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Seared Butter


KendallCollege
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I'd like to put everyone to this task.

How can you sear butter to end up with a product that is carmelized/golden-brown on the outside and oozing on the inside?

I've done my first test.

Treat butter like mexican fried ice cream.

Freeze a butter-ball solid, press flour and panko-crumbs into it, and deep-fry it. The finished product is a panko-ball with liquified butter inside.

My only problem is that the dish is boring. It is what it is.

Can anyone "raise the bar"?

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My immediate question is "why?"

My next question is "why not?"

I've been toying with the idea of a reverse-Baked Alaska treatment for tuna: Take a 2.5cm cube of sushi-grade ahi and somehow make it medium or medium-well (and hot) in the center, with a chilled and raw exterior. I'm thinking transglutiminase and a laser might be my friends here.

This whole love/hate thing would be a lot easier if it was just hate.

Bring me your finest food, stuffed with your second finest!

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Reverse baked alaska is done in a microwave: freeze the outside, such as ice cream inject liquid such as jam or a coulis in the centre. The microwave preferentially heats liquid. Beware, can be very hot! The ice cream should not be too thick, or the microwaves can't penetrate.

Prof Kurti demonstrated this, together with other wonders on the same principle, such as inside-out toast, in a lecture at the Royal Institution in 1969 entitled "The Physicist in the Kitchen". I was present.

For seared butter I would use a blowtorch, but aren't you making a sort of chicken Kiev? It would be easier to make beurre noisette, then adjust the texture.

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Well, being from Wisconsin, I'm all for the idea of deep-fried butter. I'd wrap it in bacon, too, but that's just one man's opinion....

This whole love/hate thing would be a lot easier if it was just hate.

Bring me your finest food, stuffed with your second finest!

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Reverse baked alaska is done in a microwave: freeze the outside, such as ice cream inject liquid such as jam or a coulis in the centre. The microwave preferentially heats liquid. Beware, can be very hot! The ice cream should not be too thick, or the microwaves can't penetrate.

I don't want to stuff tuna with ice cream. WHo the hell would eat that, anyhow? I want to cook the centermost segment of a cube to about 40*C and have the outside be butt-cold and raw.

This whole love/hate thing would be a lot easier if it was just hate.

Bring me your finest food, stuffed with your second finest!

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Raising the bar?  How about a flavoured butter?  With basil, or thyme, or rosemary? or Lemongrass?  The possibilities are endless....just add salt.

I think you could do this with any compound butter, right? And as I understand it, in my experience, the act of searing is kind of based on a temperature differential, right? SO form your compound butter into whatever shape you want to end up with, and freeze it to as cold a temp as you can possibly achieve. Then go after it with a (minimum) propane or (preferably) a MAPP or oxyacetylene torch. Or a plasma cutter. Or a laser, if you happen to have a Class IV Yttrium-Argon laser cluttering up the premises.

Wear sunglasses, though.

Edited by Reefpimp (log)

This whole love/hate thing would be a lot easier if it was just hate.

Bring me your finest food, stuffed with your second finest!

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Depending on its use, I suppose it be bruleed as well -- freeze the butter and press fine sugar onto the surface. Wouldn't the blow torched sugar create a hard crust to encase the melted butter?

Just brainstorming...

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Well, being from Wisconsin, I'm all for the idea of deep-fried butter.  I'd wrap it in bacon, too, but that's just one man's opinion....

Reef,

It would also be appropriate to fry it with a beer batter. Serve with brandy whatever!

Tim

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My immediate question is "why?"

My next question is "why not?"

I've been toying with the idea of a reverse-Baked Alaska treatment for tuna:  Take a 2.5cm cube of sushi-grade ahi and somehow make it medium or medium-well (and hot) in the center, with a chilled and raw exterior.  I'm thinking transglutiminase and a laser might be my friends here.

It would be interesting to find out what type of laser would be needed. A maser would probobly do a better job. In either case it might be interesting to mess around with. I have heard of medical devices thatt can be tuned to burn out cancer in the brain w/o harming other parts, maybe this might work.

Living hard will take its toll...
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I'll stick with the straight-up balls of plugra butter that I've got sitting in the furthest-reaches of one of the freezers at work.

If the test-run works, I'm going to try the compound butter idea that someone suggested up-threat. Imagine putting 2 or 3 fried nuggets on top of a nicely cooked piece of beef. The guest curiously presses a fork into one of the nuggets and an "ooze" spills-out over the meat. Instant sauce, instand seasoning-highlights, and instant fat-addition.

I'm liking where this is headed.

Keep on brainstorming, please!!!

Cheers.

Trev

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One of my favorite dishes is cromesquis, where you take foie gras, blend it with some port, add gelatin and chill into blocks then cut into individual serving pieces. Then you batter them three times, freezing in between each battering. Then you deep fry. The little dice-size cube is now frozen through. The batter is nice and crispy while the foie on the inside is a beautiful liquid.

why couldn't you treat butter the same way, since butter and foie are both mostly fat?

what are your thoughts?

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Not seared butter, but I tried butter in isomalt tear-drop last night to use on top of a steak. I used frozen butter (not good with the carmalized isomalt) and room temp (worked well) and melted butter (worked ok but it did not "load" as nice as a small room-temp butterball).

5 seconds in the microwave to melt the butter on the inside of the teardrop prior to plating. Worked quite well and the guests were impressed.

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Instead of using herbs and stuff for compound butter, try using blanched or sauteed brunoise potato or other vegetable. Peas, shallot, mushroom combo sounds good, and the potato idea is making me hungry! Anyway, use about 70% solids folded into room temp softened butter (or Brown butter!!!!! A-ha!), freeze, cut into cubes, SBP, Fry.

Deathly bad for you. But so damn good!

Tonyy13

Owner, Big Wheel Provisions

tony_adams@mac.com

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Raising the bar?  How about a flavoured butter?  With basil, or thyme, or rosemary? or Lemongrass?  The possibilities are endless....just add salt.

i second this. a compound butter with herbs and garlic would be good. perched on top of some crusty potatoes or a nice rare steak? hmmm....I may have to play too.

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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Yes, I think you have to think along the lines that what you described initially is just eating butter, something that probably sounds better in theory than in practice. I was going to suggest as well that you make a compound butter and serve the fried butter balls over a steak as well. Of course, it's Chicken Kiev without the chicken - hey, why not put something inside the ball of butter, like an inverse Kiev? Depending on how big you can make them, you could put pieces of nicely charred steak; hmm, have to think this part through a little more.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

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test-run #1...a big flop.

the butter-balls sat for 2 days in the back of the freezer...it would've shattered under a hammer.

i used sifted-flour, egg-wash, brioche crumbs, and fried in a 325 f deep-fryer.

unfortunately, the butter found room to spill-out...5 attempts, 5 balls, 5 spills...5 round, empty brioche cases.

but...i liked the of battering and freezing 3 times (see up-thread).

i'm going to start that process tomorrow. i'm not going to give-up without a thorough-friggin'-fight.

how else could butter be seared? any thoughts?

cheers.

trevor williams.

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i should add, though, that one of my OTHER tests came out GREAT...(and it has to do with "butter", i don't know why i'm obsessed with it right now!!!)

i've been playing around with separated buttermilk (buttermilk brought up to hot temperatures)...i've been using the liquid as a gelee, but i found a wonderful use for the solids.

i took the "curd" (1/4 cups worth) and mixed it with cream (1 cup reduced into a half of a cup, be conservative with the cream...you might only need less than a 1/4 cup of the liquid), a pinch of salt, a touch of truffled-flour, and a whisper of truffle oil.

let it cool down (or spoon the mixture into a ring-mold...and chill), cut out an attractive shape (pull out the reindeer mold for holiday-cookies, eh?!?), and wait until chilled.

when its chilled...

season and flour the "curd", add some fat (clarified butter) to a non-stick saute-pan, wait for the pan to get "hot", and add the "curd" puck. flip the disk when one side is golden-brown, and repeat for the other side.

place the disk on some paper-towel and serve it with whatever you'd like!!!

great test, great result, and a wonderful addition to a dish.

cheers.

trevor williams.

Edited by KendallCollege (log)

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season and flour the "curd", add some fat (clarified butter) to a non-stick saute-pan, wait for the pan to get "hot", and add the "curd" puck.  flip the disk when one side is golden-brown, and repeat for the other side.

place the disk on some paper-towel and serve it with whatever you'd like!!!

great test, great result, and a wonderful addition to a dish.

cheers.

trevor williams.

Interesting, I tried a quick test of the caramelized butter at work tonight, froze some butter then rolled it in panko and used a butane torch. It worked kinda. I didn't get good coverage with the butter being frozen. I'll experiment more with putting the panko on before freezing, or using a 3 stage breading process. The butane torch at work has an adjustable venturi, so I can dial the flame down to a soft flame, I'll experiment with that too. Instead of a true caramelized butter, I'm more looking for a crunchy butter, as that sounds even better on a menu to make people go 'hmmm" :)

I'll have to play with the separated buttermilk too, that sounds interesting.

Chef Jay

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It seems just plain butter is going to be finickity. Make the centre too cold and it will be a puck, make it too hot and it'll be hard to prevent leakage. Probably a better idea is to first emulsify the butter with some sort of thickener to produce a more reliable texture. The simplest butter sauce is just a beurre blanc. Can you freeze a buerre blanc or will it seperate? What if you drop it into LN2? Another alternative might be a seared hollandaise. The flavour of the butter will still shine through but it will be a lot easier to handle and the egg proteins will significantly help in browning. Moving into more esoteric regions, you could do something similar to Dufrense's deep fried mayo and use Gellan to emulsify it. You won't get the lovely liquid cascade though. What if you add gelatine to butter? Is that even possible?

Lots of room for experimentation.

PS: I am a guy.

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Roasted garlic butter...pureed then frozen then battered

or cooked shallots with tarragon, like a bernaise.....

keep thinking

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

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Not seared butter, but I tried butter in isomalt tear-drop last night to use on top of a steak.  I used frozen butter (not good with the carmalized isomalt) and room temp (worked well) and melted butter (worked ok but it did not "load" as nice as a small room-temp butterball).

5 seconds in the microwave to melt the butter on the inside of the teardrop prior to plating.  Worked quite well and the guests were impressed.

This was my first thought. Isomalt would probably work here. One could also Methocel, which I think would help to gel the butter under heating. I know it works with foie, so perhaps you could achieve analagous results.

It seems just plain butter is going to be finickity. Make the centre too cold and it will be a puck, make it too hot and it'll be hard to prevent leakage. Probably a better idea is to first emulsify the butter with some sort of thickener to produce a more reliable texture. The simplest butter sauce is just a beurre blanc. Can you freeze a buerre blanc or will it seperate? What if you drop it into LN2? Another alternative might be a seared hollandaise. The flavour of the butter will still shine through but it will be a lot easier to handle and the egg proteins will significantly help in browning. Moving into more esoteric regions, you could do something similar to Dufrense's deep fried mayo and use Gellan to emulsify it. You won't get the lovely liquid cascade though. What if you add gelatine to butter? Is that even possible?

Lots of room for experimentation.

Ultimately, I think you're going to have to prevent the butter from separating if you do indeed melt it. Adding gelatin to a beurre monte might give you more flexibility in melting temperature and might just work. The triple battering procedure would also likely work.

The idea of a compound butter croqueta is a cool one. Keep us updated.

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One technique I've had success with is making crab-butter balls. I take equal parts Plugra or Echiree and picked crab meat. Make sure the butter is softened, fold in the crab, add a reduced shellfish glaze to enhance the flavor if you want. Season the mix with some chives and salt and pepper. At this point, put it back in the cooler for an hour to firm up a bit. Then use a melon baller or small ice cream scooper to make balls. Your body heat will melt the butter. I then bread them twice using standard breading procedure, (flour, egg wash, breadcrumbs) using panko bread crumbs. Let them set up a bit more in the cooler and fry till golden. Let sit a minute before serving or your guests will burn their mouths with the molten butter. They work best in a bite sized portion that can be cosumed in one bite so the butter doesn't ooze out. I serve them with a bit of fennel puree and saffron aioli on top.

"I'm drawn to places that fear their customers" -Kenji

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