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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Kitchen Staple: Sour Cream

I was thinking this week when I used a few very basic kitchen staples that a series on how to make them via cheater versions could actually be helpful. So...without further adieu here are some not super exciting recipes that will hopefully make you realize you really can have some of those tastes of home in the kitchen.

Sour Cream
1 small box fresh cream (technically not fresh since it's in a box)
1-2 capfuls white vinegar or lemon juice
Pinch salt

You can easily adapt this recipe for the 1 liter box, but I am not sure when I would ever need that much sour cream. First, place the box in the freezer for about 30 minutes. This will help the thick cream and the liquid in the box more easily separate. I find the fridge does not work as well for this. Pull up the corner tabs on the bottom end of the box. Sip off a corner and dump over the sink. An almost clear liquid should pour out. If it does not, you might try snipping from the other end. I can never tell which side it will settle at. If it's frozen, just scrape off the more icy looking bits which would have been more like water. Finish cutting the whole top of the box open and scrape into a bowl. Add 1 capful white vinegar and a pinch of salt. Stir to mix thoroughly and taste to see if the sourness is enough. If not, add up to another capful and stir again. Chill until ready to serve.

No, this is not technically sour cream. I think it's more along the lines of creme fraiche, but it works great in place of sour cream both as a topping and in cooked applications.

Apparently, the process for making real sour cream involves mixing cream and buttermilk and sitting out at room temp for 24 hours. I'm going to give it a try in the next few weeks so I'll let you know how it turns out!

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