Beguiling buttermilk

I've always been intrigued by buttermilk. I had a friend in the seventh grade who liked to drink it straight from the carton which made her very eccentric in my eyes. I never did try it--i couldn't fathom downing a glass of milky butter. When I became a chef I realized that it doesn't contain any butter at all. At some point I learned that buttermilk is the leftover liquid after cream is churned into butter. Since it fit my frugal nature, I started finding all kinds of reasons to use it in my cooking.

Come to find out, the buttermilk I've been cooking with for years is NOT the by-product of butter. A little recent culinary education</a> has taught me that it's actually milk to which a special buttermilk culture has been added and fermented till it's thick and tangy. Okay. That was a little disappointing to my zero waste fantasy but cultured buttermilk is still one of my favorite ingredients. It's incredibly versatile and has a very long shelf life. I buy it as a matter of course, and I always find uses for it. Not only is it low in fat, it's high in calcium as well as lactic acid which is said to be good for your digestion.

The lactic acid in buttermilk makes it great for marinating poultry and meat. It's tangy flavor and thick texture are assets to many savory dressings (mix it with dill, blue cheese or avocado) and sauces (like top chef Bobby Flay's Roasted Serrano Chili Buttermilk Sauce). It can dress coleslaw, hearts of palm, lobster or potatoes. It's great in fried chicken and onion ring recipes that call for dipping the food in a buttermilk batter before frying. I like it in mashed potatoes.

Don't forget the sweet zone. Of course it's quintissential in biscuits, donuts, pancakes and waffles but I've experimented with using it as the liquid in other baked good recipes including chocolate, spice, pound and coffee cake. Buttermilk can be a somewhat hidden ingredient or take the starring role as in buttermilk pie, tart or ice cream.

Because of its creamy nature, it pairs well with strong flavors like dill, basil, lemon, spicy peppers, coffee and chocolate. I used it in the main dish at my wedding: grilled parmesan basil buttermilk chicken. I recommend always having a carton of buttermilk on hand--you never know what recipe will need some old-fashioned tangy charm.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            1 Program(s) Found

            Lackawanna College is the premier, private, accredited two-year college serving the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. With a focus on keeping higher education affordable and accessible to our immediate community, Lackawanna draws 80 percent of its student population right from our own region.

            With a main campus situated in downtown Scranton, Lackawanna’s expanding footprint also includes satellite centers in Hawley, Hazleton, New Milford, and Towanda.

            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
            Show more [+]
            4 Program(s) Found
            Virginia College , Birmingham
            • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
            • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
            • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
            • Provides career services associates to help students review their resume, provide career counseling, help with job searches, and more.
            • Has 27 campus locations across the southern United States, plus offers online degree programs.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
            • Has student housing available.
            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
            Show more [+]