Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Buttermilk Effect: Three different ways to use buttermilk. Part One…..



Ok, so sometimes when I go to the grocery store, I buy things I might not use.  I buy things “just in case”.  Example:  I need to bake or make something right now and I am a missing one ingredient in every single recipe I look at.  So I had better buy that one ingredient the next time I go to the store, so I am never in that terrible predicament again, but then I run out of time to make that recipe and I am stuck with an ingredient that will most likely expire and end up going down the drain.  Buttermilk.  It is one of the ingredients I always buy because all the recipes I want to make call for it, and it always goes bad because, I can’t get to it in time.  There may have been an instance, when I never even opened the container, but it was in refrigerator….just in case.


This time, things are going to be different.  I will use up my buttermilk before it’s time passes on.  This time, I will make amazing things with it, so it doesn’t feel lonely in the back of the refrigerator.  I have selected three recipes to show case buttermilk.  An appetizer or side choice, a dinner and a dessert, each using buttermilk in a different way.   For those of you who might not know, buttermilk is the liquid left after butter has been made.  It is very,very tangy and not all that pleasant to drink.  It can be used in a variety of dishes and I intend to show a few of them.


A common use of buttermilk is in baking.  Biscuits are delicious made with buttermilk.  Buttermilk gives the biscuits a tender and flaky crumb.  I absolutely love biscuits.  I would rather have a biscuit for breakfast than an English muffin, or for lunch as bread for my sandwich. Dinner is also a perfect opportunity to showcase biscuits on the side.  They are so easy to make too!  No one needs to use the boxed mix.  You have all the ingredients you need to make biscuits.  You might need to buy the buttermilk.

This weeks recipe, Cheddar Chive and Jalapeno Biscuits, is from one of my newest acquisition.  Joy the Baker ( is a blog that I never knew existed until I found the cookbook at my grocery store.  I opened the book and the pages magically opened to a recipe called Peanut butter bacon cookies. (oh don’t you worry, these will be coming up) I was hooked!  I came home, read the bio for the author, looked her up on the web and have been following Joy every since.  Joy’s cookbook is easy to read, hilarious and encouraging.  Joy creates simple recipes for things you would never imagine combining, and everything looks so mouth-wateringly delicious. 

Stay tuned for the next two posts to find out more!



Cheddar Chive and Jalapeno Biscuits


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon cream of tarter

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup cold buttermilk, plus more for topping

1 egg

3/4 cup cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes

1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapenos

3 tablespoon diced chives

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, cut into small cubes.

Coarse salt for topping


1.  Place a rack I the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tarter and salt.


3.  In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg.


4.  In another bowl combine the cheddar cheese, jalapeno and chives.  Set aside.

5.  Add butter to the flour mixture.  Using your fingers or a pastry cutter blend the butter into the flour.  This part does take some getting used too.  Combine the ingredients by squeezing the cold butter in your fingers.  When you feel the cold come through the flour, drop the butter and pick it up again.  Every time you feel cold from the butter drop it.  You know when the butter is all incorporated by the look of the dough.  It should look like the texture of oatmeal.  If you guys have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.


6.  Toss the cheese mixture into the flour mixture.


7.  Make a well in the center of the cheese and flour and add the buttermilk.


8.  Stir together with a fork, making sure that the flour is completely moistened.  The mixture will be shaggy looking.


9.  Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times, until the dough is totally combined.


10.  Pat the dough into a 1 1/2-inch thick circle.  Using your knife or a biscuit cutter cut dough into twelve.


11.  If you don’t have enough room to make twelve the first time, you can take the scraps and gently knead the dough, just until it comes together and start cutting again.


12.  Arrange on baking sheet and brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with salt.  Another use for buttermilk!  It creates a glossy brown finish.

13.  Bake for 12-15 minutes. 


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