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Clarified Butter and the French restaurant

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm not really sure what this is, how to do it, and what it's for. Advice please?

I went out to french restaurant Benoit last week Benoit New York | Esprit Bistrot it was very good although I can't remember the last time I ate so much butter. (The owner is Alain Ducasse and the Exec. Chef used to be Martha Stewart's personal chef :D).

The waitress said something very fishy about clarified butter. She said that "the potatoes had been poached in clarified butter so they're fat free." Is clarified butter fat free?????

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #2 of 13
lol

clarified butter is butter oil

it has been freed of water and milk solids

percentage wise, it is higher in fat than butter itself!

ghee is clarified butter that has had the milk solids browned a bit, imparting a rich nutty aroma/taste (by the way, ghee is widely used in indian, pakistani and middle eastern cooking but indians also love to pour regular melted butter on food)

I dont know everything about it, but clarified butter and gee are nice because u can fry at a higher temp, the milk solids are gone so there is nothing to scorch

u can even deep fry with clarified butter, but it cant go to as high a temp as peanut oil or shortening can.

Indians say it is good for u and good for the digestion
post #3 of 13
The server was either being facetious or sorta dumb.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #4 of 13
Maybe the server was listening to chef explain clarified butter, ie., the fat is removed from the butter solids, and got the wrong idea.
post #5 of 13
Having eaten there a couple of times, I too question the understanding of the server. Other than the sommelier, who really knew her stuff and was very helpful, they seemed to lack knowledge, either of the food or of good service procedures. :rolleyes:

BTW: we've had the $35 prix fixe, and the food was very good. But I still need to go back at least once more for the charcuterie plate for two. Everyone I know who's had it says it is fantastic. The cassoulet, otoh, was barely okay. I can't believe that Jean-Jacques Rachou (owner of La Cote Basque, the resto formerly in that space, for years and years and years) would have served that.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #6 of 13
Shows you what happens when you are told by an uninformed server.:chef:
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
The food was very good. I wanted to order the cassoulet but they were out. I started with an onion soup gratinee which was wonderful and my friend had fresh pea soup that smelled like a garden :lips:. I went on to day boat scallops served with leeks and potatoes with a manierre sauce (spelling??) thinking that it would be a light entree but as soon as the plate hit the table the aroma of butter hit me like a truck. Don't get me wrong, it was wonderful, but scallops swimming in a butter sauce felt like a throwback to heavy french cooking. I ended with a creme brulee and my friend had a coffee tourte and it was great. I really wanted the charcute platter but I figured too much meat for one evening.

I'm still squirting butter out of my ears :crazy:

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #8 of 13
At least there's no fat! :D
post #9 of 13
It's possible she meant Trans Fat Free.
...or more likely what Kuan said.

Clarified butter is moisture free....and milk solids free....and possibly sodium free...
but never, ever will it be fat free.
post #10 of 13
Admittedly, sauce meuniere is pretty much butter, butter, and a bit of butter. I think of it as especially for fish (e.g. the famous sole meuniere), not potatoes, but it sounds delicious.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
It was a scallop dish, the scallops, potatoes, and leeks were all swimming in it. Apparently the potatoes and leeks were placed in the dish they had been poached in clarified butter.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #12 of 13
Ah, there you go. Thomas Keller poaches lobster tails in beurre monte, which is in essence butter bound up just a bit so it can't break easily. All shellfish adore this -- or rather, we do once we do it to the shellfish. Meuniere sauce is essentially a way of turning butter into a sauce for fish, so it sounds like you had something sort of halfway between.

Yumm.
post #13 of 13
Clarified butter is not fat free...
it is produced by melting butter and allowing the different components to separate by density . The water evaporates, some solids float to the surface and are skimmed off, and the remainder of the milk solids sink to the bottom and are left behind when the butter fat (which would then be on top) is poured off. The components that are not butter fat are usually discarded. To make clarified butter, melt unsalted butter and take the foam that comes up with a spoon.
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