You see the stuff spread on toasted bagels, paired with smoked salmon, or used in cheesecake recipes. But did you know cream cheese is one of those secret ingredients in creamed kale? Science Direct explains that cream cheese is composed of a starter culture and pasteurized milk that is homogenized and standardized. The result is a smooth, mild, and tangy dairy product that adds thickness and richness to just about any dish. And like compound butter variations, cream cheese also pairs well with a variety of herbs, seasonings, fruits, and even other cheese varieties, per The Kitchn.
As MasterClass discusses, the “creamed” component of such a dish highlights fat, flour, and milk, and cream cheese is a welcomed addition to the mix. Not only will it enrich the sauce with extra thickness, but it will also offset those “earthy” kale flavors. Food blog Slender Kitchen recommends adding about four ounces of cream cheese to the cream sauce. This should also be the step that calls for parmesan cheese and seasonings. Just stir the cream cheese into the sauce (over medium heat) until it starts to melt, then mix in the kale.
Creamed kale is easy to make and also easy to level up, thanks to the tangy richness of cream cheese. So be sure to add some in next time to thicken up an otherwise thin or runny cream sauce.