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Book Review – The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cooking Substitutions

Updated on March 13, 2011

 Have you ever started putting together a recipe only to find that you are missing an ingredient you need to complete the dish? That's happened to most people who cook at one time or another. While there isn't a substitute for everything, there are many things you can do to finish making a meal without having to run out to the store.

That's why The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cooking Substitutions by Ellen Brown is such a valuable resource for any kitchen. When you find that you're missing something you need to complete a recipe, check the handy guide to find out if there's an easy substitution that will allow you to keep going with the dish you are making.

About the Book

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cooking Substitutions is very easy to use. It's organized in alphabetical order. To find out if there is a substitution for the ingredient that you don't have, simply look up the item in the book's A through Z index. Suggested substitutions are listed for each listed ingredients, with an explanation of the results you can expect to get when you use the alternate item.

Cooking Tips and Suggestions

Even if you aren't looking for specific substitutions, this informative book is packed with information, tips and suggestions in the book that will be of interest to any home cook. For example, in the section that covers substitution suggestions for different cuts of beef, there is also additional information about cooking with beef. There is a chart referencing the preferred cooking methods for each cut of beef, as well as information about how to calculate the amount of meat needed to serve each person in your group. Similar information is provided for chicken and other types of meat, cheese, and vegetables.

Interesting Things You'll Learn

Whether you want to learn more about food or you're simply looking for a way to make do with what you have when preparing recipes, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cooking Substitutions is a terrific resource. Some of the things you can learn more about by reading this book include:

  • How to make do without specific types of kitchen equipment called for in recipes
  • Ways to create your favorite recipes even when main ingredients are out of season
  • What to do when you are out of staples and don't want to go to the supermarket
  • Ways to make recipe ingredients yourself from things you have on hand already
  • Many additional money and time saving tips


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