Let’s hear it for brown butter, the “it girl” ingredient of dishes from pasta to dessert (and everything in between)! Anyone with butter and a pan can infuse dishes with nutty, satisfying goodness. Learn the simple technique behind this flavor-packed element and apply it liberally to these 8 recipes for brown butter we love.
New York City may be a renowned global food hub. But just north of the Tri-State Area lies the rich, verdant Hudson Valley — home to wonderful farms, cheese producers and craft distilleries (plus restaurants that use the local products to their full use). A new cookbook, Hudson Valley Chef’s Table, is a compilation of recipes from beloved restaurants from Westchester to Columbia counties. You can count us in on this one, particularly when fresh butter and burrata is involved.
Recipe: Brown Butter Scrambled Eggs
When browned in butter, flour takes on a wonderful nuttiness; scramble it with eggs, and you have this staple of the classic Van break-fast. Drizzled with honey, as it is often served in Van, this dish tastes a bit like extra-eggy French toast. If you want to go that route, use a pale flower honey; the bitterness of dark honey will overwhelm the toasty flavor of the flour.
As a standalone side dish, this creamy polenta has a hint of smokiness that makes it truly memorable. It can also serve as an excellent beginning to something more wonderful: I would serve braised short ribs or oxtail ragu over it, and then die of joy.
“This dish came about when Andy and I and our chef de cuisine, Ryan, were in the parking lot and the delivery truck from Woodson Ridge Farms pulled up,”Michael Hudman says. “It was carrying a variety of perfect baby vegetables, and we wanted to find a way to showcase them and their distinct flavors. We also had an itch to grill and knew that the combination of the fattiness of our brown butter vinaigrette would replace the need for meat. You can use a variety of hearty vegetables, depending on what’s in season where you live.”
For Brits, pumpkin pie sounds a bit on the “weirdy-woos” side, but in America, pumpkin pie is as standard as apple pie is to us. Pretty much every American household will have it for Thanksgiving. Nigella Lawson posted about a pie company on Instagram called Four & Twenty Blackbirds and I’ve been obsessed with their pies ever since. They do a brown butter pumpkin pie that I’ve adapted to make it my own with the addition of salted maple. I also enlisted the help of my American baking mate, Claire Ptak (owner of Violet Cakes in London) who advised me on how to get that perfect, wibbly centre. It needs to be a bit like a cheesecake and undercooked in the middle, as the filling will continue cooking out of the oven, but still with souffléd and puffed-up sides. This is strictly to be served with softly whipped cream. “It’s sacrilege otherwise,” says my American publisher, Stephanie.
We don’t grow our own yet, but in autumn we tend to build up a small collection of pumpkins and squash in various shapes and sizes. We decorate our tables with them, and for a few weeks it seems we are drowning in pumpkins. Then, as the season progresses, we start cutting them up one by one; many end up in soups, while others get roasted as a side dish. The really lucky ones end up in delicious little creations like these pancakes that are so simple to make, yet feel quite decadent and “grown-up” when drenched in sage and butter sauce. The words “light” and “rich” seem contradictory, but they are the ones I would pick to describe these pancakes.
Raw radishes and fresh butter are a classic pairing, but here we cook the two together until toasty and nutty. A splash of vinegar, a pinch of chile, and a drizzle of honey create a delicious tension that makes this dish unexpectedly satisfying.
Recipe: Vegan Brown Butter Cookies
Teenage baker Clara Polito has an awesome new cookbook out filled with her favorite vegan treats. A baking and health enthusiast, Polito honed her chops making treats for punk bands’ merchandise tables, and now she’s taking her skills on the road. Enjoy her animal product–free, totally delicious desserts, like these addictive vegan brown butter cookies.