Key Ingredient

Easy Does It: Buttermilk

By: The Local Palate

Buttermilk Power

Nothing beats the kitchen staple for its tenderizing tang

Multigrain Pancakes

Whisk together ½ cup buckwheat flour, ¼ cup brown rice flour, ¼ cup medium-grind cornmeal, 1 tbsp. sugar, ½ tsp. kosher salt1 tsp. baking powder, and 1 tsp. baking soda and set aside. In a large measuring cup, beat 1 egg and whisk in 1¼ cup buttermilk and 1 tsp. vanilla. Combine with dry ingredients. Melt ½ tbsp. butter on a griddle over medium-low heat. Once butter stops foaming, ladle batter and cook until tiny bubbles form, then flip pancake and cook until done, about 2 more minutes. Repeat. Serve with more butter and maple syrup.

 Bonus: They’re gluten-free.

Buttermilk Panna Cotta

Combine 1½ tsp. unflavored gelatin with 2 tbsp. water and let sit 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 1 cup whipping cream,½ cup sugar,seeds from 1 vanilla bean, and 1 tsp. lemon zest, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and stir in gelatin. When mixture has cooled to room temperature, stir in 2 cups buttermilk. Strain and divide among six (8-ounce) ramekins coated with nonstick spray. Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.

Crispy Onion Rings

Peel and slice 3 yellow onions into ½-inch rings. In a large bowl, cover onions with 2½ cups buttermilk. Set aside for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 2 cups flour, ½ cup cornmeal,2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, and 1 tsp. smoked paprika. In a dutch oven fitted with deep-fry thermometer, heat 3 to 4 inches of a neutral oil to 350 degrees. Lift onions from buttermilk, allowing excess to drip off, then dredge in flour mixture. Working in batches, lower rings into oil and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Keep warm in a 200-degree oven until ready to serve.

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