Ghee. Tasty, golden, buttery, nutty ghee.
Sometime last summer, I was taken with the inexplicable urge to cook up a mess of Doro Wat, a fiery Ethiopian chicken stew. (Anything that has onions, chicken, and plenty of red-hot pepper is likely to appeal to me, so perhaps that urge was not quite as inexplicable as it seemed at first blush.)
The recipe came from a site called Nom Nom Paleo, which I had found as a link on my Farcebook feed. While I do not necessarily subscribe to the Paleo eating philosophy, I do know tasty when I see it. The Doro Wat was just that.
To make Doro Wat, the first thing you do is caramelize a bunch of hacked up red onions... and the preferred fat for this job is ghee, which has a high smoking point and which contributes a unique nutty flavor.
With its slightly scary-sounding Indian name, ghee may seem exotic... but it really isn’t. It’s nothing more or less than clarified butter, the same stuff one uses for dipping chunks of lobster. It’s easy enough to make... and waaaay less costly than the prepackaged version you’ll find at the local Whole
You can store ghee at room temperature, but if that makes you nervous, stick it in the fridge. (That’s where I keep it, mainly so I don’t clutter the kitchen counters unnecessarily.)
I made a quart-size batch last August - eight months ago to the day! - and only now has my supply run low. So this afternoon I made enough to replenish my inventory.
Damn, this stuff is delicious. I still like to use a squirt of olive oil for cooking my eggs, but a little bit of ghee gives them a wonderful buttery, nutty flavor. It’s a perfect “something extra” added to sautéed or steamed vegetables. I’ll bet you could use it to doctor up a passel of saltines, too. Golly ghee, whatever did we do without it?