Unsalted butter - add salt.

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Annemieke
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Unsalted butter - add salt.

Post: #286378 Annemieke
Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:25 pm

When looking up recipes for inspiration for my blog, I often come across ingredient lists where: “unsalted butter”, is always, always! followed by “salt”.
Also “put in non-stick frying pan”, followed by “add oil, or butter”.
See for instance http://www.waitrose.com/content/waitros ... er.A5.html, but there are millions like that.
Is there a good reason to specify unsalted butter when you have to add salt later?
Do these chefs just want to sound fancy/fashionable?
And why specify non-stick pans (I’m not keen on them) when they use oil anyway?
Or do they just want to make a simple recipe look complicated?
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Re: Unsalted butter - add salt.

Post: #286379 Green Aura
Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:05 pm

I think the idea is that unsalted butter gives you more control over how much you add. Always strikes me as a bit unnecessary as you can just add less if using salted butter (which is all I have).
As for non stick pans - I don't use them. I have cast iron or stainless steel. As far as adding oil etc goes though sometimes it's a flavour addition, or texture improver, rather than preventing sticking. Have you ever tried an egg fried without fat? It's a bit like rubber.
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Re: Unsalted butter - add salt.

Post: #286382 ina
Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:26 am

Green Aura wrote:I think the idea is that unsalted butter gives you more control over how much you add.


That's the only reason I could come up with, too. In any case, I often think too much salt is added automatically... because it says so in the recipe! It depends (to my mind) on how much flavour there is in the other ingredients: vegetables, commercially grown and overblown, or certain varieties, simply have no flavour of their own, and need a lot more salt. Most home grown stuff comes better of (not all!).

And as to non-stick pans - don't use them, either. If you want to fry something, it needs fat. By all means drain excess fat off afterwards. (Fried eggs without fat are not a bit like rubber - they are rubber! :mrgreen: )
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Re: Unsalted butter - add salt.

Post: #286383 tosca
Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:57 am

As the others say, even butter varies a huge amount on salt content, it's a case of being in control of how much you use...to your own taste.

Also agree with the others, using oil changes the texture of the food, they are doing recipes for everyone, not just those with well seasoned cast iron pans (which I prefer but find too heavy now) At the end of the day a recipe is just that, it really doesn't matter what you prefer to use, it won't make any difference to use what you are used to. Cooking a fish fillet without fat would totally change the texture but even in a non-stick pan I would have thought the proteins would cause the delicate flesh to stick, though I have never tried it. But that would be an individual's choice.

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Re: Unsalted butter - add salt.

Post: #286397 Annemieke
Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:12 pm

I also asked another forum and someone said "Salt in a frying pan tends to make the food stick more, i.e. more likely to burn." I had never heard that so will pay more attention.
Grow no evil, cook no evil, eat no evil!
And if you are interested in food and/or health, have a look at my website:
http://ThoughtforFood-aw.blogspot.com.
Love, Annemieke


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