What are the deal breakers in a recipe? Is it the fresh herbs? Something that our market doesn’t stock? A wee amount of an expensive liqueur? Or maybe it’s simply something you don’t have in the pantry.
Don’t let your lack of dough, availability or a paltry pantry stop you from trying a recipe. Remember, a recipe is a road map, and sometimes there are other ways to get to the final destination. Yes, shallots have a more delicate taste than a yellow onion, but your guests will hardy know the difference when the latter is sauteed and added to a quiche.
Almost any recipe is doable if you master the art of easy substitutions. Here are 10 to get you started:
1. The recipe calls for Grand Marnier. Substitute orange juice concentrate or simmer orange juice until it’s reduced by half.
2. The recipe calls for panko bread crumbs. Yes, the Japanese bread crumbs are larger and result in a flakey, light crunch, still you can sub the dried, plain bread crumbs you have on hand.
3. The recipe call for fresh herbs. How lucky if you’re resourceful enough to have an herb garden. For some of us, though, the price of a packet of fresh herbs seems high when we just need a tablespoon. (And there’s always the risk of letting the leftovers turn into a yucky science project in the fridge.) For many dishes, dried herbs will work fine. Just remember that dried herbs are three times more potent than fresh. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs, use 1 teaspoon dried. And add them during cooking. They need the heat and moisture to refresh.
4. The recipe calls for mascarpone. A mixture of 8 ounces cream cheese and 3 tablespoons sour cream mimics the rich Italian cream cheese.
5. The recipe calls for creme fraiche. Use sour cream or Greek yogurt.
6. The recipe calls for leeks. Sliced scallions or thinly sliced onions will do (unless you are making leek soup).
7. The recipe calls for grated asiago cheese. Parmesan or Romano are adequate stand-ins.
8. The recipe calls for mace, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice. These spices are nearly interchangeable in baked goods. If you’ve got two of the five, you’ll be fine most of the time. Buy small quantities at natural food stores or the smallest container at the grocery store.
9. The recipe calls for balsamic vinegar. In a pinch and for most dishes, red wine vinegar will work.
10. The recipe calls for a vanilla bean. Two teaspoons of real vanilla extract has the same punch a 1 pricey vanilla bean.
Embracing substitutions is an important notion in cooking, and some of these suggestions might help you as you peruse today’s Five Ingredients or Less Recipes from the Sunday Supper tastemakers. (Water, salt, pepper, and oil are “freebies” that do not count as ingredients.) From pasta dishes to slow cooker entrees to delicious sweet treats to enticing appetizers, you’ll be inspired to try something new.
Join us around the Twitter table at 7 p.m. ET tonight when T.R. of Gluten Free Crumbley leads the weekly discussion. We promise it will be an hour well spent.
- 2 Ingredient Orange Juice Frosty Drink by The Educators’ Spin On It
- Five Ingredient Sangria by Our Good Life
- Pina Colada Summer Smoothie by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
Appetizers and Snacks
- 5-Ingredient Creamy Avocado Dressing by Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Crescent Jalapeno Poppers by The Weekend Gourmet
- Crockpot Chicken Chili Dip by The Crumby Cupcake
- Gluten Free Peach Salsa by Gluten Free Crumbley
- Grilled Zucchini and Goat Cheese Roll Ups by Food Done Light
- Marinated Feta Tomato Skewers by Noshing with the Nolands
- Roasted Chili-Lime Peanuts by Casa de Crews
- Strawberry Coconut Soup with Mint by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- 3 Ingredient Steak Marinade by MealDiva
- Baked Fajita Chicken by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Crab Pasta by Caroline’s Cooking
- Grilled Portobello Mushrooms by Palatable Pastime
- Healthy Chocolate Protein Pancakes by Momma’s Meals
- Homemade Porcini Almond Pasta by The Joyful Foodie
- Abruzzo Style Cannellini Beans with Fennel & Chicken by Delaware Girl Eats
- Nutella BLT Sandwich by Brunch with Joy
- Salmon in Puff Pastry by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Simple Brined Roast Chicken with Herbs and Garlic by Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Simple Grilled Tilapia by Cooking Chat
- Simple Summer Shrimp and Asparagus by eating in instead
- Skirt Steak and Grilled Potatoes for a Crowd by Family Foodie
- Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken by Nosh My Way
- Slowcooker Ravioli Lasagne by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Brazilian Black Beans by Curious Cuisiniere
- Korean Seasoned Dried Squid (Ojingeochae muchim) by kimchi MOM
- Mashed Cauliflower with Parmesan by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Sauerkraut and Apple Salad by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Sesame Lime Edamame by Magnolia Days
- Southern Style Squash Casserole by Recipe for Perfection
- Tomato, Avocado and Bacon Salad by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Apple Drop Candy by What Smells So Good?
- Chocolate Toffee Cookies by NinjaBaker.com
- Coconut White Chocolate Truffles by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Easy No Churn Peach Frozen Yogurt by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Fluffernutter Cookies by Pies and Plots
- Magic Pudding Dessert by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- No-Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Rhubarb Crumble by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Creamy Coconut, Roasted Strawberry Chocolate Chip Popsicles by Simply Health Family
- Recipe Substitution Tips by Sunday Supper
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.
Janet K. Keeler
Latest posts by Janet K. Keeler (see all)
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