15 July 2014

Finding a substitute for that weird ingredient

This week in the $300 a Month Food Challenge Wendy talks about trying recipes that use ingredients you wouldn't normally have in your kitchen.

I don't have strange ingredients in the back of the pantry. Or rather I don't have ingredients I don't use at the back of the pantry (some of the things I use may be a little strange to some folk). 

I tend to buy the same basic groceries over and over and over and just rearrange them into different recipes. It means my grocery bill rarely varies from month to month and is predictable, unless of course there is a price rise (drat those price rises). 

Wendy talked about using coconut milk in a recipe and finding it overpowering, so she gave it another go and that recipe failed the Family Approval Test too. In the end she donated the remaining can of coconut milk to a food drive.  

I use coconut cream in curry and satay and to make custard. My family likes coconut so it is a pantry staple in our home. Wendy's family isn't so keen on it and so it is an extra ingredient. Those strange ingredients in a recipe will depend on your taste, your budget and your daring as a cook.  

In the interests of keeping a happy family we try to have one new recipe a month. It may be a main meal or a side dish, it might be a cake or slice, sometimes it is a new jam, sauce or pickle. Everyone takes turns choosing the recipe from the dozens of recipe books on the shelf. 

Sometimes a new recipe is a hit and goes onto the regular recipe rotation; sometimes it is a dud and we all vow to never, ever try it again (like the infamous SALMON DISH - and yes the kids talk about it in capitals, they shudder at the very mention of it).

If a new recipe uses an ingredient that's not in the pantry I try to find a substitute I already have. If I don't have a substitute and I really want to try the recipe I buy the smallest size I can to try it. 

Then if we like it and it's an ingredient I can use in other things I'll look for the cheapest way to buy it.

Here's a list of substitutes you can use when you find you don't have all the ingredients you need for a recipe.

 Cinnamon plus a dash of nutmeg or cloves
Baking Powder - 1 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar plus 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
Oregano or thyme
Bread Crumbs, fine dry - 1/4 cup
3/4 cup soft bread crumbs or 1/4 cup cracker crumbs or 1/4 cup cornflake crumbs
Butter or Margarine, in baking or cooking - 1 cup
1 cup lard or shortening or 7/8 cup vegetable oil
Buttermilk - 1 cup
1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus enough whole milk to make one cup (let stand 5 minutes before using), or 1 cup whole milk plus 1-3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar, or 1 cup yoghurt
Chocolate, Semi-Sweet - 30g
30g unsweetened chocolate plus 4 teaspoons sugar
Chocolate, Unsweetened - 30g
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon shortening or cooking oil
Corn Syrup - 1 cup
1 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup water 
Cornflour, for thickening - 1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Cream, Light - 1 cup
1 tablespoon melted butter plus enough whole milk to make one cup
Chilli powder
Egg - 1 whole
2 egg yolks plus 1 tablespoon water
Egg, in baking - 1
1 teaspoon cornflour plus 1/4 cup water
Flour, Bread - 1 cup
1 cup of unbleached plain flour plus 1 tablespoon (or 2 tablespoons for higher gluten) gluten
Flour, Cake  - 1 cup
1 cup of plain flour plus 2 tablespoons cornflour
Flour, for thickening - 1 tablespoon
1-1/2 teaspoons cornflour, arrowroot, potato flour or rice flour or 2 teaspoons tapioca
Flour, Pastry - 1 cup
Use 2/3 cups all-purpose flour plus 1/3 cup cake flour
Flour, Self-Raising - 1 cup
1 cup plain flour plus 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
Garlic -1 clove
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Allspice, cinnamon, mace, or nutmeg
Herb, Fresh - 1 Tablespoon any
1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon of the same dried herb
Honey - 1 cup
 1 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup water
Italian Seasoning
 Combination of basil, oregano, rosemary and ground red pepper
 Allspice, cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg
Milk, - 1 cup
 1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water or 1 cup water plus 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder
Molasses - 1 cup
1 cup honey
Mustard, Dry (in mixtures) -1 teaspoon
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
Oil, in baking - 1 cup
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
Onion, 1 small diced
1 teaspoon onion powder or 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
Poultry Seasoning - 1 teaspoon
3/4 teaspoon sage plus a 1/4 teaspoon combination of thyme, marjoram, savory, black pepper, and rosemary
Salt, Kosher
A coarse, non-iodized (make sure there are no additives) Table Salt
Sour Cream, in baking - 1 cup
7/8 cup buttermilk or sour milk plus 3 tablespoons butter
Sour Cream, in salad dressings or casseroles - 1 cup
1 cup plain yoghurt or 3/4 cup sour milk plus 1/3 cup butter
Sugar, Brown, dark - 1 cup
1 cup white sugar plus 2 tablespoon molasses
Sugar, Brown, light - 1 cup
1 cup white sugar plus 1 tablespoon molasses
Sugar, Icing -1 3/4 cup
1 cup white sugar + 1 tablespoon cornflour in blender until powdery, stirring often
Sugar, Castor
Process regular sugar in a food processor or blender for about a minute
Sugar, White - 1 cup
1 cup packed brown sugar, 2 cups icing sugar or equal amount of raw sugar
Tapioca, for thickening - 2 tablespoons
3 tablespoons plain flour
Tomato Juice - 1 cup
1/2 cup tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup water
Tomato Sauce - 2 cups
3/4 cup tomato paste plus 1 cup water

Print and tape the Simple Substitutes Tip Sheet inside a kitchen cupboard door for handy reference! 

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1 comment:

  1. WOW have printed this off and taped it inside pantry, this is cookery GOLD !!! Cheers Donna Z :)


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