Q:

What is a substitute for fromage frais?

A:

Plain Greek yogurt is an excellent substitute for fromage frais. Fromage frais is a soft, fresh cheese popular in French cuisine. This smooth, creamy cheese is difficult to find outside of Europe, but it is easy to substitute other ingredients with equally delicious results.

Plain Greek yogurt is the best substitute for fromage frais because of its thick, smooth texture and mildly tart flavor. If yogurt is not available, another option is full-fat cottage cheese whirred in a blender or food processor to eliminate all lumps. A combination of blended cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt or plain cream cheese also produces satisfying flavor.

Like fromage frais, these substitutes add a luxurious, velvety texture to savory and sweet dishes such as cheesecake and dessert mousses. When yogurt-based substitutes appear in hot savory preparations, they must first be mixed with a few tablespoons of the hot cooking juices, then added to the dish at the last possible second. This prevents curdling and keeps the yogurt mixture smooth and rich.

Tofu is another excellent substitute for fromage frais. The varieties labeled "soft" and "extra soft" require little blending and are convenient options for vegans and individuals with lactose intolerance. Tofu is also high in protein, contains very little fat and does not curdle.


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