Chef Secrets: Recipe Substitutions!

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Out of baking soda? No buttermilk? Don’t panic! If your recipe calls for an ingredient you don’t have you can substitute! Personal Chef Bill Collins from shared his Chef Secrets on food substitutions!


Why would you need to use substitutes instead of what’s called for in the recipe:
You decide at the last minute to make something and don’t have all the ingredients You think you have all of the ingredients, only to find (oops!) that you don’t You don’t want to waste an ingredient that you’ll only use once You don’t want to spend the money…budget is an important consideration

Lemon juice – Use ½ the amount of vinegar
Garlic – 2 garlic cloves = approx ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Dried/fresh herbs – 1 teaspoon fresh herbs = approx ½ teaspoon dried herbs
Onions/scallions/chives – You can usually use these interchangeably.
Anchovies – 1 fillet = ½ teaspoon anchovy paste (for Caesar salad!)
Starches/thickeners…for sauces, stews – Making a slurry to thicken gravy (at Thanksgiving, fer instance). You can use flour, corn starch, arrowroot, etc.

BAKING SUBSTITUTIONS Buttermilk – Often used in baking, and is sometimes called “sour milk.” To make is, put a tablespoon of white or cider vinegar in a cup measure, and fill up the rest of the way with milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes before using

Yogurt – Many recipes, such as pancakes and other cakes, call for yogurt. Use sour cream, or sour cream with 1-2 tablespoons of milk whisked in to thin it. Or sour cream, 1-2 tablespoons of milk, and 1 teaspoon cider vinegar. Or cottage cheese, pureed in a food processor, with 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Baking powder: For 1 teaspoon, use: ¼ teaspoon baking soda and ½ teaspoon white or cider vinegar ¼ teaspoon baking soda and ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
Baking soda – for 1 teaspoon, use 1 tablespoon baking powder
Self-rising cake flour – For every cup, use one cup of all-purpose flour, plus 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda and ¼ teaspoon of salt
Vanilla bean – 1 bean = 2-3 teaspoons vanilla extract
Half & half-  Use half whole milk, and half light cream

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