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Howdy, Steak Master

May 07, 1997

The coming summer grilling season means a change of wardrobe for some cooks--in this case, from indoor kitchen rustic to home-on-the-outdoor-range cowboy.

Grilla Gear's Mesa pattern apron, $15, and mitts, $5.99, available at JCPenney.

True Blue

Whittier artist Kori Capaldi shapes and kiln-fires hot glass into intensely colored dinnerware, each piece slightly different from the others in her collection.

Nine-piece setting (four plates, four bowls and one large serving bowl), $650 at the Craft & Folk Art Museum, 5800 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.

Clarified Vision

It's not difficult to clarify your own butter--you melt it, skim off the foam, then pour the liquid butterfat into a separate pan, leaving the watery whey behind--but it takes time. You might, then, think of Plugra new clarified butter, sold in 5-pound tubs, as a convenience product for foodies.

Indian cooks have long known the benefits of clarified butter, also known as ghee. And restaurant chefs commonly use clarified butter because it has a higher burning point than butter, doesn't splatter and works well in emulsified sauces and in baking--especially in puff pastry. Many chefs also use the original unclarified Plugra because it has less water than regular butter, giving it a richer taste and theoretically allowing you to use less.

To clarify Plugra, which bills itself as "the European-style butter," may seem decadent, but since few other butter companies bother to sell their products in clarified form, we'll happily tip our toques.

At Surfas in Culver City, Follow Your Heart Natural Food in Canoga Park, Farmers Market at the Atrium Court in Newport Beach and at most Bristol Farms and Wild Oats locations.

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