The Secret to Better Brown Butter

Fried butter makes everything better, except, of course, when you don’t feel it at all. Its rich, toasty flavor is lost in all but the fattest dishes. The solution is simple: just add milk.

I learned this ingenious trick from blogger and writer Mandy Lee. This is why it works: When you fry butter, the parts that actually fry and turn brown are milk proteins. Adding pure milk gives the butter more room to work, so you end up with much more crunchy brown chunks, which give the browned butter its unique flavor. The more you have them, the more they will appear in the finished dish.

Preparing extra toasted butter is similar to making regular butter, except you add a little milk first. There is no magic ratio; in the photo above, two sticks plus about half a cup of whole milk, but you can use less or more depending on what you need. Watch it and stir frequently – it will look strange and pale at first, but as soon as the milk boils off, you will turn golden. When it’s done, toss these crunchy little nuggets with anything that takes a little energy. This time you will know for sure that they are there.


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