Polish Potatoes and Buttermilk

Polish Potatoes and Buttermilk
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Polish potatoes and buttermilk
Cool, tangy, different, refreshing!

Every week our CSA puts together a one-page newsletter for members to peruse while, or after, they pick up their vegetables. On the front, there’s generally an article about a vegetable that we’re getting that week, or some information about changes going on at the farm, or, as in the past week’s newsletter, one of the volunteers described how she used the previous week’s produce. As we read through it, we noticed that the author, Lorraine, stated that she knew immediately the potatoes were going to be used for Polish Potatoes in Buttermilk.

We don’t know about you, but we’d never heard of such a dish; however, from her comments, it sure sounded as if it was one of her favorite ways to eat potatoes. Hmm, we said. We have potatoes, too. Plus buttermilk. It shouldn’t be hard to find a recipe on the internet.

So, we typed “Polish Potatoes and Buttermilk” into Google, and, while there were over 6,000,000 “hits” (as an aside, there’s really something wrong with the search engine when it returns one hit for every 1000 people on the planet. Do you really believe that the equivalent of 1 in 1000 people put up a page about this recipe?), it didn’t seem as if many were about a Polish potato dish. Fortunately, right at the top was a link to her recipe on the CSA webpage. It seemed so simple that we just had to try it, even though we aren’t big fans of buttermilk outside of baked goods.

Polish Potatoes and Buttermilk

Yield: 2 servings

Polish Potatoes and Buttermilk


  • 3-4 medium boiling potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into thin rings
  • 1 cup buttermilk, ice cold
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Abbreviated Instructions

Place potatoes in a saucepan of salted water over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium-sized skillet over low heat. Add onions and cook until tender, but not browned, about 10 minutes.

Divide onions and potatoes between two bowls and pour buttermilk over to taste. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.


Ingredient discussion:

Not too much to discuss, although we always use our own cultured buttermilk. It’s easy to make, doesn’t contain salt or seaweed, and we can make it with any milk we want: organic, fat-free, 1%, 2%, whole milk. Give it a try sometime; it’s one of the easiest “recipes” we’ve posted.

Procedure in detail:

potatoes and onions
We had small potatoes (about 1 1/2 inches) so we used about ten to make two bowls of potatoes.

Boil potatoes. Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Add about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of salt and place over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, but don’t drain.

Fry onions. While the potatoes are boiling, melt butter in a skillet over low heat. Once melted, add onions and fry until tender, but not browned, about 10 minutes. If the potatoes are not done, set aside.

potatoes and buttermilk
Simply pour the cold buttermilk over the hot potatoes and onions. Then season with salt and pepper.

Serve. Divide the onions between two bowls, and use a slotted spoon to top with hot potato pieces. Pour buttermilk over to taste, then season with salt and pepper.

As we said, we’re not real fans of buttermilk just plain, or even in dishes where it’s a noticeable flavor, but these potatoes were very good. The buttermilk gives them a slight tang, almost as if you’re having potatoes with a mild sour cream. But it’s not sour cream; instead, the buttermilk  is more like a broth that warms as it cools the potatoes, and the dish becomes more of a cool soup that’s quite refreshing, especially in the heat of summer. We like it because it’s a nice change from the standard way of having potatoes, so give it a try. You might just be surprised, as we were. Four stars.

Worth the trouble?

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