Versatility Is Homemade Cooking Cream
I *love* having really versatile items in my fridge. Give me a tomato, a red onion and some cheddar cheese; I’ll give you one hundred dinner ideas (other ingredients required, of course!).
That’s why I adore this recipe. I call it Homemade Cooking Cream because it can be used in all the ways you might use Philly Cooking Cream. But, you don’t have to buy an extra product AND you can season it up any way you like.
(What *is* Cooking Cream? It’s kind of like slightly thinned cream cheese that is soft even when cold. It’s sold next to the cream cheese in the refrigerated area of the grocery store. There’s a plain “original” version and several different seasoned varieties (e.g., savory garlic, Italian cheese and herb). You keep it in the fridge and then add a dollop to veggies, pasta and more to create a quick creamy sauce.)
Here I’ve made my own basic cooking cream and seasoned it with toasted then crushed cumin and coriander seeds, a lot of black pepper and a burst of lime. This combination of flavors has several great uses:
- Serve it as a dip for fresh veggies or pita wedges (an alternative to hummus or serve it alongside hummus). If doing so, crumble in some feta cheese for some extra tang, salt and general snazziness.
- Toss with hot cooked veggies to create a lightly seasoned sauce (to get an idea of amounts, I use 3 tbsp Homemade Cooking Cream to one head of streamed cauliflower).
- Use it instead of sour cream in tacos or thin it with a bit of milk or water to use as a dressing for taco salad.
- Warm it briefly in the microwave and drizzle it over grilled fish.
- Spread it in a pita, add feta cheese, tomato, onions and chunks of hot cooked chicken.
- Or, my favourite, toss a bit of Homemade Cooking Cream with hot egg noodles and then add some fresh garnishes like grape tomatoes and parsley (toss a bit of the pasta cooking liquid with the noodles and cooking cream to thin the sauce, if desired)
Now all you need is the recipe!
Homemade Cooking Cream with Toasted Cumin, Coriander and Lime
Here’s the plan: Whip up a batch of Homemade Cooking Cream as the weekend approaches. You’ll have it on hand as an appetizer for company or as a quick snack for the family. Any leftovers get incorporated into Monday and Tuesday dinners, bringing some easy flavor to your week.
Yields 1 and 1/2 cups
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp fresh squeezed lime juice
- Spatter the cumin and coriander seeds into a heavy bottomed dry pan set over medium-low heat. Tossing the pan occasionally, toast the seeds until their fragrance is warm and intoxicating, about 5 minutes. Pour the toasted seeds and the peppercorns into a spice grinder or use a mortar and pestle. Grind coarsely.
- In a medium bowl mix the spices with the remaining ingredients. It’s easiest to use a fork to smooth the cream cheese into the other ingredients. Grab a cracker and taste for seasoning. You may want a touch more salt or lime juice.
Now get creative and start cooking with your cooking cream. Oh, and don’t forget to let me know how you’ve use it. It’s so versatile I know you’ll think of something totally drool-worthy!