May 3rd, 2010
I have a love-hate relationship with buttermilk. I love it. But I hate that I never have any when I want some OR I buy some for one recipe and end up with leftovers that go bad. (Shouldn’t they sell buttermilk in smaller containers?) Does this happen to you, too? If so, I have the answer: clabbered milk!
Clabbered milk is basically soured milk, which is basically buttermilk. The proper method requires that milk stand at warm room temperature for 2-3 days. But there is a quick DIY method that takes all of 10 minutes and leaves you with a thick(ish) tangy drink that can be used in place of buttermilk. Just like that and you can make recipes that call for buttermilk without any advance planning or worrying about leftovers. Fancy that!
The quick method is simple: whisk 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice into 1 cup of whole or low fat milk and let stand for about 10 minutes. Voila.
Fluffy pancakes, tangy marinades, creamy low-fat dressings… it can all be yours! Even this Buttermilk Macaroni and Cheese from the archives. This stuff is delicious and, other than some extra time, it takes little more effort than the boxed stuff. So the next time you want mac and cheese, ditch the blue box (or maybe you’ve got the one with bunnies on it… either way!), make some clabbered milk and enjoy this fully homemade version.
Buttermilk Macaroni & Cheese
adapted from Six Course Dinner
(can be adapted for kids 8+ mos)
16 oz orecchiette
4 tbsp flour
2 c low fat buttermilk or clabbered milk
16 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground mustard
dash cayenne (optional, skip for little ones)
4 tbsp panko or regular bread crumbs
8 sprigs fresh marjoram
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta until al dente. Remove from heat, drain, briefly rinse under cold water, drain again.
2. While the macaroni is cooking, make a roux: Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in flour until well combined. Reduce heat and gently cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture just begins to darken.
3. Add buttermilk, 12 oz. of the cheese, paprika, mustard and cayenne. Stir until the cheese is mostly melted and then turn off the heat. Add 7 sprigs of marjoram and continue stirring for five minutes. At this point the cheese should be completely melted and the marjoram should have flavored the sauce. Remove marjoram. Pour sauce over cooked pasta, add salt and pepper and mix well.
4. Put pasta in an oven proof casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil to brown the top, about another 20 minutes or so.
5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped marjoram from the remaining sprig. Serve!