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.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 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
            3 Program(s) Found
            • First opened its doors in 1980 as the Academy of Medical Art and Business.
            • Students can choose from a variety of diploma or degree programs, as well as continuing education courses.
            • Provides programs in massage therapy, dental assisting, criminal justice, cake decorating, and more.
            • 7.5 acre campus is located in the foothills of Blue Mountain, north of Harrisburg, PA.
            • Involved with many community service organizations, including the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank (CPBB), March of Dimes, and Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Financial Aid
            3 Program(s) Found
            L'Ecole Culinaire , Kansas City
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            3 Program(s) Found
            • Has been training students in the culinary arts since 1946.
            • Teaches hands-on culinary training in French, Asian, Mediterranean, Latin and American cooking, along with professional baking and pastry techniques.
            • Helps students gain professional skills in culinary management.
            • Offers an Italian Culinary Arts program where students get to externship in Italy.
            • Its instructors are respected chefs who put their dedication and life experiences into their instruction.
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            3 Program(s) Found
            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
            • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            3 Program(s) Found
            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid