Although in the UK butter is made from cow's milk, it can also be made from the milk of sheep, yaks, goats and buffalo; rendered butter is known as clarified butter or ghee, widely used in Indian cooking; commercial butter is made up of 85% butterfat and 15% water whereas traditionally made butter can have as little as 65% butterfat and 30% water.
As a nation we have become increasingly preoccupied with the subject of healthy eating.This has meant a new demand for low-fat foods, which has inspired an increased supply. Products like real Greek yoghurt and French fromage frais are helping us all to cut down on too much cream and fat in recipes. What I always advocate is balance. Some of my recipes do indeed include butter (for sweating vegetables or making sauces, for instance) but the amount is usually minimal, and unless you are already spreading butter on bread so thick your teeth leaves marks in it, it is not likely to be excessive (personally I spread my bread with a low-fat dairy spread like Gold and I find this gives me a little licence with butter for cooking). Also, wherever possible, I use groundnut and olive oil in preference to other fats.My own philosophy could be summed up thus: I would rather eat a roast chicken with butter once a month than eat it three times a week with none. But I think that, as a general rule, it is the responsibility of each of us individually to assess our eating habits and take the appropriate action.
Doesn’t this gorgeous salmon recipe look indulgent? The good news is that it’s a real doddle to make, with a buttery shallot sauce that adds to the wow factor! Perfect for a special occasion…
Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course
Doesn't this sound like the height of luxury? Well, it is and, thanks to a secret ingredient, plus ready-prepared lobster tails in brine, it's a risotto that anyone can make in minutes.
Filled with wintry root veg and a cheesy sauce, with a parmesan pastry, this pie is a real treat! Replace the lard with vegetable fat if making this for vegetarians.
In just 20 minutes you can have this mouthwatering fish dish on the table. Serve it with steamed Juliette or Anya potatoes.
Although it may not be the obvious choice at the end of a rich meal, the light and fluffy texture of this cheesecake, and its hit of lemon makes it ideal. The confit needs to be made a day in advance.