Q Several recipes call for clarified butter. Will melted butter do?
A Clarified, or drawn, butter, also known as ghee is melted butter from which the milk solids have been removed. Milk solids affect the butter in several ways. They give it the characteristic buttery flavor, but they also burn at a lower temperature than butterfat and turn rancid faster. Clarified butter is useful for sauteing at high heat and keeps longer than regular butter.
To clarify butter, heat it until the whitish flaky milk solid precipitate out from the clear butterfat. Let stand for a few minutes, then skim off any foam and pour the clear butterfat into a container, stopping when you reach the solids at the bottom of the pan. Alternatively, melt the butter and strain it through a double thickness of cheesecloth. Store in the refrigerator.
Ghee, which is heated until the milk solids brown and all the water has evaporated, can keep for two to three months at room temperature.