Written by: Cally Worden
If you detest seeing good food go to waste, then you may regularly find yourself despairing at the short shelf-life of fresh dairy produce. Yoghurt, milk, and cream all sit in the fridge just waiting to turn – they need to be consumed and enjoyed swiftly to catch them at their best. If, despite your best efforts, you find yourself with a rogue tub of cream cheese about to go off, then read on for some tasty tips on how to make the most of this creamy delight instead of ditching it in the bin.
A perennial favourite in our house, the humble omelette is cheap, quick to make, versatile, healthy, and generally a crowd-pleaser. It’s simple to turn a flat egg omelette into something special with the addition of a little cheese, ham, veg, herbs or whatever takes your fancy. Milk, cream, and good old cream cheese are the perfect addition to your egg mix. Adding richness and texture, cream cheese can simply be whisked in completely, or left a little lumpy so you can enjoy the sensation of biting down onto a pocket of melted creamy heaven when you eat.
Many traditional pate recipes call for butter to act as the binding agent, but this makes them very rich and rather heavy. Substituting leftover cream cheese instead creates a lighter pate; it can really enhance the flavour. Try combining with kippers, spinach and parsley, with a little horseradish sauce for that extra kick.
Butter cream is a light and fluffy topping that makes a delicious addition to the top of many a cake. Using cream cheese in place of some of the butter will create a more subtle flavour, and a smooth, sleek texture that adds an edge of sophistication to your baking.
I don’t know who invented to idea of stuffing cheese into various meats as part of a main meal, but it certainly creates a delicious combination of tastes. When heated cream cheese becomes runny, so it works best wrapped in a meat that can be sure to totally encase it, making meatballs the perfect solution. Use your cream cheese leftovers to give your family an unexpected and delightful mouthful of warm creamy delight.
Cream cheese has the great property of becoming silky and smooth upon melting. This makes it the perfect addition to a sauce, or as a creamy addition to any meal in its own right. Simply stirring through warm pasta creates an instant cheesy tea, or try adding it to a casserole or curry in place of yoghurt or cr√®me fraiche for a smooth, rich sauce. If you fancy a homemade hollandaise or b√©arnaise sauce you can skip the tedious whisking of egg yolks and create a cheat’s version by melting your cream cheese on a low heat with mustard, herbs and lemon.
Partnering cream cheese with smoked salmon, ham, tuna, chicken or turkey is pretty much a given. But have you ever tried adding it to a sweet berry sandwich? Something with a little sharpness works well, such as blackberry. Experiment with various sandwich combinations and surprise the family with a sweet-but-smooth butty with a difference. Who knows what fresh flavour blends you may find to tickle the family taste buds?