Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 206: Buttermilk Experiment #1

As I mentioned in today's earlier post, I have recently become alarmed by my weight. I know, no one likes to talk about these things very openly. So I'll skip ahead to saying that I've become interested in possible uses for buttermilk, which has a lovely consistency and flavor with far fewer calories than cream. It is already part of my light mashed potato recipe (potatoes, garlic, buttermilk, light sour cream, s&p--mighty satisfying and nearly fat free) and I often use it for scones/biscuits instead of heavy cream, but tonight, as I planned my low-cal chicken roulade, I thought: why not use it to finish sauce?

Why indeed. Buttermilk used to come from the butter-making process. Essentially, it's the runoff dairy product, as the whey would be to the curd in cheese-making. Nowadays, it's made by introducing culture to nonfat milk. Cultures make things a little different, scientifically speaking. It makes the milk react differently to heat, which is why few recipes have you heat up yogurt (I do have a delicious rogan josh recipe that has you add yogurt early on). It's probably those cultures that made my buttermilk start to separate when I added it to my pan sauce. Interestingly enough, it still tasted wonderful (sauteed shallots after browning chicken roulade, deglazed with a little water and white vinegar--which could also be my culprit--added buttermilk and some agave nectar to balance the acidity). It just curdled. Still, I'm going to move forward in attempting to lighten dishes with buttermilk. If it could be made into white gravy, I would dance a jig.

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