In addition to tenderizing baked goods and dressing up potatoes, buttermilk adds tang and richness to main dishes, desserts, and snacks without a lot of fat or calories.
Marinate chicken or pork chops in buttermilk before pan-frying or breading and baking. It’s great in soups in place of cream or in stroganoff in place of sour cream (add it at the end to keep it from separating). Sharuf uses buttermilk in quick sauces: “Sauté an onion or a half pound of sliced mushrooms, then pour in a cup of buttermilk with one tablespoon of cornstarch mixed in, and you have something good to liven up a quick meal.”
Buttermilk is terrific in frozen desserts. “I have made buttermilk ice cream a few times,” says sarahjb. “I use a basic vanilla ice cream recipe, using half cream and half buttermilk. I also made the same recipe but added a sweetened strawberry puree. Really tasty either way!” woodleyparkhound loves pineapple-buttermilk sherbet, and I (your editor) love this blackberry-buttermilk sherbet, which can be made with frozen berries.
Discuss: What to do with leftover buttermilk?