Frozen Sour Cream - How to use in cooking
I have several 16 oz. containers of sour cream that I must freeze before it goes bad. I understand it loses its smooth consistency and turns cottage cheese-like once frozen. How would I use it to cook? Would I puree the thawed sour cream to it's hopefully former smooth constency and proceed as usual, including using as a topping for baked potatoes, dips, etc? Or, must I use it as in ingredient in cooked dishes, and if so how and what? Thank you!
I agree with both posters, thawed sour cream won't have a lovely appearance, but it's fine to cook with, and if It hasn't been opened, it may keep for months.
You can use it in baked goods, quickbreads, muffins, cookies, coffee cakes; yogurt as an ingredient in any baked good can be subbed with sour cream. You can also use it as a sauce enhancer for braised pork chops or sauteed chicken breasts, for example, by mixing the sour cream with a bit of flour to stabilize it; blend it into the pan juices for a tasty gravy. Do not boil a sauce once sour cream is added to it; it'll break.
There are hundreds of ideas for cooking/baking with sour cream, way beyond baked potatoes and dips; search "sour cream" here or Google "cooking with sour cream".
If they are unopened they might not go bad. I have found 1+ year past expiration, unopened yogurt in the back of the refrigerator. When opened, it was just fine. The only change was that it had settled so there was more liquid on top than usual, but it could be stirred back in. In your position, as long as they are unopened I would not freeze them.
Defrosted sour cream isn't something you'd want to use as a "dollop" on a serving plate for guests but if you're going to apply it to your exclusive use and don't' mind that change in appearance there's no reason you can't use it in that fashion. If you whip it and aren't put off by what it looks like the flavor remains the same.
That said, I think I'd reserve it for cookies, casseroles, or other baking recipes.