“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Cultured Buttermilk & Ranch Dressing

On keeping and making cultured buttermilk:  This is one of those good for you additions to food that is very effortless to 'keep going' with an endless supply for very little cost.  At least once a week I start a batch to use as the base for ranch dressing or as an addition to homemade bread or smoothies.  No cooking is involved.

To make cultured buttermilk you need some buttermilk or a powder starter to make your first batch of starter at home (see here for source).  You basically take one part of (live) cultured buttermilk and add three parts fresh pasteurized milk  (1/4 cup buttermilk to 3/4 cup milk), place in a mason jar and mix with a plastic spoon. Fasten a paper coffee filter over the top with a rubber band.  Let this mixture culture at room temperature for 12-18 hours edit: up to 24 hours is OK the longer it sits out the tangier the flavor (70-77 F) in the warmest spot in your house (probably the kitchen).  I set my jar in the barely warm oven on my 'proof' setting.  You could set yours in the oven with the pilot light or oven light on (away from the bulb).  Keep away from drafts. Once the buttermilk is set (not runny) replace the filter with a regular lid and put in the fridge for six hours before use.  Stir before using.  Make sure to save at least 1/4 cup to start your next batch.

To make another batch, you repeat the above directions. This should be done once a week (no longer than seven days).  For larger quantities, just remember the ratio of 1 part buttermilk to 3 parts milk. After doing this a few times, it really becomes second nature and effortless.  It is recommended to not use metal when making cultures.  Plastic or wooden spoons are fine.

Buttermilk (Ranch) Dressing

1/2 C buttermilk
1/2 C mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste
fresh or dried herbs (I use either parsley or thyme .. just a few pinches to taste)
1 small or medium clove of garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Whisk the above ingredients together well in a bowl.  Adjust seasonings.  Store in a lidded mason jar for up to one week.  Mix before serving.

If you don't have lemon zest or juice, you may substitute a little bit of lemon pepper seasoning to taste.

This recipe is easily doubled.  Just use the 1:1 ratio of buttermilk to mayo ... and adjust the seasonings to taste.

Read about buttermilk's benefits here

Copyright Free Image found here


Cindy (Letters From Midlife) said...

Thanks for this! I'm making some on Monday.

Sandy said...

Thank you so much for posting
these. I will enjoy making
them. Appreciate all your good
and useful info. I love to
cook healthy for my dear
Have a blessed Easter!

Mr. H. said...

One of the luxuries we do allow ourselves is bottled salad dressing. Unfortunately they just discontinued the last of the two organic dressing brands we use so it will be homemade for us going forward. It will be nice to say goodbye to the last of our store bought condiments. Normally we just use a balsamic olive oil dressing or a ranch recipe that a friend gave us when we make our own. I will have to try your recipe. Have you ever made it using kefir?

Mrs. Mac said...

Cindy and Sandy ... you're welcome .. soon you'll be making buttermilk in your sleep .. it's that easy.

Mr. H I'd try using kefir .. if the dressing is too runny .. just add a little more mayo. Start off with a small batch to see if it tastes good. Kefir and water kefir are two drinks I'm looking into to start. Hey ... want to swap some buttermilk starter for some kefir starter? Let me know:)

Mr. H. said...

Yes, we would be happy to trade with you. Micki says that she will get a hold of you sometime this next week.:) Don't let us forget though as we are both a bit absent minded at times.

Betty Belzner said...

You said that you make your mayonnaise too. Do you have recipe for that too, Cathy?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this recipe! I'm going to wait and see if you post a mayonnaise recipe before I make it though.

The snow is beautiful, isn't it?