Why You Need to Incorporate Ghee Into Your Cooking
Butter makes it better, but ghee makes it grand.
In the kitchen, ghee is exceptionally versatile in all kinds of dishes. It has a high smoke point at 485 degrees (ordinary butter has a smoke point of 350 degrees), making it perfect for sautéing and frying. It makes an ideal replacement for vegetable and canola oil in recipes. You can even use it in place of coconut oil. You can find ghee at most grocery stores, though it’s most readily available at specialty grocers. You can also make it right at home. All you need is a pound of high-quality butter (organic, grass-fed is best) and a saucepan. Bring the butter to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and let it simmer. The butter should foam and bubble, and then the foam should disappear. Continue simmering the butter until it foams a second time. This means it’s done!
For hundreds of years, cooks throughout the Middle East and India have known about the magic of ghee. They cook with it, spread it over bread, and use it as a sauce. Ghee is a type of clarified butter. The butter is simmered for a longer period of time than standard clarified butter in order to render out as much water as possible. Then the remaining milk solids are strained away. The resulting ghee has a rich, nutty flavor. Even better, ghee is shelf-stable, doesn’t need refrigeration, and can last a long time — though once you start using it, it’s unlikely to sit around for very long. While ghee hasn’t quite entered the mainstream yet, it’s on the verge of becoming a kitchen staple in the U.S. The reasons why are simple: It’s delicious and better for you than regular butter. In fact, for a food that’s almost entirely fat — ghee is 99.5 percent fat, and 60 percent of that is saturated fat — it boasts quite a few health benefits. Ghee is packed with healthy fat to help your body utilize fat-soluble vitamins and minerals more effectively. It’s also a great source of vitamins A, E, and K2. And ghee is a source of HDL cholesterol, often called the “good” cholesterol.
The butter will be a golden color, and brown milk solids will sink to the bottom of the pan. Pour it through a fine wire-mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a heatproof and airtight container.
Take a Break!
GRILLED HAM AND CHEESE
8 slices of bread (Pullman works best) 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano)
8 ounces ham, thinly sliced
1/2 pound Swiss cheese, sliced
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1. Butter each slice of bread on the outsides and sprinkle with Parmesan. 2. Layer ham and cheese evenly on top of 4 slices of bread. 3. Spread apricot preserves and mustard across the other
4 slices. Press sandwiches together. 4. In a cast-iron skillet or large
sauté pan over medium heat, grill sandwiches until golden, about 3 minutes per side.
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5. Cut in half and serve.
Inspired by Food &Wine magazine
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