buttermilk. it's tart. it's rich. and often we don't know what to do with it, which is why it's a perfect kick-off ingredient for the petite pig's new "a week's worth of uses" feature. for a long, long time, i only used buttermilk for fried chicken but that meant every time i made fried chicken, i was left with half a quart of buttermilk that inevitably spoiled before i found the need to use it again. so during my fried chicken weeks (which is probably more often than anyone should be eating fried chicken), i also now plan on making homemade creme fraiche and buttermilk pancakes on the weekend to ensure that there's not a drop of buttermilk leftover to spoil. here's my week's worth of uses for buttermilk and a good cooking schedule:
sunday morning: marinate chicken in buttermilk. i've been tweaking my traditional fried chicken recipe by adding 2 tablespoons of smoked paprika to the marinade and then substituting 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika for the 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper for the breading.
monday night: fight the monday blues by treating yourself to a platter of juicy fried chicken. for those of you who love breading (that should be everyone out there), i've now started to double bread. after you dredge the chicken in the breading mix, dip back into the buttermilk and re-dredge. you'll never go back to just one dip.
also monday night: start creme fraiche. i use the recipe (reproduced below) from alice water's "the art of simple food."
wednesday night: soup night (butternut squash, pea & basil, potato & leek, mexican tortilla)! top with your homemade creme fraiche.
thursday night: omega 3 night. mix creme fraiche with just a squeeze of lemon juice and a dollop of honey. add some lemon zest and you have yourself a creamy sauce to spoon over your favorite roasted fish (i love this over salmon).
saturday morning: start the weekend with some fluffy buttermilk pancakes. can't beat a recipe that calls itself the best buttermilk pancakes, right?
homemade creme fraiche
makes 1 cup
from "the art of simple food," alice waters
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon cultured buttermilk
into a clean glass jar pour 1 cup heavy cream. add and stir well 1 tablespoon buttermilk.
cover the jar loosely and let the cream sit at room temperature for 24 hours or so, or until the cream thickens. when thickened, cover the jar tightly and store it in the refrigerator.