Buttermilk-Poached Fish With Cilantro-Lime Butter

Serves 4.

Note: Poaching in buttermilk turns fish very tender and sweet — great for diners who don't like fish that tastes "fishy." It also results in extra-white fillets.

4 fillets (6 oz. each) of fish such as tilapia, snapper, flounder, trout or perch

• Salt and black pepper

• 3 c. buttermilk (about)

• 6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter

• 1/2 c. chopped onion

• 2 garlic cloves, chopped

• 1 c. chopped cilantro

• Juice of 2 limes


Place fish fillets in a saucepan or Dutch oven large enough to hold them in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour in enough buttermilk to just cover the fish.

Place pan over medium heat and bring liquid to a gentle simmer. (Buttermilk will curdle; this is OK.) Simmer fish 2 minutes, then turn over the fillets and cook another minute, or until fish is cooked through and flakes easily. Remove fish from pan with a slotted spatula and keep warm.

Place butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook and stir a few minutes, until onion and garlic are soft but not brown.

Remove pan from heat, then stir in cilantro and lime juice. Pour butter mixture over fish and serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 357 Fat 21 g Saturated fat 12 g Sodium 128 mg

Carbohydrates 6 g Calcium 90 mg

Protein 37 g Cholesterol 123 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: ½ other carb, 5 lean meat, 1 fat.

Avocado Herb Dressing

Makes about 2 cups.

Note: This creamy dressing comes out in a pretty, soft shade of green. The acid in the buttermilk keeps the avocado from turning brown.

• 1 ripe avocado

• 1/4 c. sour cream

• 1 c. buttermilk

• 3/4 tsp. dried savory

• 3/4 tsp. dried marjoram

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. pepper (to taste)

•1/2 tsp. garlic powder


In a medium bowl, mash avocado. Blend in sour cream. Add buttermilk and seasonings, whisking until smooth. Dressing will keep refrigerated up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition information per 2 tablespoons:

Calories 28 Fat 2 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium 57 mg

Carbohydrates 2 g Calcium 24 mg

Protein 1 g Cholesterol 2 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: ½ fat.

Tex-Mex Corn Pudding

Serves 6 to 8.

Note: This traditional Southern side dish gets an extra boost from the tang of buttermilk.

3 c. corn kernels (fresh or frozen, no need to thaw)

• 3/4 c. yellow cornmeal

• 1/2 c. grated sharp Cheddar cheese

• 1/2 c. canned chopped green chiles

• 4 green onions, chopped

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/2 tsp. baking soda

• 3 eggs

• 1 1/2 c. buttermilk

• 1/2 tsp. chili powder or more to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 1½ to 2-quart baking dish with vegetable oil spray.

In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients. Pour mixture into prepared dish. Bake in preheated oven 40 to 50 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

Nutrition information per each of 8 servings:

Calories 183 Fat 6 g Saturated fat 2 g Sodium 380 mg

Carbohydrates 26 g Calcium 110 mg

Protein 9 g Cholesterol 80 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 1 other carb, 1 medium-fat meat.

Buttermilk Pound cake

Serves about 20.

Note: Buttermilk adds a pleasant tang and fine crumb to this pound cake, which fortunately freezes well because it makes a lot.

1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

• 3 c. sugar

• 5 extra-large eggs or 6 large eggs

• 1/2 tsp. baking soda

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 3 c. flour

• 1 c. buttermilk

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Glaze (optional):

• 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

• Fresh lemon or lime juice

• Grated lemon or lime zest


Prepare a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan by coating the inner surface with vegetable oil spray and dusting it with flour. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place butter and sugar in bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on high speed until creamy and pale, about 5 minutes. Break eggs into a small bowl and whisk gently to break the yolks. Add eggs to butter mixture in two additions, beating well after each and scraping sides of bowl between beatings.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the baking soda, salt and flour. On medium speed, beat one-third of the flour mixture into creamed butter mixture. Stop mixer and add half the buttermilk. Turn mixer on low to prevent spatters and beat 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat 1 minute.

Add another one-third of the flour mixture, the rest of the buttermilk and the vanilla, and then the rest of the flour mixture, beating well after each addition and scraping the bowl periodically to incorporate all of the ingredients. Batter will be thick.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and rap bottom of pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake in lower third of preheated oven about 1 hour, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Cake may crack on top, but this is OK.

Cool in pan on wire rack 5 minutes, then turn cake out onto the rack to continue cooling.

To make glaze, combine powdered sugar and enough lemon or lime juice to reach a glaze consistency, then stir in some grated zest for color. Brush it on the cooled cake.

Nutrition per each of 20 servings (no glaze):

Calories 290 Fat 11 g Sodium 123 mg

Carbohydrates 45 g Saturated fat 6 g Calcium 27 mg

Protein 4 g Cholesterol 77 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 2 other carb, 2 fat.

Mango Spice Lassi

Serves 1.

Note: If you didn't grow up drinking buttermilk, this spicy-fruity drink is a good way to try it out. The East Indian drink is usually made with yogurt, but buttermilk works well. Add more honey if you prefer a sweeter drink.

• 1 c. buttermilk

• 1 c. frozen or fresh mango cubes

• 1 tbsp. honey

• 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom

• 1/4 tsp. ground mace


Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add a cube or two of ice.

Nutrition information per serving (with 1-percent milk):

Calories 265 Fat 3 g Sodium 260 mg

Carbohydrates 54 g Saturated fat 2 g Calcium 310 mg

Protein 10 g Cholesterol 10 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 milk, 2 fruit, 1 other carb, ½ fat.