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Sour Cream Is The Secret Ingredient For An Ultra-Creamy Coleslaw

a bowl of creamy coleslaw
a bowl of creamy coleslaw - Ildi Papp/Shutterstock

If you've got a mind to make creamy coleslaw (and if barbecue is on the menu, not doing so would be malpractice), there are several recipes to choose from. Sure, you can add shaved carrots or substitute red cabbage, but the secret to a dynamite coleslaw lies in the dressing. The usual suspects in a creamy coleslaw dressing recipe are ingredients like mayonnaise and vinegar. But we're here to tell you that, if ultra-creamy is your coleslaw goal, use sour cream in addition to mayo, as it will contribute to a more robust body and tang.

Even though mayonnaise and sour cream are made out of entirely different things (the former from oil and eggs, the latter from cultured cream) -- as well as having different texture and flavor profiles -- the two often go together. Canny cooks already know that sour cream is an ideal substitute for mayonnaise in dips, and the same rule functionally applies to coleslaw dressing. Both are high in saturated fat and therefore inherently creamy; but in addition to being much thicker, sour cream also has a noticeable acidity (which might be nice in a dip but is indispensable in slaw). This is all to say that you probably won't be able to exclusively sub sour cream out for mayo -- unless you're super into tangy -- but there are a few ways to incorporate it into slaw.

Read more: 15 Tricks For Making The Most Crispy Chicken Thighs Ever

Mixing Sour Cream And Coleslaw

a bowl of sour cream
a bowl of sour cream - Milanfoto/Getty Images

If you're interested in using sour cream as an adjunct in your creamy coleslaw dressing along with mayonnaise, start with a ratio of roughly one part sour cream to three parts mayo and add more if needed. If you do this, experiment with either adding just a dash of vinegar or leaving it out of the mix entirely. (This is what's beautiful about cooking: Balance of flavors is a pursuit that can be perfected.) Just start by leaving out the thing that you won't be able to remove, like salt or acidity -- then add some if it's missing. Remember that they don't call it sour cream for no reason; its lactic acid will serve the same kind of function as apple cider vinegar's acetic acid. Of course, it's possible to make a delicious, creamy coleslaw without any mayonnaise whatsoever. If you don't happen to have any mayo in the fridge (or don't love the taste), you can add a little milk to thin out the sour cream (again, with an optional splash of vinegar). This base will then be ready for whatever additives your heart desires -- and there are many.

Creamy Coleslaw Finishing Touches

A crock of creamy coleslaw
A crock of creamy coleslaw - RFondren Photography/Shutterstock

There's more to a classic, creamy coleslaw than just mayonnaise, vinegar, and (now!) sour cream. Pretty much everyone agrees that a touch of sweetness is in order, courtesy of either granulated sugar or honey. A little Dijon mustard will add zest as well as depth of flavor. Many people cannot do coleslaw without celery salt, and who are we to argue? Concerning vinegar, the red wine variety works just as well as the apple cider version. Follow your heart, and follow this rule: Before you mix it into your magnificent, creamy dressing, be sure to salt your coleslaw's cabbage first and then remove the excess water. We're looking for a light coating of dressing, not a drowning.

What kind of foods will work best with this side? Put it on top of a pulled pork barbecue sandwich by all means, or beside it on a plate, snuggled up to some hushpuppies. It adores fried fish (well, fried anything really) as well as wood smoke. If it's grilling season, it's creamy coleslaw season too. If stored properly, expect your creamy coleslaw to last up to five days in the refrigerator; if you're taking it to a picnic, however, it won't make it more than one hour under the hot sun before needing to be consumed or tossed.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.