Buttermilk is your friend ...we are at 500 now LOL.
I love love love cooking with buttermilk. Not just any buttermilk but the Bulgarian kind that is so thick on the top that you have to shake and shake to get it blended. It is the most wonderful product. I get it at WalMart and it keeps for weeks and weeks, much like yogurt.
OK here are 3 ways to use it. Starting with the Buttermilk biscuits. I will say here and now that I use only "real" stuff to cook. I don't like to put one single calorie in my mouth unless it is really yummy. I find that you eat way less when what you eat tastes wonderful and has great " mouth feel". There was a French woman who wrote a book about this a few years back. She was right on , at least I think so.
Buttermilk biscuits ( adapted from Cook's Illustrated)
Place 2 c AP flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
pulse till it is blended...few seconds.
Using a large hole grater , grate 5 Tbsp of frozen salted butter on top of the flour. Alternatively cut the butter into 1/4 inch dice and freeze on a plate. Pulse only till it is mixed...few seconds. Better to have tiny pieces of butter . Now pour this into a chilled bowl and add about 1 c very cold buttermilk. Toss lightly till every bit of flour is good and wet. Don't over mix just toss lightly. It may take even more. More is better than not enough. Gently turn the dough out on a well floured countertop. I use my soapstone . Turn your convection bake to 500. Have a flat shiny cookie sheet ready, and spray with Pam. Lightly pat the dough with floured hands till it is 1/2 to 3/4 " thick. Using a well-floured biscuit cutter press firmly straight down to cut the biscuits. DONOT twist the cutter and they won't rise. Reflour before each cut. Take the scraps and push them lightly up next to the other scraps and cut more. Donot overlap them. Smoosh them together from the sides...this is a scientific term:) Place the biscuits on the cookie sheet so they are just touching. Bake at 500 for 12-15 min in the top 1/3 of the oven till nicely golden brown.
Buttermilk Cornbread (adapted from Vegetarian Epicure)
Preheat convection oven to 375. Have a 9" iron skillet on the low/med heat on the stove and have a 1-2Tbsp of butter ready to put into the skillet.
1 1/4 c unbleached flour
3/4 c whole grain cornmeal ( I use yellow stone ground)
4 Tbsp sugar
5 tsp baking powder ( yes this right)
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 c buttermilk
2 Tbsp melted butter
Combine dry stuff really well. Combine wet stuff ( use lesser amount of buttermilk and add more when folding together if you need to, to make a nice batter, should not be dry more like thick cake batter)
Add wet to dry and gently mix by folding under and over...it will start poofing due to the baking soda. Donot overmix but be sure there are no pockets of dry stuff.
Put the butter into the hot skillet and it should sizzle but not burn or smoke. Immediately add the batter and place in the 375 oven for approx. 30-35 min. Toothpick will be dry when it comes out. Again use the top 1/3 of the oven.
Best buttermilk pie crust and quiche filling ( adapted from Moosewood Cookbook)
Using the same technique for the biscuits , in the food processor combine 1c AP flour and 1/3 c grated or finely chopped butter. Don't over mix. Pulse a few seconds. Pour into cold bowl and add 3-5 Tbsp cold buttermilk till all is moist. Will blend a little more firmly than with the soft biscuit dough. Press into a disk and put in fridge for 1 hr. Make filling:
Beat 4 large eggs, 1 1/2 c cold buttermilk, 3 Tbsp flour, 1/4 tsp salt. That is it. It is the base for whatever you want to do now. Roll out the crust and fit into a 9-10 " pie plate or loose bottom tart pan. If you use the loose bottom pan make sure you have it on a cookie sheet...ask me how I know this LOL.
Cover the bottom of the crust with grated cheese...add toppings....anything you love...mushrooms that are sauteed, fresh chopped spinach, red bell peppers and purple onions...anything at all Pour the above custard over the toppings and then bake at 375 for 45 min till set in the middle and a silver knife comes out clean. It will bake quite a bit faster in a tart pan than in a pie dish as it is more shallow.
OK there you have it my 3 favorite buttermilk recipes and how to use the convection settings for even browning and perfect results. Let me know how it goes and PLEASE post pics...I love pics. Caroline