Chef Dean Wirkerman first made buttermilk by mistake.
“I was making a panna cotta and I was using crème fraîche instead of whip cream to lighten it,” he says, but he accidentally over-mixed the crème fraîche. Instead of trashing the failed panna cotta, he just kept mixing to see what would happen.
“The little specks I was finding in the crème fraîche turned into butter. Then I kept mixing it and that butter separated completely, and this watery, milky liquid came out.”
He had achieved buttermilk.
These days, buttermilk is a by-product of the house-made butter they whip up in the Cardinal Spirits kitchen. Like any frugal chef, Wirkerman has found a use for it — buttermilk, plus Greek yogurt, plus mayonnaise, plus fresh and dried herbs, equals ranch dressing.
- 1 1/2 cups (375 grams) Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 cups (375 grams) buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups (375 grams) mayonnaise
- 3 1/3 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 1/2 teaspoons dill powder
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 teaspoons parsley, minced
- 5 teaspoons dill, minced
- 2 1/2 teaspoons thyme, minced
- 2 1/2 teaspoons marjoram, minced
- 3 1/3 tablespoons lime juice
- 5 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 2/3 tablespoons salt, to taste
- Combine all ingredients, except salt, and mix thoroughly. Season with salt to taste.
- This dressing keeps in the refrigerator for two weeks.
Courtesy of Executive Chef Dean Wirkerman of Cardinal Spirits.