How to use up a quart, or two, of buttermilk…

A constant kitchen conundrum for me is how to use a whole quart, or two, of buttermilk.  If I baked more, it would be easy to simply add some into Zucchini Bread, or Texas Sheet Cake, or Banana Bread – all of which are made better with a little bit of buttermilk.  But, I don’t bake hardly at all anymore.   In my area, buttermilk can only be bought by the half-gallon.  That’s actually 2 quarts of buttermilk.  If I could successfully use up one quart, I’d be happy.  The benefits of buttermilk are plentiful, particularly if you purchase the “cultured” buttermilk, due to its’ naturally occurring beneficial bacteria.   Although the name indicates that there might be “butter” in your milk, buttermilk is actually the remaining milk leftover from churning butter, which is then cultured.

So, every week when I buy our milk, I always look at the buttermilk, and I think of all the things I could do with it….well, my list is kind of short, actually.  But, anyway, here they are.  The best part is that you could actually use all this up in one meal! From salad, to dessert.  (You may want to skip to the end and make the dessert first!)

How to use a quart of buttermilk:

Ranch dressing 1 cup buttermilk (yes I use the seasoning packet).  You can be adventurous and make your own.  Follow directions on package; make sure to get the Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, and not the Regular Ranch.  If you add buttermilk to the Regular Ranch, it is way too salty/tangy.

Bleu Cheese dressing 1/4 cup buttermilk– the best bleu cheese dressing ever!  Not thick and clumpy like most commercial dressings, but light and tasty.  With such few ingredients, this is one to make from scratch now and then, especially when cherry tomatoes are in season.  Add a green, some pecans or walnuts and red onions, and you have a great salad.  Oh yeah, and bacon, if you’re feeling like really splurging!

  • 2 1/2 ounces blue cheese
  • 4 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine buttermilk and mayonnaise, whisk to remove lumps.  Crumble blue cheese into mix, add remaining ingredients, and whisk some more.  The whisking will break up the cheese a little bit more.  If you want a smoother dressing, keep whisking.  If you like the lumps, stop!
Biscuits – 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups White Lily enriched Bleached Self-Rising flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening or butter, chilled and grated
  • 3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk
  1. Make sure that your shortening or butter has chilled, either refrigerated for a while, or frozen for 30 minutes plus.
  2. Heat oven to 500 degrees.
  3. Measure flour into a large bowl.  Grate shortening or butter, using the larger holes on your cheese grater.  Toss with flour, distributing evenly.  Blend in just enough milk with fork until dough leaves sides of bowl.
  4. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead gently 2 to 3 times.  Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness.  Shape dough into a square; cut into 9 to 12 biscuits using a knife or pizza cutter.  they should be about 2 to 3 inches in size.   Place on baking sheet 1-inch apart for crisp sides, or almost touching for soft sides.
  5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Makes 12 biscuits.
  7. Variation on bag: Garlic Cheese Biscuits: Stir in 1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese before adding milk.  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet.  Bake as directed above.  Combine 1/4 cup melted butter and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.  Brush on warm biscuits.
  8. Source: Taken straight from the White Lily self-rising flour bag, 2012.

Chicken Tenders1 cup buttermilk whether you really want to cut a few boneless chicken breasts to size or actually spend the money on real chicken tenders,  marinate about 1 pound of chicken tenders in some seasoned buttermilk; I like to use a little bit of both Tony’s Cajun Seasoning, and some Adobo, a pinch of dry mustard as well as a pinch or two of paprika.  Let marinate overnight or all day while at work.  If you like Popeye’s chicken, use self-rising flour (White Lily, the flour you would use if you were making your own biscuits), dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, and let sit for a few minutes.  If you like Willie Mae’s Scotch House Chicken, use regular, alll-purpose flour.   Bring oil to 350 degrees, and fry until done (they’ll be golden brown, and float).

**The White Lily self-rising flour, with the addition of  buttermilk, will give you a Popeye’s-style crust on the chicken tenders. Even without the buttermilk, the crust will be a somewhat crispy and flakey. If you use all-purpose flour, with or without buttermilk, you get a regular, Willie Mae Scotch House Fried Chicken Crust.

And, last but not least,

Fresh Strawberry (or Blueberry) Buttermilk Sherbert

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries or blueberries (July is Blueberry Month)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

To prepare:

1. (If you don’t mind the chunkies and seeds, skip this step.)  Process berries in a food processor or blender 30 seconds or until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides.  Pour strawberry puree through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a large bowl, pressing with the back of a spoon.  Discard solids.  Add buttermilk, sugar, and vanilla to puree; stir until well-blended.  Cover and chill 1 hour.

 2. Pour berry mixture into a freezer container of a 1 1/2 quart electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.  (Instructions and times may vary.)  Garnish with mint, if desired.
3. 1 16-ounce package of frozen strawberries or any mix of berries, thawed, may be substituted.

Enjoy your delicious meal, and, don’t forget about the Texas Sheet Cake!  I have also seen buttermilk used to replace mayonnaise in many coleslaw recipes, but have personally never tried it.  If you try it, please let me know how it turned out!

Smothered Creamy Cabbage, AND Cabbage Mushroom Pasties

Perfectly browned!

One recipe yields two products. Smothered Creamy Cabbage yields a wonderful creamy side dish.  This smothered cabbage also makes a great pastie, handpie, or turnover filling (pick your title!)  Given the hurricane weather, I picked up a package of Crescent … Continue reading