My Must Have Ingredient: Buttermilk


Maybe I’m arriving late to this party but I’ve recently come to realize that buttermilk needs a permanent place in my fridge. Its not that I didn’t know about it before, we’ve always been loosely acquainted, but now our formerly tepid relationship is a full on love affair. Is there anything the stuff can’t do?
In the last week I have used it for the following:
-to marinate chicken
-in strawberry buttermilk pancakes
-the base for ranch dressing
-to make biscuits
And I will no longer even think of making mashed potatoes without it. The stuff is magic…

And it seems to me that it’s popping up more often in recipes; maybe that’s because like beards and pickling, we’re witnessing a return to all things retro ( buttermilk just evokes old-fashioned goodness), or maybe because this by-product of the butter-making process is apparently low in fat but high in protein. Either way, I’m trying it out in lots of things (and would love to hear about any of your favorite buttermilk recipes!)
Here’s how I made the ranch dressing:

1/2 cup of buttermilk, mixed with enough sour cream to thicken a bit (about 1/4 cup). Toss in some chopped herbs (parsley, chives, tarragon, dill, basil, whatever you like), a dash of garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp of sugar, 1 tsp salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
Use as a dip for cut up carrots or salad dressing.