X

Buttermilk Kitchen recipes offer simple pleasures of morning meals

Buttermilk Kitchen O.G. Buttermilk Pancakes win compliments for their fluffiness, among other things. CONTRIBUTED BY ANGIE MOSIER
Buttermilk Kitchen O.G. Buttermilk Pancakes win compliments for their fluffiness, among other things. CONTRIBUTED BY ANGIE MOSIER

Credit: Angie Mosier

Credit: Angie Mosier

Atlanta native Suzanne Vizethann was locally known for her catering and cafe, the Hungry Peach, and nationally known as a 2011 winner on the Food Network’s “Chopped” series.

But as she reveals in her new cookbook, “Welcome to Buttermilk Kitchen” (Gibbs Smith, $30), starting a restaurant from scratch was much more difficult than she ever could have imagined.

Of course, Buttermilk Kitchen, a comfy breakfast and lunch spot on Roswell Road, quickly became a beloved destination — with crowds circling the parking lot and standing in line for a taste of Vizethann’s homey Southern scratch cooking and baking.

Chef Suzanne Vizethann is owner of Buttermilk Kitchen. CONTRIBUTED BY ANGIE MOSIER
Chef Suzanne Vizethann is owner of Buttermilk Kitchen. CONTRIBUTED BY ANGIE MOSIER

As she writes in the introduction, one goal of the book is to encourage home cooks to reconsider the opportunities morning meals present. And to that end, Vizethann offers recipes for the dishes that put Buttermilk Kitchen on the map.

Like every other chef and restaurant owner in the world, Vizethann has been coping with the pandemic in her own way, which meant switching to a takeout-only system.

“Luckily for us, we’ve been doing OK,” she said in a recent phone call. “Nothing like we were doing before saleswise. But to-go service has been steady enough that we’ve been able to retain half of our employees and keep all of my managers on the payroll.

“The silver lining out of all of this is that we launched the cookbook and an online e-commerce store. So all that happening kind of gave us an excuse to pivot and get that up and running, and it has been going really, really well. We really just had to reinvent ourselves and switch the services we were offering.”

Working on the cookbook was a four-year project, starting with the idea and the proposal, then developing the recipes, and finally seeing it published in April.

“I think it’s important when you’re writing recipes to think about the whole layout of the book and the chapters,” Vizethann said. “Also, a lot of our recipes build on each other. I get asked a lot, ‘What’s the secret with your biscuits?’ Or, ‘How do you get the pancakes so fluffy?’ People think we’re doing some sort of rocket science in the kitchen.

“But the simple, straightforward answer is that it’s just good ingredients, we treat them really well, and we just take a lot of pride in the food that we produce. So I thought it was very important to first walk you through our pantry and the ingredients, and then the utensils that we use, and the pans. I put a lot of thought into all that, and then obviously a lot of thought into scaling the recipes down, and making them relatable for the home cook.”

As far as what keeps Vizethann going day to day at the restaurant, she said it’s the guests.

“Every time I get real tired, or I have a long week, there always seems to be an email, or a review, or some way we’ve touched a guest,” she said. “A few weeks ago, I was real down after all of the COVID-19 stuff, and this lady emailed me and said, ‘I want you to know that the last meal that I had before I went into labor and had my son was your pancakes. That will forever be a part of our memories, and we just can’t wait for you to reopen again so we can have those pancakes with our newborn.’ Wow. That’s going to keep me going for six more months.”

Suzanne Vizethann shares the secrets behind the food at her breakfast and lunch spot in her new cookbook, “Welcome to Buttermilk Kitchen.”
Suzanne Vizethann shares the secrets behind the food at her breakfast and lunch spot in her new cookbook, “Welcome to Buttermilk Kitchen.”

RECIPES

These recipes with introductions from chef Suzanne Vizethann include some of the breakfast and brunch staples that put her beloved Atlanta restaurant Buttermilk Kitchen on the map.

O.G. Buttermilk Pancakes 

“People love our pancakes and always ask us how we get them so fluffy,” Vizethann says. “We make our batter fresh each morning and use great ingredients. It’s important to separate the wet ingredients from the dry ones when making this batter. You want to fully incorporate the ingredients, but not over mix the batter.”

O.G. Buttermilk Pancakes 
  • 1 stick European-style unsalted butter, plus extra
  • 2 1/4 cups Banner Butter buttermilk or other high-quality, full-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon full-fat sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Melt butter in microwave and set aside to cool. Add the buttermilk, whole milk, sour cream and eggs to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on medium speed until ingredients are incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  • Using a whisk, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Reduce mixer speed to low, add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix for about 30 seconds. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula.
  • Add melted butter and mix for 20 more seconds or until butter is just mixed into the batter. Let rest while you prepare the griddle.
  • Preheat a griddle or large nonstick saute pan over medium-low heat and brush with butter. Using a 4-ounce ice cream scoop, scoop batter onto hot griddle and cook until bubbly on top and golden on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook until golden on the other side, about 2 more minutes.
  • Makes about 8 large pancakes.

Nutritional information

Per serving: 295 calories (percent of calories from fat, 43), 7 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 14 grams fat (8 grams saturated), 88 milligrams cholesterol, 880 milligrams sodium.
The name Buttermilk Kitchen Reggae Grits might take your mind somewhere musical, but chef Suzanne Vizethann says, “Reggae is kitchen slang for ‘regular’ or ‘plain.’” CONTRIBUTED BY ANGIE MOSIER
The name Buttermilk Kitchen Reggae Grits might take your mind somewhere musical, but chef Suzanne Vizethann says, “Reggae is kitchen slang for ‘regular’ or ‘plain.’” CONTRIBUTED BY ANGIE MOSIER

Reggae Grits

“Reggae is kitchen slang for ‘regular’ or ‘plain.’ Plain grits are good all of the time — breakfast, lunch, or dinner,” Vizethann says. “To me, there is nothing better than plain stone-ground grits cooked to perfection and topped with a healthy dose of freshly made butter and sea salt. Do yourself a favor and make the Mason Jar Butter to serve with the recipe. It is worth the effort — I promise.”

Reggae Grits
  • 1 cup white coarse-ground Logan Turnpike or other high-quality stone-ground grits
  • 3 cups plus 1 to 2 additional cups cold water, chicken stock or corn stock
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Mason Jar Butter (see recipe below) or other high-quality grass-fed butter
  • Place grits in a 4 1/2-quart saucepan and cover with 3 cups water. Using a whisk, stir a couple of times to allow the chaff and hulls to float to the top. Skim off and discard using a fine tea strainer.
  • Turn the heat to high and stir like crazy to keep the grits moving until the liquid comes to a boil and grits start to thicken, 2-3 minutes. Add the salt.
  • Reduce the heat to low until grits are just barely bubbling, and stir every 5 minutes for the next 30 minutes, adding additional water each time you stir if grits look dry. Cover for the last 5-10 minutes of cooking time until grits are creamy and tender.
  • Pour grits into a serving bowl and top with butter. See recipe for Mason Jar Butter. Makes 4-6 servings.

Nutritional information

Per serving: (based on 4) 170 calories (percent of calories from fat, 18), 3 grams protein, 31 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 3 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 8 milligrams cholesterol, 975 milligrams sodium.
Buttermilk Kitchen Mason Jar Butter is a great companion for the Reggae Grits. CONTRIBUTED BY ANGIE MOSIER
Buttermilk Kitchen Mason Jar Butter is a great companion for the Reggae Grits. CONTRIBUTED BY ANGIE MOSIER

Mason Jar Butter

“It’s still fun to make butter, and this recipe is a great one to add to your repertoire,” Vizethann says. “Save that Mason jar and add to your drinking glass collection — it’s the Southern thing to do.”

Mason Jar Butter
  • 1 cup full-fat heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon full-fat sour cream
  • 1 (16-ounce) regular Mason jar
  • Cold water
  • Pour the cream and sour cream into the jar, filling it halfway full. Screw the lid on and shake the jar for 6-8 minutes. After the first 4 minutes, you’ll have whipped cream. Keep shaking until a lump has formed inside, and shake an additional 30-60 seconds after that.
  • Remove the solids from the jar. The remaining liquid is buttermilk, which you can save for other recipes or discard.
  • Place the solids into a small bowl. Pour cold water over the butter and use your hands to squish it into a ball. Discard the water and repeat, rinsing two more times. At this point, you have butter. You can add in things like salt, honey, and herbs to create flavored butters, or serve as is.
  • Save that Mason jar and add to your drinking glass collection — it’s the Southern thing to do.
  • Makes 3 ounces or almost 1 stick.

Nutritional information

Per serving: (1 tablespoon) 119 calories (percent of calories from fat, 94), 1 gram protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, no fiber, 13 grams fat (8 grams saturated), 47 milligrams cholesterol, 13 milligrams sodium.
You can do a good bit of the prep work for Buttermilk Kitchen Hashbrown Fritters a few days before you fry them. CONTRIBUTED BY ANGIE MOSIER
You can do a good bit of the prep work for Buttermilk Kitchen Hashbrown Fritters a few days before you fry them. CONTRIBUTED BY ANGIE MOSIER

Hashbrown Fritters

“I’ve never met a potato I didn’t like,” Vizethann says. “I first fell in love with potatoes watching my German nanny make pommes lyonnaise (potatoes fried with onions). Similar to an egg, the potato is a very versatile ingredient. These fritters are labor intensive, but you can store the potato balls in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before frying.”

Hashbrown Fritters
  • 5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup clarified butter
  • 1/4 cup blended egg whites
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Canola oil
  • House Seasoning (see recipe below)
  • Sliced scallions
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Wash potatoes, drain, and place in a large mixing bowl. Pour oil into a small mixing bowl and place it next to potatoes.
  • Put gloves on your hands, dip hands lightly in oil, and rub each potato, coating it evenly with oil. Repeat process with remaining potatoes and place on a full-size baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch of space between each potato.
  • Roast potatoes for 30 minutes until slightly soft. Remove from the oven and cool. Place potatoes in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before proceeding with next steps.
  • Shred chilled potatoes, with skin on, over the largest holes of a box grater. Put shredded potatoes into a large mixing bowl and add onion, salt, pepper, butter, egg whites, and cornstarch and mix well.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 2-ounce ice cream scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop potato mixture and roll into approximately 30 balls. Place on prepared baking sheet.
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Heat oil to 350 degrees, using a deep-fry candy thermometer, in a large cast-iron skillet. Do not fill the skillet more than halfway with oil.
  • Using the palm of your hand, gently flatten 3-4 potato balls into fritters and place in hot oil. Cook for 1 minute, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain 350 degrees. Flip fritters over and cook for an additional 30 seconds-1 minute until golden brown.
  • Remove fritters from the oil and place on a baking sheet lined with a wire rack. Place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining fritters until they are all cooked. Season fritters with House Seasoning and scallions. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Nutritional information

Per serving: (based on 10) 359 calories (percent of calories from fat, 44), 6 grams protein, 44 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 17 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 13 milligrams cholesterol, 400 milligrams sodium.
House Seasoning 
Buttermilk Kitchen House Seasoning 
  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
  • 1/8 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds until thoroughly combined and color turns pink. If not using right away, place in an airtight container and set in the pantry.
  • Makes about 2 cups.

Nutritional information

Per serving: (1 teaspoon) 6 calories (percent of calories from fat, 10), trace protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, trace fiber, trace fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 1,410 milligrams sodium.