The classic question for any home cook is what to substitute for ingredients you don’t have on hand, can’t find, don’t like, or are outside the budget. That tin of baking powder in the pantry is well past the expiration date and probably won’t rise your cake, so what can you use instead if you can’t make a mad dash to the store? What if a recipe calls for a spice, cheese, or sauce you’ve never heard of and can’t find?
Originally published in 1986, Substituting Ingredients: The A to Z Kitchen Reference, by Becky Sue Epstein is now in its fourth edition and includes over 1,000 substitutions as well as instructions on how to make common condiments. For the novice cook I recommend the first chapter “How to Use This Book,” a short read which covers the ins and outs of substitutions and explains how the substitution lists are organized in the book. Other chapters include herbs and spices, measurement equivalents, remedies for common kitchen disasters, and even green homemade substitutes for household cleaning formulas. You’ll learn useful things such as how to make harissa sauce, crème fraîche, cocktail sauce, a nontoxic homemade oven cleaner, and even the volume of various baking pan sizes in case you don’t have the size a recipe requires.
It’s the kind of book a novice or intermediate cook would want on hand for quick reference and it would make a nice gift for anyone learning to cook.
[Received book from the publisher.]
Price: US $9.99/CAN $11.99
Company website: www.sourcebooks.com