Ghee: What it is, how to use it, why use it
Why not just use butter?
Fair question, especially since ghee is going to be more trouble to find (it's hidden in your grocer's international or natural foods aisles) and you'll pay way more for it ($5 or more for a 7 1⁄2-ounce jar).
Despite that, it's an easy answer -- because ghee is a rich indulgence that is so totally worth the effort and expense.
Ghee is a form of clarified butter. Which means it is butter that was heated until the milk solids separated from the liquid. Then it was heated some more, until the liquid evaporated and the solids began to brown.
The result is a thick yellow-brown paste with a nutty and intensely -- Are you ready• -- buttery flavor. But it's true. This is butter on steroids.
And yes, it's easy to make your own. And no, most of us won't.
Ghee originated in India, where the heat spoils conventional butter. Clarifying it prolongs its unrefrigerated life from a couple weeks to many months.
When to use it• Given the price, not every day. But this is the stuff to reach for when you want to be seriously slapped around by buttery goodness.
As in making the very best popcorn. Ever. Here's why: Not only is the flavor of ghee richer than standard butter, it also has no water. Butter is 15 percent water; that water makes popcorn soggy. Use ghee and you get rich flavor, not wet kernels.
For more ideas for using ghee, check out the Off the Beaten Aisle column over on Food Network: bit.ly/lde6Le
Ravioli With Fried Sage, Asparagus and Walnuts
The asparagus and walnuts pair perfectly with the sage and ghee in this recipe, but don't hesitate to mix it up. Almonds and cauliflower florets would be great, as would lightly chopped pistachios and baby bella mushrooms. The pinch of red pepper flakes doesn't add much heat; it just helps heighten the other flavors. But if you like your dinner with punch, up your pinch.
Start to finish: 20 minutes
- 1 package (10 ounces) fresh cheese ravioli
- 3 tablespoons ghee
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 5 large fresh sage leaves (left whole)
- 1 bunch asparagus, bottoms trimmed, cut into 2-inch lengths
- 1⁄3 cup toasted walnuts, lightly chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the ravioli and cook according to package directions, then drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the ghee. Add the red pepper flakes and sage leaves, then fry until the sage is crisp.
Remove the sage from the pan and set aside. Return the pan to the heat and add the asparagus. Saute until just tender, for 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the walnuts, toss well, then add the drained ravioli and toss again. Crumble the fried sage leaves into the dish, then season with salt and pepper.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 414 calories (212 calories from fat), 24 grams fat (11 grams saturated), 71 milligrams cholesterol, 13 grams protein, 37 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams dietary fiber, 431 milligrams sodium
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Looking at the next great Steeler
- Reds solve Cole, stave off Pirates’ 9th-inning rally
- McCullers’, McLendon’s prowess in clogging trenches crucial to Steelers defense
- Penguins not alone in top-heavy approach to salary cap
- After early criticism, Haley has Steelers offense poised to be even better
- Roman Catholic Church in midst of culture clash over gays
- Steelers swap draft pick for Eagles cornerback
- Steelers notebook: Injuries finally become issue at training camp
- Starting 9: Examining Pirates’ deadline decisions
- Pirates notebook: New acquisition Happ more than happy to fill spot in rotation
- Missing deaf, autistic teen last seen on North Side