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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Cooking Q & A / A - Z Substitutions
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    A - Z Substitutions

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    lauralie41
    Sun Dec 31, 2006 11:04 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I have a wonderful little book, Substituting Ingredients An A to Z Kitchen Reference by Becky Sue Epstein and Hilary Dole Klein, with many ingredient substitutes and helpful tips.
    This is a handy list of ingredients that the beginner or experienced chef can find useful as a guideline when in a pinch and the "real" ingredient is not available.

    Any substitutions that arent listed or maybe a favorite substitution that you use are welcome too! icon_biggrin.gif

    Message from Liza at Recipezaar:

    Hi kids! I hate to tell you this, but we had to remove the substitutes list that Lauralie posted b/c it was taken directly from the book "Substituting Ingredients An A to Z Kitchen Reference" and as a result, was in violation of their copyright. The author was very flattered to see so much of her content here on RZ, but I bet you can understand, they need to protect their work. Thanks for understanding!


    ********************************************************
    Message from Becky Sue Epstein:

    Hi, everyone –
    I’ve been working hard for the past two years updating my book Substituting Ingredients and a new edition will be out in June 2010.

    Whether you’re out of something, don’t want to buy an expensive ingredient, or can’t get to the store right now, you’ll find a substitution in this book.

    I’d love hear your stories about how substitutions helped you!

    Thanks.
    --Becky Sue Epstein



    Last edited by lauralie41 on Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:40 pm, edited 2 times in total
    French Tart
    Mon Jan 01, 2007 5:01 am
    Forum Host
    That's GREAT! Have marked that in my favourites! Thanks for posting it icon_biggrin.gif
    lauralie41
    Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:03 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Thank you French Tart! icon_smile.gif
    John DOH
    Mon Jan 01, 2007 6:39 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    WOW! Lauralie thats some of the best substitution advice I've ever seen in one place!

    What a standout posting!
    lauralie41
    Mon Jan 01, 2007 6:58 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Thank you John! I went thru the book and added the more common ingredients and have used quite a few of the substitutions myself. icon_smile.gif
    A Chef Named Sous
    Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:40 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I'm sure that's a very useful list to some people but when I saw that it says to substitute cumin for anise I stopped reading.
    3KillerBs
    Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:45 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    A Chef Named Sous wrote:
    I'm sure that's a very useful list to some people but when I saw that it says to substitute cumin for anise I stopped reading.


    I kind of have to agree.

    One might make the same meat once with cumin and once with anise, but its going to be two completely different flavors.

    It was the basil for summer savory that really threw me. The taste simply isn't at all alike.
    lauralie41
    Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:46 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    A Chef Named Sous wrote:
    I'm sure that's a very useful list to some people but when I saw that it says to substitute cumin for anise I stopped reading.


    I typed the list from the book and it took me about 3 hours so it could very well be I messed up while typing. icon_sad.gif Will check in the book and see what the heck I did. icon_redface.gif
    John DOH
    Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:23 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Minor "Reality Check" here, guys!

    I believe that NOTHING "substitutes" 'demand ingredients' in a recipe, especially where these are herbs and spices. Can agree that "Summer Savory" is hardly a substitute for "Basil" in a "hard" recipe...

    On the other hand, I've had the experience of "cottaging", where you are literally 45 minutes from the grocery store, mid-way through the recipe, company either on hand or enroute, and the cayenne container gets knocked off the shelf, breaks into a bazillion pices of crunchy glass and hot powder...and now, just exactly what are you going to do? Given none of the neighbours are around, or have been mooching the spices from you, you are caused to use a "simple substitute" to rescue your recipe, and yes, it will not taste exactly the same, but Lauralie's offering concepts and ideas that are going to help you at least get "close"; and that's what "substitutes" are for...

    Anyways's here's a few more for consideration, for when disaster falls on your head, as opposed for when you lack the means to acquire the specified ingredients...

    Baking Powder 1 tspn 1/2 tspn cream of tartar plus 1/4 tspn baking soda

    Butter, or Margarine 1 cup 7/8 cup of lard or shortening plus 1/2 tspn salt; use 2 tablespoons more liquid in the recipe

    Chocolate, unsweetened 1 one ounce square 3 tablespoons dry cocoa plus 1.5 tspns butter

    Cornstarch 1 tbspn 2 tbspns flour or arrowroot, or 4 tbspns quick cooking tapioca

    Eggs 1 Whole 2 eg yolks or 2.5 tbspns sifted dried whole egg with 2.5 tbspns water

    Egg Whites 1 cup yolks from 8-9 large eggs

    Flour, all purpose 1 cup 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake or pastry flour

    Flour, cake or pastry 1 cup 1 cup. less 2 tbsp cake or pastry flour

    Garlic 1 medium clove 1/8 tspn garlic powder

    Honey 1 cup 1 cup molasses or corn syrup

    Ketchup or Chili Sauce 1 cup tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup sugar plus 2 tbspn's vinegar

    Lemon 1 whole 3-4 tbspn's lemon juice

    Milk, skim 1 cup 1 cup reconstituted nonfat dry milk

    Milk, sour 1 cup 1 cup buttermilk plus 1 tbspn lemon juice or vinegar plus milk to make one cup; let stand for 5 minutes before using

    Milk, whole 1 cup 1/2 cup evaporated milk, plus 1/2 cup water

    Mustard, dry 1 teaspoon 1 tablespoon prepared mustard

    Onion 1 small 1 tablespoon instant onion

    Parsley or other herbs 3 teas[oons, chopped, fresh 1 teaspoon, dried

    Sugar, granulated 1 cup 1 cup honey (use 3 tbsp less liquid in recipe) or 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed (use 1/4 cup less liquid in recipe) or 1.25 cups corn syrup (use 1/4 cup less liquid in recipe)

    Tomato Juice 1 cup 1/2 cup tomato sauce, plus 1/2 cup water
    lauralie41
    Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:29 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    3KillerBs wrote:
    A Chef Named Sous wrote:
    I'm sure that's a very useful list to some people but when I saw that it says to substitute cumin for anise I stopped reading.


    I kind of have to agree.

    One might make the same meat once with cumin and once with anise, but its going to be two completely different flavors.

    It was the basil for summer savory that really threw me. The taste simply isn't at all alike.


    I double checked the book and I didnt make a mistake, those were the substitutions given. Since I am now curious I Googled anise, basil, and summer savory this is some of what I found. The whole articles can be read on the websites provided. icon_smile.gif

    the epicentre - encyclopedia of spices
    Anise bears a strong family resemblance to the members of the carrot family, that includes dill, fennel, coriander, cumin and caraway. Many of these relatives have been described as having a licorice flavour, to some extent, but anise is the true taste of licorice— its oils are distilled into the flavouring for licorice candy (not from the herb licorice, which has a different taste). Anise is native to the eastern Mediterranean region, the Levant, and Egypt. The early Arabic name was anysum from which was derived the Greek anison and the Latin anisun. It is one of the oldest known spice plants used both for culinary and medicinal purposes since ancient times.

    Other Names
    Aniseed, Sweet Cumin
    French: anis
    German: Anis
    Italian: anice
    Spanish: anis
    Greek: anis
    Indian: saunf, sompf, souf

    the epicentre - encyclopedia of spices
    Basil's pervading, clove-like aroma makes it such an ideal complement to tomatoes that it is often referred to as 'the tomato herb'. It is interesting to note how flavors across the herb and spice spectrum can have similar attributes, and it is often these degrees of commonality that give us an indication of the breadth of uses they can encompass. Cloves also happen to go well with tomatoes and there are many commercially made tomato sauces and canned foods such as Scandinavian herrings with tomato, that contain either cloves or the very clove-tasting spice, allspice.

    Basil also complements other vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini, squash and spinach. When added within the last half an hour of cooking, basil enhances the flavor of vegetable and legume (split peas, lentil) soups. Most salads, especially those with tomato, benefit greatly from the addition of fresh basil.

    Basil goes well with poultry when used in stuffing, is included in soups and stews and added to sauces and gravies. Fish brushed with olive oil, dusted with freshly ground black pepper, wrapped in foil with a few basil leaves and barbecued, is a simple and effective way to enjoy this versatile herb. Basil is used in pâtés and terrines, where its volatile notes will help counteract the richness of liver and game. A tasty vinegar to have on hand for making salad dressings is made by placing a dozen or more fresh, washed basil leaves in a bottle of white wine vinegar and leaving it for a few weeks.

    Other Names
    Arabic: raihan
    Chinese: lo-le
    Dutch: basil icum
    French: basilic
    German: basilďenkraut
    Indian: sabzah,tulsi,gulal tulsi
    Indonesian: selasih, kemangi
    Italian: basilico
    Japanese: meboki
    Malay: selaseh, kemangi
    Phillipino: belanoi, sulasi
    Portuguese: man jericao
    Russian: Bazilik
    Spanish: albahaca
    Sri Lanka: suwenda-tala, maduru-tala
    Swedish: basilkort
    Thai: horopa, manghk, krapow, bai horapa
    Vietnamese: rau que

    Culinary Cafe - Spices & Herbs
    Summer savory: Savory enhances almost any savory dish. It goes well with soups, stews, bean dishes of any sort, succotash, cabbage, and sauerkraut.

    Romans used Savory as an herb and seasoning even before they used pepper. They used it as a medicine, a bee sting treatment, and an aphrodisiac. When the Romans brought it to England, it was used as an ingredient in stuffing rather than as an herbal remedy.

    A clean, piney fragrance and peppery flavor. Spark heavy stews, soups, and chowders with a garnish of Summer Savory. Top chilled, poached fish or chicken with a blend of Savory, chives, lemon juice, and mayonnaise. Crush Savory in your hand or with a mortar and pestle before use to release the flavor.

    I think the anise and cumin substitution would be ok but I will take the summery savory off for the basil substitute. What substitutions do you both recommend?
    lauralie41
    Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:37 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    [quote="Chef #308515"]Minor "Reality Check" here, guys!

    I believe that NOTHING "substitutes" 'demand ingredients' in a recipe, especially where these are herbs and spices. Can agree that "Summer Savory" is hardly a substitute for "Basil" in a "hard" recipe...

    On the other hand, I've had the experience of "cottaging", where you are literally 45 minutes from the grocery store, mid-way through the recipe, company either on hand or enroute, and the cayenne container gets knocked off the shelf, breaks into a bazillion pices of crunchy glass and hot powder...and now, just exactly what are you going to do? Given none of the neighbours are around, or have been mooching the spices from you, you are caused to use a "simple substitute" to rescue your recipe, and yes, it will not taste exactly the same, but Lauralie's offering concepts and ideas that are going to help you at least get "close"; and that's what "substitutes" are for...

    Anyways's here's a few more for consideration, for when disaster falls on your head, as opposed for when you lack the means to acquire the specified ingredients...

    Baking Powder 1 tspn 1/2 tspn cream of tartar plus 1/4 tspn baking soda

    Butter, or Margarine 1 cup 7/8 cup of lard or shortening plus 1/2 tspn salt; use 2 tablespoons more liquid in the recipe

    Chocolate, unsweetened 1 one ounce square 3 tablespoons dry cocoa plus 1.5 tspns butter

    Cornstarch 1 tbspn 2 tbspns flour or arrowroot, or 4 tbspns quick cooking tapioca

    Eggs 1 Whole 2 eg yolks or 2.5 tbspns sifted dried whole egg with 2.5 tbspns water

    Egg Whites 1 cup yolks from 8-9 large eggs

    Flour, all purpose 1 cup 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake or pastry flour

    Flour, cake or pastry 1 cup 1 cup. less 2 tbsp cake or pastry flour

    Garlic 1 medium clove 1/8 tspn garlic powder

    Honey 1 cup 1 cup molasses or corn syrup

    Ketchup or Chili Sauce 1 cup tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup sugar plus 2 tbspn's vinegar

    Lemon 1 whole 3-4 tbspn's lemon juice

    Milk, skim 1 cup 1 cup reconstituted nonfat dry milk

    Milk, sour 1 cup 1 cup buttermilk plus 1 tbspn lemon juice or vinegar plus milk to make one cup; let stand for 5 minutes before using

    Milk, whole 1 cup 1/2 cup evaporated milk, plus 1/2 cup water

    Mustard, dry 1 teaspoon 1 tablespoon prepared mustard

    Onion 1 small 1 tablespoon instant onion

    Parsley or other herbs 3 teas[oons, chopped, fresh 1 teaspoon, dried

    Sugar, granulated 1 cup 1 cup honey (use 3 tbsp less liquid in recipe) or 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed (use 1/4 cup less liquid in recipe) or 1.25 cups corn syrup (use 1/4 cup less liquid in recipe)

    Tomato Juice 1 cup 1/2 cup tomato sauce, plus 1/2 cup water[/quote]

    That is exactly what I had hoped the list would do, help in those instances when the "real" ingredient just is not available! icon_smile.gif I am so bad at having the shopping list in front of me at the grocery store and still forgetting things. icon_redface.gif Get home and have everything on the stove cooking away and dont have what I need. Another problem I have had is that I am just not sure what the ingredient is because I havent used it before or it is an expensive item and I just need 1/2 teaspoon. icon_rolleyes.gif Thank you John for explaining a lot better than I did and the additional information! icon_smile.gif
    John DOH
    Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:49 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    LOL!

    Lauralie, you need to be up in Ontario's "Northwoods" where the local "cities" number about 10,ooo inhabitants, and you might need to drive 3 hours just to get to a major city where such luxuries as "fresh" spices "may" be on offer (ie if you know where to go to get them!)

    A "demand" request for bruschetta, for instance, where there just IS NOT any Basil within a thousand minutes, and Summer Savory is in fact the best on hand thing that will rescue your effort, and that is where your listing is of such enormous value!

    Its "handy" to be "well off" and adjacent to huge specialty food stores that are only minutes away from the house, and open umpteen hours, but can recall trying the Swedish Meatballs for a crowd at the Lake (www.hawk-lake.com if you're interested; we are one of the local cottager families that don't have to pay the huge daily price for the Lodge!) and running around trying to find Cayenne at the critical moment, trying to figure out how much "Hot Sauce" would be an equal, and how to take that damned vinegary taste of Tobasco out (which is where I discovered "Frank's Hot Sauce!) but I digress, yet again!

    Always enjoy your posts, and Wisdom!

    John
    3KillerBs
    Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:05 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I've substituted salsa for tomatoes -- with the understanding that I wasn't making Italian Chicken anymore but rather was now making Southwest Chicken and needed to adjust other seasonings to match.

    A jar of salsa, a tsp of cumin, a pinch of celery seed, and a dash of hot sauce Or a couple envelopes of taco seasoning can rescue chili from the dreaded discovery that your chili powder has faded and gone tasteless.

    Milk soured with vinegar will make your biscuits rise nice and light when you find out at the last moment that the kids just drank the last of the buttermilk, but it won't taste 100% right so adding something like dill weed and dried onions or caraway seeds and raisins to the dough to cover up the lack can be helpful.

    If I hadn't any fresh or dried basil around I might have a jar of pesto.

    If I hadn't any anise seed fennel might do. But a drop of anise extract that I have for baking or a dash of Sambuca might work better.

    I'm more inclined to change what I'm making to accomodate the ingredients I have than to make substitutions. If its a simple Rosemary Chicken and I drop the rosemary jar its no big deal to make Greek chicken with oregano and lemon instead. But I don't trust substitutions for parts of a complex harmony of flavors. icon_smile.gif
    John DOH
    Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:18 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Again, my "WOW!"

    I want to be arund 3KillerB's kitchen for some more coaching like this!

    So well said, about the point of "shifting" from"Italian" to what I might think "Tex-Mex", but is described as "Southwestern"

    (Note that when I can finally retire, I want to spend at least a month in Texas, eating nothing but "local" recipes) (right after a I do a month in Western Canada, eating nothing but Ukrainian food)

    This is great reading, and I sure hope that people will contribute more about how they can pull a sure-fire disaster out by "shifting" as 3KillerB's suggests!

    This is where we can all "grow and learn", by recognising our "mistakes" and getting support like this in learning how to get it done....ummmm...SouthWest cooking recipe's...PLEASE continue!
    3KillerBs
    Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:55 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    [quote="Chef #308515"]Again, my "WOW!"

    I want to be arund 3KillerB's kitchen for some more coaching like this!

    So well said, about the point of "shifting" from"Italian" to what I might think "Tex-Mex", but is described as "Southwestern"

    (Note that when I can finally retire, I want to spend at least a month in Texas, eating nothing but "local" recipes) (right after a I do a month in Western Canada, eating nothing but Ukrainian food)

    This is great reading, and I sure hope that people will contribute more about how they can pull a sure-fire disaster out by "shifting" as 3KillerB's suggests!

    This is where we can all "grow and learn", by recognising our "mistakes" and getting support like this in learning how to get it done....ummmm...SouthWest cooking recipe's...PLEASE continue![/quote]

    Thank you.

    Its hard to put into words the kind of things I do because its almost instinctive after so many years. I'm 42 and started cooking meals regularly when I was in 5th grade because my parents divorced. I actually did a turkey with all the trimmings for Thanksgiving that year with my mother's recipes written down step-by-step and my Dad's assistance. And I spent a long time poor and thus had to make the best out of what I actually had on hand.

    Different types of cusine have characteristic flavors. So with the Italian to Southwestern shift because the can of tomatoes you thought you had is non-existant but you do have salsa you're going from Italian seasoning with its basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary accented with parmesan cheese, to the southwestern seasonings of the salsa with its chilis, cumin, and possibly cilantro accented with cheddar or jack cheese. Garlic in both, of course.

    Or if I'd had no tomato products at all and was still staring at that chicken I might have gone for a Greek feel with garlic, oregano, a dash of mint, and a lot of lemon. Or a French feel with either herbs de provence or a little thyme, a hint of celery seed, a hint of garlic, and a dash of sherry (a cream gravy to be made from the pan drippings later). Or enjoyed the Americanized Indian taste of curry powder, chopped apples, raisins, and plain (not vanilla, plain), yogurt.

    Or I might have stuck with the Italian flavor and simply skipped the tomatos -- using some white wine or chicken broth for the necessary liquid. Sometimes, if a change is going to create a significant flavor shift, its better to just leave the missing ingredient out. LOL

    And all 6 of those ideas are, at their base, pot-roasted chicken -- just seasoned differently accoring to either what I had available or my mood at the time.

    Gourmet cooking has always been my mother's hobby so I grew up eating this way. And I learned to cook by smell and by the taste in my mind more than by written recipes (which may be why I'm such a rotten baker for all my talent with meat and vegetables LOL).
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