Even the most experienced cooks occasionally have a moment when they realize they don't have enough (or any) of a crucial ingredient for a dish that's already in progress. Fortunately, many ingredients have lifesaving workarounds — even if they require a bit of creativity. For those needing a creamy thickener to stand in for sour cream, mayonnaise is one of the best and most convenient choices.
Mayo's primary benefit as a substitute is that most home cooks likely have a bottle or jar already sitting in their fridge; the condiment is super versatile and, once opened, stays good in the fridge for two months. It's also easy to use on the spot, as cooks can swap sour cream out for mayonnaise in the same amount.
However, before tossing that mayo into your soup or stew, don't forget to consider the method's potential drawbacks: Mayo can alter a recipe's flavor in different ways than sour cream, especially because mayo lacks sour cream's signature tanginess. The texture will also be noticeably different, and mayo will add significantly more calories to a dish when used in comparable amounts.
The Many Uses Of Mayo
If you're one of the people who can't stand mayo, there are still other alternatives for thickening that creamy soup on the fly. Some may prefer a combination of milk or cream and cornstarch, two other ingredients likely already in your kitchen. Just mix them to form a slurry and add it to the soup. A good rule of thumb is four parts liquid to one part starch, though this can be adjusted. However, this method also has some downsides, most notably that it's not nearly as creamy as the alternatives.
Creamy soup is just one of the many foods that use mayo as their secret ingredient. Swap out the butter for mayo on the outside of a grilled cheese sandwich for extra flavor and browning, or add a dollop to your scrambled egg mixture for extra creaminess and a custardy texture. The condiment can even add that perfect bit of moisture to banana bread or cake.
So, the next time you're trying to make one of the best fall soup recipes and find you're low on sour cream, don't panic. The solution is likely sitting right inside your fridge.
Read the original article on Mashed.