Saturday, March 3, 2012

Don't Have That? Use This.

We've all been there.  You want to try out a new recipe, or make a family classic for dinner.  You look at the recipe and realize you just don't have that one ingredient.  Don't give up on trying a new dish because you may not have everything you need.  Many items can be substituted for something similar that will not alter the taste of the dish.  Here are a few of the items I use, but for a complete list of substitutions visit

Buttermilk is an ingredient used mainly for it's texture.  Add 1 Tbs vinegar of lemon juice per cup of milk and let stand for five to ten minutes.  The milk will become thick and possibly curdle slightly.  I always use this technique to soak chicken or fish before coating with four for frying.

Sour Cream can be substituted using the same ingredients as buttermilk.  Allow the milk to set a little longer.  Although a great cooking substitute I don't recommend using this mixture as a condiment.

Sweetened Condensed Milk can be substituted using 1 can of evaporated milk with 1 1/2 cups of sugar.  I usually boil to disolve the sugar and thicken the milk.  This substitution works in fudge and helps reduce the fat content.

Half and Half  is used for it's richness and  is an ingredient in several caseroles.  Add 2 Tbs butter to 1 cup of milk and add to recipe calling for half and half.  It won't change the texture or the taste of baked treats either.

White wine is used to sweeten food and tenderize meats. Substitute an equal amount of ginger ale, or white grape juice.

Flour Bread can be substituted using the same amount of any all purpose flour.  Flour bread does contain gluten, so if you prefer gluten free use all purpose flour instead.  I enjoy baking bread and making home made buns.  I've never seen any unique differences between the two.

Self Rising Flour is an easy substitute.  Self rising flour includes the household additives of salt and baking soda.  Add 1 1/2 Tbs baking soda and 1/2 Tbs salt to each cup of flour.  This is perfect for rolled buscuits.

Honey is an ingredient I like to use in Sticky Back Ribs to add a little sweetness to the flavor.  If I don't have honey I mix 3/4 cup maple syrup with 1 cup of sugar.  Boil the syrup on the stove for several minutes to dissolve the sugar and allow the mixture to thicken.

Molasses  adds a unique flavor to many dishes from pies to stir fry.  Add 3/4 cup maple syrup to 1 cup brown sugar and bring to a boil on the stove.  Allow the molasses to cool and thicken,  I like to add it to my Pecan Pie for a thick rich filling.  Add to some beef and broccoli for a  different take on stir fry.

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