Thyme for Cooking:  Substitutions

Substitutions for Meat, Poultry and Fish

Ground beef:   ground turkey, chicken, lamb or veal 
When making burgers, the texture may be different.

Steak:   any cut for any cut with a few guidelines:
If there is a marinade you can use flank steak, top round or round, but the tougher cuts will need to be marinated longer.
If there is not a marinade you can use tenderloin, sirloin, or strip steaks.... Or even make large 'hamburger steaks' using ground beef wrapped with bacon strips

Veal:  Pork or lamb chops for veal chops; turkey cutlets, pounded chicken breast or pork cutlets for veal cutlets; thinly sliced beef for veal used in rolls

Lamb:   pork or veal chops for lamb chops; pork, venison, or beef for stews

Pork:   chicken breasts for pork chops; chicken breasts or turkey tenderloin for pork tenderloin; chicken, stir-fry beef or ground beef for stew, stir-fries

Ham:  smoked turkey breast

Turkey cutlets:   chicken breasts; or you can buy turkey tenderloin or breasts and slice / have it sliced thinly

Fish:  Any firm fish for any firm fish: salmon, tuna, swordfish, halibut are all interchangeable for cooking purposes. 
For filets: sole, tilapia, catfish, walleye are interchangeable

Seafood:  I only use shrimp and scallops.  Either can substitute for the other, or you could use a firm fish, such as halibut, cut into large pieces or cubes.

Bacon and Prosciutto are normally used as flavorings and, as such, are interchangeable. Any dry-cured ham can replace Prosciutto - Serrano, Bayonne, etc.

Bacon:  Use turkey bacon, ham or smoked turkey, Prosciutto or dry-cured ham

Prosciutto:  Same as for bacon when cooked; consideration needs to be given to thickness in some dishes. Only other dry-cured hams will work in some dishes where it's the focus. (Melon and Prosciutto)

Substitutions for Dairy Products

Chevre or goat cheese:  I use 2 types of goat cheese:

       Creamy: This is a little carton of creamy goat cheese, 5oz (150 gr)  Chavrie in U.S.; Chevraux in France) Substitute cream cheese, Boursin, or other soft, spreadable cheese.

       Aged: This is 'proper' goat cheese, almost always log-shaped and wrapped in paper.  It will have a thin, whitish, rind that is edible. Substitute Brie, Camembert, Coulommiers, or other semi-soft cheese
Greek Yogurt: plain yogurt, strained if possible or sour cream.  Plain yogurt has a tendency to curdle when added to sauces containing tomato; to prevent remove dish from heat before adding.
Milk: for a small amount to thin a sauce: chicken stock, white wine, 1/2 yogurt plus 1/2 water

See Dairy for more detailed other substitutions.

Substitutions Vegetables

Chard: Aka Swiss chard; use spinach, kale or other cooking 'green'.

Peppers: Bell peppers, use any color you like,  I chose the colors according to aesthetics rather than taste, although the yellow, orange or red peppers tend to be sweeter than the green.
I don't have access to other peppers, so I don't use them, other than green chilis which I hand carry back from the U.S. Substitute any you like in dishes calling for chilis.

Pimientos / Pimentos:  roasted red peppers.  Both normally are packaged in glass jars.

Tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes and regular tomatoes are interchangeable in salads and most dishes that don't require peeling them.

Substitutions Pasta/Rice/Grains

Pasta: For small pasta: small shells, elbows, vermicelli, or spaghetti / other long pasta broken into 1.5 inch (4cm) lengths. 
Orzo can substitute but reduce the quantity by 25% (1/4 cup elbows = 3 tbs orzo).

         For bite-size pasta: rigatoni, penne, medium elbows, or anything of similar size. With farfalle, you may want to reduce the quantity by 10%.

         For long pasta: spaghetti, linguini, fettuccini, etc. are interchangeable

Substitutions - Miscellaneous

Herbs: dried herbs can be used for fresh at a 1 tsp dried for 1 tbs fresh ratio. If the herb is the feature of the dish, ie: the basil in a Caprese Salad, substituting dried won't work.  It's better to just leave it out. Of all the herbs for summer, substituting dried for fresh basil should be avoided if possible.

Olives: I use black dry, salt-cured Greek olives most often.  They are rather wrinkly, and are packed without brine or liquid. I also use the more common green pimento stuffed.  You can use any olive you like, and more or less as you chose. 

Sherry: white vermouth, white wine, apple juice, beer, chicken or beef stock, depending on the dish

White wine: sherry, white vermouth, chicken stock, apple juice, 3/4 white grape juice & 1/4 white wine vinegar

Red wine: sweet sherry, port, Madeira, beef stock, dark beer, 3/4 red grape juice & 1/4 red wine vinegar


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