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In the Kitchen: Buttermilk biscuits, pancakes and more
Pancakes

Recently I was picking up some almond milk at the grocery store, and I spied an ingredient I have not used in ages—buttermilk. The first time I tasted buttermilk is a funny story. I was a little girl, probably five or six years old, and we were visiting one of my aunts. It was breakfast time and we were having cereal. They always had the sweet cereal my mother would never buy, so I was super excited. I poured a giant bowl of the sweet and colorful cereal into my bowl, got the milk out of the refrigerator, and poured it on. When I took my first bite I was stunned. It was sour and tasted awful. I didn’t know how to tell my sweet aunt Lula that her milk had soured. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings or seem like a brat. Finally, I quietly said, “Aunt Lula, I think there is something wrong with your milk.” She looked at the milk and burst out laughing, explaining to me that it was buttermilk. Needless to say, I don’t think I had buttermilk again until I was an adult—and while I don’t hate it anymore, I mostly have used it in cooking.

After picking up that buttermilk, I used it to create some really tasty dishes. Here you go!

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

½ cup buttermilk

6 tablespoons sour cream

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Pinch of salt and pepper

2 tablespoons chives, minced

½ teaspoon garlic, minced

Whisk all ingredients together, tasting for seasoning. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or more before serving.

 

Buttermilk Biscuits

1 teaspoon sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon baking soda

3 cups flour

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

1 ¼ cup buttermilk

Whisk together sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and flour. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry mixture, or pulse in a food processor. Stir in the buttermilk until mixture comes together. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough a few times. Don’t over-knead or biscuits will be tough. Cut into rounds and brush with melted butter. Bake in 425-degree oven for 22-24 minutes.

 

Fried Chicken Tenders

Marinade:

3 ½ cups buttermilk

3 cups whole milk

1 onion, sliced

2 jalapenos, sliced

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon hot sauce

2 pounds chicken thighs, cut into strips

Flour Mixture:

3 ½ cups flour

1 tablespoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons onion powder

1 tablespoon dried thyme

2 teaspoons ground sage

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

Whisk together buttermilk, milk, onion slices, jalapenos, salt, and hot sauce. Place thicken strips in a large zipper bag or a large bowl. Pour marinade over and refrigerate overnight. When ready to cook, drain off the marinade and discard. Combine all flour mixture ingredients. Dredge chicken strips in the flour mixture and in batches, fry in 2-inches of hot oil about 6-8 minutes total until golden. Drain on paper towels and repeat until all chicken is done. Serve with honey/mustard (equal parts of honey and yellow mustard) or ranch dressing.


Buttermilk Pancakes

1 ½ cups flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 ¾ cups buttermilk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons melted butter (more for cooking)

Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and melted butter. Add wet mixture to dry, stirring just until combined. Ladle about ¼ cup batter into skillet with a little melted butter. Cook pancakes about 2-3 minutes per side. Serve with maple syrup or fresh fruit and whipped cream.