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Dec 3, 2004 09:57 AM

Butter poaching at home?

  • z

We were sitting at here at work a little while ago discussing possible home applications of butter poaching foods......yeah I know, bacon tempura is probably next on our list.

There's the obvious butter poached lobster that Thomas Keller does, and I've had butter poached squab at WD-50, but if one were to try this method at home, what do you think would be the most practical application (that is if anyone should even make the logical leap that calls butter poaching practical)?

The first thing that comes to mind are things like shrimp or scallops. My assumption is that poaching would require a good amount of clarified butter, and those items would not need a lot of it.

A secondary conversation involved infusing that same butter with something sweet like vanilla or savory like sage, and applications for that. Would anything poached in the infused clarified butter necessary take on the flavor or essence of whatever was added? As my mind wandered beyond the realm of just poaching, I thought that infusing that butter with winter savory and then maybe just drizzling some on something like gingerbread or spice cake.

Anyway, it's Friday before my vacation so I'm just thinking of crazy stuff like this.

Anyone have any good butter poaching stories or applications? Ever infuse clarified butter and use it that way? Just curious.


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  1. I poached some tuna in olive oil which turned out to be pretty gross.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Shmingrid

      at the restaurant i work we poach in butter. it is an emulsified butter called buerre mante, as described in the french laundry. you emulsify the butter with a small amount of water, then hold it between 170 and 185 or there about. it is important not to break the sauce or it will give a very oily residue on your dish

    2. A little tangential, but Julia Child has a recipe in The Way to Cook for butter-roasted salmon with shallots. It's a standard in our house, with Trader Joe's frozen wild salmon filets.

      1. There's a Julia Child recipe for butter poached chicken breast ( sauced to your liking ).
        Not near my cookbooks at the moment but if you've got any of her books check for it.

        1. I'm guessting there is a difference between butter poaching (the way Thomas Keller does it) and confit.

          Or is it?