Buttermilk is similar to yogurt, with a slightly tangy flavor and a thick texture. Thanks to its low fat content and the acid it contains, it’s the ideal ingredient for flaky biscuits, tender chicken and creamy smoothies, salad dressings and more. A little bit goes a long way though, so the smallest container sold is usually too much for any one recipe. Here are six ways to make sure you get the most out of every drop:
Biscuits. Combine 2 12/ cups all-purpose flour, 1 ½ tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt and ¼ tsp baking soda. Cut in ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) cubed, cold, unsalted butter until crumbly. Stir in ¾ cup cold buttermilk. On a clean work surface, fold (don’t knead) the dough until it just comes together. Shape into a rectangle. Cut into 8 squares and brush with a beaten egg. Bake in a 375°F oven until golden brown, 25-30 minutes.
Fried chicken. Combine 2 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 Tbsp. hot sauce, salt and pepper in a large, resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate 2 hours or up to overnight. Drain. Season with salt. Dredge in 2 cups all-purpose flour, shaking off the excess. Fry in batches, turning occasionally, in 1 inch of canola oil over medium heat (360°F on a deep-fry thermometer), until cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.
Strawberry smoothie. Puree 1 cup hulled and quartered strawberries, ½ cup buttermilk and ¼ cup ice in a blender until smooth. Add 1 tsp agave syrup, if desired.
Garlicky salad dressing. Mash 4 cloves sliced garlic and ½ tsp salt on a cutting board, using the back of a knife. Cook the garlic paste in 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat, stirring until light golden and very fragrant, 4-5 minutes. Whisk the garlic, ½ cup buttermilk, ¼ cup sour cream and ¼ tsp each salt and pepper until smooth. Stir in 1 Tbsp. chopped chives just before serving.
Mashed potatoes. Bring 2 lbs. quartered Yukon Gold potatoes to a boil in salted water. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, 20-25 minutes. Drain. Add 6 Tbsp. cubed unsalted butter, 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp black pepper. Mash until well combined. Stir in 1 cup warm buttermilk.
Banana & honey ice pops. Puree 2 cups buttermilk, 4 bananas, 1/3 cup honey, seeds from ½ scraped vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract), a pinch of salt and ½ cup water in a blender until smooth. Pour into 10 three-ounce or 8 four-ounce ice-pop molds, dividing evenly. Insert sticks. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours and up to 4 days. Melt 8 oz. chocolate and stir in ¼ cup canola oil. Dip the pops in the chocolate and refreeze for 5 minutes before serving.
Real Simple, June 2015