Butter is composed of butterfat, water and mild solids. Clarifying butter evaporates the water and separates the milk solids from the butterfat. Clarified butter does not brown as easily as the butter you and I know, and can be stored for longer periods of time without refrigeration.
Clarified butter is used in Ethiopian cooking (and Indian cooking, come to think of it), so understanding how to clarify butter is probably a good idea if one itends on cooking these cuisines.
There are many ways to clarify butter, all of them work to accomplish the same task…seperate the three components of butter.
Melt unsalted butter over in a medium sauce pan over low heat. Foam should form on the top, while the solids will fall to the bottom.
Let the butter sit on the top of the stove for 10 or 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for a couple of minutes. Skim off the foam. Then pour the remaining butter through a strainer or cheesecloth to remove the milk solids.