma, which the French call beurre noisette, because of the nut-like smell and taste. You can use it right away as is, with or without the foam, and it’s wonderful drizzled over steamed vegetables!”