Thursday, August 06, 2009

I LOVE clarified butter

So it is not the healthiest thing in the world, but it has to be better than margarine and all things in moderation I say. Last weekend, IronMan and I went to see Food Inc. An interesting movie about where those neatly wrapped chicken breasts, pork roasts and steaks you see in the grocery store really come from.

There were the usual pictures of abattoirs and what goes on behind closed doors. I do not consider myself squeamish, so the butchering and packing piece did not bother me, I know that meat doesn’t grow on trees. But what I did find shocking was that some of the animals have so many hormones (so we can get those big white breasts) injected, or are feed nothing but corn, and get so heavy they can’t even stand up! Using the forklift just to get the cow on its legs so you could kill it was a bit much.

So, I am going to try and eat only organic meat. This is by no means my first foray into this arena, but a more concerted effort will now be made. So last night I found myself at the Village Butcher here in Lakeshore Village (if I keep calling it that cute name, maybe it will one day be true). Four lamb chops, a New York strip (apparently Iron and lamb do not mix) and $44 later (I can clearly see this is going to be a pricey endeavour) I headed home to BBQ.

Yes, they were pricey, but oh sooooo good. Yes, you really can taste the difference. The chops were huge and the steak nice and thick. In order to kick off this new habit with style I cracked open my French Laundry cookbook for a fancy starter. I didn’t have all the fixins, but made do. Try this, and your taste buds will love you, your arteries ask “what the hell is going on”?

Clarify 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Use a mandolin (thanks Fauntleroy) and slice two regular potatoes and two sweet potatoes nice and thin. In the bottom of a cast iron pan (or other oven proof skillet) put about ½ tbsp of the butter and put over a low heat. Start with a layer or regular potato, then the sweet and then salt and pepper. Sprinkle with one - two tbsp of butter, repeat twice more. The original recipe is all white potatoes with prunes softened in chicken stock in the middle – also very good.

By the time you get to the top, the bottom layer will be starting to brown. Chuck the entire pan in a 450 degree oven for 20 – 25 minutes. The bottom is crispy, golden and so good. If you have a twin pan, you flip your “cake” into the other and brown the ‘top’ as well.

Like I said, you can’t eat this everyday, but it is a fine treat!


Blogger Blair said...

You can buy large jars of clarified butter at the supermarket in the Indian food section. It's called Gee.

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is so wrong about large, white breasts that have a difficult time standing up? You are going to ruin my claim to fame!

4:09 PM  
Blogger Robert Mitchell L.L. said...

LOL.... I am sure those are organic so they are fine...

7:22 PM  

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