These are among the simpler butter preparations that are used as sauces. Some are as simple as just melted or clarified butter. These are a bit more complicated; watch to make sure you don't burn them.
Beurre noisetteLiterally meaning "hazelnut butter", this is melted butter that's cooked until the milk solids turn a very light brown, and the butter gives off a nutty aroma. When clarified at this point, this butter is called "ghee" in Indian cooking, where it is a staple. Be careful; it's very easy to overcook this. Prepared ghee can be purchased from Indian or Asian markets.
Beurre noirAlso called black butter, this is melted butter that is heated until the solids turn a darker brown, then a few drops of vinegar are added. Be very careful adding the vinegar, as the hot butter may spatter.
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Chuck Taggart (e-mail chuck)