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Uses for leftover buttermilk?

So it's only sold in quarts - at least at the food stores I shop in. And unless I was making 4 Irish Soda Breads today (I didn't), I knew I wasn't going to use it all up in one fell swoop.

I do have a recipe for Fresh Ginger Cake with Ginger Bits that I found on a recipe board that no longer exists. And since I love ginger, this one will definitely be made.

However, I'd like to stay away from baked goods - the Irish Soda Bread and Ginger Cake are about all I want to do - although folks at work should be happy I'm baking. :-)

So what are your favorite savory ways to use buttermilk? I don't do deep frying, so soaking chicken in buttermilk and then frying isn't going to work either. Any other ideas? In a Google search, I see it's been posted on CH that you can freeze buttermilk, so that's always an option. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/307087 And California Sunshine in that link gave me an idea re: soaking the chicken in buttermilk and then breading them and baking the chicken. So if you're still around CA Sunshine, thanks! <g>

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  1. This post (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/490306) has a few suggestions. I remember a restaurant I worked in (once upon a time) would occasionally make and serve a Danish buttermilk soup. It was served cold and reminded me of cheesecake.

    5 Replies
    1. re: AntarcticWidow

      Sheesh - how did I miss that one? I searched on buttermilk on the cooking board, and it didn't come up. Sharuf's buttermilk pasta sauce with mushrooms and onions sounds wonderful! Thanks AW!

      I'll take any other savory ideas from anyone else, of course!

      1. re: LindaWhit

        yep, i immediately thought of sharuf's brilliant idea.

        1. re: LindaWhit

          I also do a leeks and canned clams thing and serve it with shell-shaped pasta.

        2. re: AntarcticWidow

          I know I'm not answering your question--but it was precisely that question that led me to discover powdered buttermilk. Use the powder and water instead of buttermilk (amounts are on the cylinder of the powdered milk), and no problem of what to do with leftovers. Brand I have is Saco Cultured Buttermilk blend.

          1. re: AntarcticWidow

            I love cold buttermilk soup! But I don't know if I would call it savoury...

          2. Girlfriend!!! You don't deep fry...neither do I...try this awesome oven-fried chicken that we LOVE!!! Uses buttermilk and is SO delicious! From Epicurious...Spicy Oven Fried Chicken...may you love it!!!! Check out the reviews, too:


            4 Replies
            1. re: Val

              That recipe sounds great, but what the heck is always wrong with Epicurious. I swear that the website rarely works right for me - it has so many issues, probably from such high traffic, but it's really annoying! So I can see the recipe, but not all of the proportions. Maybe it'll work tomorrow. Thanks for the link!

              1. re: ScarletB

                ScarletB, let me know if you still can't "see" the recipe...I'll e-mail it to you if you'd like.

              2. re: Val

                Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about. Thanks Val! Definitely going to be on the menu in the next week!

                1. re: Val

                  val, you beat me to it. buttermilk is the key to perfect oven-fried chicken.

                2. A referral from another blog sent me to The Wednesday Chef blog. She has a wonderful old recipe for griddle cakes. So fluffy - so easy to make. We'd even eat them for dinner but had them for Sunday breakfast with blueberry and maple syrups. Yum.

                  1. Well, since you don't deep fry, no sense telling you about my super-easy super-delicious onion ring recipe. So.... That leaves one more favorite recipe. Pour it in a glass, sprinkle it with salt and pepper, and drink!

                    So how come nobody around here ever mentions drinking buttermilk? Foodies? I think not! '-)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Caroline1

                      caroline, anything fried can always be baked instead...post that onion ring recipe!

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        I have serious doubts this recipe will work in the oven. But you'll find it, along with my recipe for tempura batter, here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/499667
                        I don't think the tempura batter will work in the oven either! '-)

                    2. Frank Stitt;s buttermilk vinaigrete. Addictive! (i can attest!)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: NYchowcook

                        Where can I find the Buttermilk vinaigrete recipe? It just happens that I have some left over buttermilk!!

                      2. Banana bread! I like to add chocolate chips, aboug 3/4 cup.

                        1. I would experiment with culturing my own yogurt, or adding a bit to whipping cream to make crème fraîche (http://www.joyofbaking.com/CremeFraic...) It likely won't use up all of your leftovers, but at least if it doesn't turn out it won't feel like such a waste.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: cherrytreegirl

                            Another good idea re: the creme fraiche - thanks cherrytreegirl!

                          2. Ranch dressing! So good with iceberg lettuce wedges, cucumbers & tomatoes:

                            1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
                            1 finely minced garlic clove
                            salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
                            2 cups buttermilk
                            2 tablespoons mayonnaise
                            1 teaspoon cider vinegar
                            1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
                            1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
                            1 large head iceberg lettuce, cut into six wedges
                            1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
                            2 ripe tomatoes, quartered
                            Grated carrot for garnish

                            In a bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients.
                            Arrange Iceberg wedges on a serving plate along with other veggies and before serving, drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with grated carrot

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Diane in Bexley

                              A coworker just recently had a Wedge Salad at a local restaurant (with bleu cheese dressing), and I forgot how simple and GOOD they are sometimes. Thanks for the recipe, Diane!

                              1. re: Diane in Bexley

                                freshly made ranch is so delightful and herby! i could eat it by the tablespoonful!

                                here is another good buttermilk thread:

                              2. Use it instead of milk with mashed potatoes...it has that sour cream flavor...Still use sour cream though, for the mouthfeel, but the buttermilk let's you punch it up, instead of diluting it like milk. the extra thickness helps, too.

                                (PS, melt your butter with a few cloves of smashed garlic cloves and sprigs of rosemary, and let it steep for awhile, too; pour off the butter into the mashers, and you get all the flavor in there!)

                                1. Mix with sour cream, mayo and a touch of lemon juice, add blue cheese and you now have the absolute best blue cheese dressing!

                                  1. I know you don't want to bake, but buttermilk pie or baked custard, without the crust, is delicious--just use buttermilk instead of cream or milk.

                                    1. One of the nicest compliments to my cooking came after church as we stood visiting for a moment in the parking lot. A friend came up to our group and said,"I had the beef and mushrooms and onions all ready last night for a Stroganoff, and someone had put back an EMPTY container of sour cream into the fridge. I just looked around the kitchen and thought "What would Rachel do?"

                                      "I grabbed the buttermilk and poured in a big glug, and everybody thought it was just delicious."

                                      1. I've just discovered that grits cooked with buttermilk are fabulous; substitute 1/2 to 1/3 of the water. Cook on the lowest possible simmer; with quick grits you can microwave on medium power. Add butter and your choice of veggies and protein (try ham and green onions).

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: DiveFan

                                          divefan, veeehhhhrrryy interesting!

                                          1. re: DiveFan

                                            divefan's comment about grits reminded me...it's also a great substitute for milk when making oatmeal.

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              Oooh! Now this sounds very good - I think I know what's for breakfast tomorrow!

                                          2. It does freeze fine. Then when I want to make some more soda bread I have it.

                                            1. that was fast... :(

                                              Others have also said that it freezes fine- that's what I do so I'll be ready for biscuits!

                                              1. I just made delicious, simple mashed potatoes with buttermilk. If you're using this recipe, pour in half the liquid first then add the rest as needed. I dumped it all in at once and for whatever reason it was just a bit too much. I didn't use a ricer, I used a hand masher.


                                                1. I used a cup of the buttermilk last night marinating some chicken breasts in it with a heaping 1/2 Tbsp. of piri-piri spice mix for about 4 hours. I then dipped the chicken breasts in a mix of panko crumbs, salt, pepper and a bit of Parmesan cheese. I made sure the crumbs were well pressed into the chicken, put them in a pan sprayed with cooking spray, and baked at 375 degrees until they were done. VERY good. :-)

                                                  2 Replies
                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                      Not yet, ghg. Making it at home is a weekend thing (I use TJs instant at work for a mid-morning snack), and this weekend just didn't have time. Will have to try another weekend.