Some make extra twice-baked potatoes and freeze them for future meals.
Let the frozen potatoes thaw out overnight in the refrigerator, then heat them in the oven. Do not thaw them out at room temperature, for safety’s sake.
Topping and stuffing for baked potatoes
The classic topping for a hot baked potato is sour cream mixed with minced chives, salt and pepper. But there are many other delicious toppings, and if you choose to stuff the potatoes, you’ll have a substantial main dish.
Here is a recipe for a delicious mushroom stuffing. If mushrooms aren’t your thing, substitute chopped steamed broccoli.
Mushroom Sauce Stuffing For Baked potatoes
4 large potatoes, wrapped in foil and baked until tender
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 minced clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups warm milk
1 teaspoon fresh or ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
Salt and pepper
Heat remaining the olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and chopped onion.
Cook and stir until the mushrooms are tender and onions are golden, 7-10 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute, stirring often. Season.
Melt the butter in the pan. Sprinkle the flour over the mushroom mixture and stir until the vegetables are coated; about 1 minute.
Add the warm milk, thyme and rosemary to the pan. Stir constantly and continue cooking for about 5 minutes.
Season the thickened mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the baked potatoes in half lengthwise, making sure not to cut them all the way through. Press on each end of the potato so that it opens in the middle.
Place the potatoes on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet. Fill each potato with mushroom sauce and top with a ¼ cup of grated Swiss cheese.
Place the potatoes under the broiler just long enough for the cheese to melt, about 1 minute.
Anyone who’s a fan of the food that comes from Texas kitchens knows that a big pot of ranch style beans has pride of place at every Texas barbeque.
Ranch style beans are also a great favorite at camp-outs, cooked over a fire pit in a Dutch oven. Nothing like a bowl of hot, smoky, sweet and tangy ranch style beans eaten outdoors as evening sets in.
Ranch style beans, and really any bean recipe, can be cooked on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. All it takes is to put all the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-12 hours.
Some people like to finish their cooked ranch style beans by putting them in a casserole and grating plenty of sharp cheese over them. They then broil the beans for a few minutes until the cheese melts.
Ranch style beans are great as a main dish over rice and topped with cheese, and can also fill enchiladas and tacos. They go well with grilled chicken, hamburgers, and steak.
Other main dishes that ranch-style beans go well with include grilled pork chops, beef barbeque, short ribs, quesadillas, and barbequed chicken.
You can find canned ranch style beans in Texas supermarkets and grocery stores, but outside of the Lone Star State, canned ranch beans are hard to find.
So if you get a sudden craving for beans with that special Texas flavor and you’re far from Texas, it’s good to know that you can cook up a pot of your own with very little expense or trouble.
It’s not hard to produce tender beans in rich chili gravy and that ranch-style flavor. But it does take time if you’re cooking from scratch.
The ingredients of ranch style beans include pinto beans, onions, garlic, and tomatoes. Seasonings are chili, ground cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and something sweet.
Stock is often the liquid base for cooking the beans. A piece of smoked meat such as bacon is sometimes added to ranch style beans, although not always.
Here we break down the ingredients of the best possible ranch style bean substitute:
Beans. Some argue that pinto beans are the only possible kind that should go into ranch style beans. But sometimes pinto beans are just not available.
In that case, light red kidney beans work very well. Dark red kidney beans are also delicious cooked ranch style.
Remember, though, every bean has a distinctive flavor. Be prepared to taste some variation in the flavor of the finished dish if you’re subbing another bean for pintos.
Onions and garlic. Every bean dish needs onions and garlic, that’s just a given. The best is to use fresh, as the beans will be cooking for a good few hours.
But if you’re in a rush or stuck without fresh onions and garlic, use powdered onion and dried, granulated garlic. Be aware: dried ingredients will never be as tasty as fresh, but only make an acceptable substitute.
Tomatoes. We’re fans of fresh ingredients. Juicy, ripe tomatoes, chopped up just before adding to the pot, make the best ranch style beans.
But reasonable substitutes are tomato paste, canned chopped tomatoes, commercial tomato sauce, dried tomatoes, and even ketchup. When subbing tomato sauce or ketchup, you’ll need to adjust the amount of sweetener in the recipe.
Chilies. You have a variety of chilies to choose from, to get that bit of heat into the beans. Each kind has its own level of heat and its own flavor.
For the authentic ranch-style flavor, buy chilies with a smoky flavor. Ancho chilies and other typical Mexican chilies are available smoked – search for one and use it in the recipe.
Smoked chilies are dried, either whole or in powder form. Whole dried chilies should be soaked in warm water for a few minutes.
Once whole dried chilies are softened in warm water, slice away the stems, slit the chilies open, and remove the seeds. The seeds are the hottest part of the chili; leaving them in may make your beans too spicy.
Chili powder also works. You’ll need to add it to the pot a little at a time, tasting as you go to ensure the level of spiciness you want.
Hot paprika can be used instead of chili powder. As a last resort, use enchilada sauce or red chili sauce.
Fresh hot chilis can be sliced into the bean pot if no smoked chilis are available. A little smokiness is desired, but the main thing is to provide that zing of heat.
Dry spices. Cumin is the favorite spice in many Tex-Mex dishes and is important in ranch-style beans. Its warm, earthy flavor can’t really be substituted.
You may add a few pinches of powdered coriander seed to the pot as well. The flavors of coriander seed and cumin complement each other.
Oregano also imparts that typical ranch-style flavor to beans. If you don’t have oregano, substitute small amounts of thyme or marjoram.
Sweetener. A little sweetness offsets the heat and spiciness of ranch style beans. The most often used sweetener is brown sugar.
A little molasses can be subbed for brown sugar. As with any substituted ingredient, stir in just a little at a time, and keep tasting the results.
Maple syrup can be also be used and adds a light, sweet layer of flavor to the beans. But although tasty, maple syrup is the least authentic of sweeteners for ranch style beans.
Stock. You can certainly cook your beans in plain water, but there’s no denying that stock adds the best, home-cooked flavor. We recommend a strong broth of beef or beef bones.
Flavorful stock is also made from chicken or turkey wings or necks, or the bones and meat leftover from roast chicken or turkey.
If you choose to skip making stock, buy commercially prepared stock or broth and use it to cook the beans in.
Meat. Although meat is optional, many cooks like to add cubes of bacon or a ham hock to the bean pot. This adds substance and hearty flavor.
However, vegetarian ranch style beans are delicious cooked in a quickly-made vegetarian broth.
Fry until soft, in good oil, an onion, a garlic clove, two celery stalks, a tomato and a chopped carrot. Cover the vegetables with water and add a bay leaf and salt.
Cook on low 30 minutes. Cool the broth; strain it, and it’s ready to use.
Note: try to stay as close as possible to the original ranch beans recipe. Replace as few ingredients as possible to obtain the ranch-style bean flavor you want.
Below are several recipes for ranch style beans. Choose the recipe that suits your taste and available ingredients.
Ranch Style Beans With Lots of Chili
YIELD: 6-8 servings.
1 package (16 ounces) dried pinto beans
1 quart water
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 cup chopped onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tablespoons chili powder
2- 3 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
Put the beans in a large pot or soup kettle.
Add water to cover the beans by 2 inches.
Bring the water to a boil and let it boil for 2 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat. Cover it and let it stand for 1 hour.
Drain the beans and discard the water.
Return the beans to the pan and add 1 quart of water.
Bring the beans to a boil. Reduce heat, then cover the pot.
Simmer for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender but not mushy.
Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil again.
Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and simmer the beans 1-1/2 hours longer.
Quick Three-Bean Ranch Style Beans
This is an unconventional, quickly-cooked variation on ranch beans. It makes a great filling for quesadillas.
2 tablespoons oil
2 chopped onions
1 can each kidney beans, lima beans, pinto beans
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon chili powder
Maple syrup to taste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Drain and rinse all the beans.
Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions and fry until golden over medium-low heat.
Add all the beans, and the garlic. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes.
Fry all for around 2 minutes, then add chili powder and chopped tomatoes with all their juice. Cook, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes soften –10-15 minutes.
This recipe offers both the traditional method of soaking the beans overnight in lots of water or a quicker alternative: put the beans in a pot and cover them with water, then boil them.
Let the beans sit in the hot water, covered, 1 hour.
Either way, drain the beans and proceed with the recipe.
16 oz. dried pinto beans
6 ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup of warm water
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 15 oz. can of tomatoes or 2 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
6 cups of beef broth
Salt and black pepper to taste
Sear the stemmed and de-seeded ancho chilies in a dry skillet, on both sides. Turn the heat off and add 1 cup of warm water to the skillet, just covering the chilies. Leave the chilis to soak for ½ hour.
Heat the oil in another skillet, over medium heat. Add the onions. Stir and cook the onions for 10 minutes.
Add the garlic. Cook 1 minute further.
Place the onion and garlic mixture in a blender, adding the brown sugar, vinegar, tomatoes, cumin, paprika, oregano, and the chilis in their water. Blend until it becomes a puree.
Get your blender and place the cooked onion and garlic, including the tomatoes, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, paprika, cumin, oregano, water, and the anchos chili. Blend until they form a puree.
Have ready a soup kettle or large pot. Cook the beans in the beef broth and the pureed seasonings over high heat until they boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 2 hours, or until the beans are tender and the gravy thick.
Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
So what’s the difference between ranch style beans and chili beans?
Chili beans are a recipe also based on pinto beans, but differences in the ingredients give them their own unique flavor.
How about ranch style beans vs. baked beans?
Baked beans are usually made with white beans and are much more highly sweetened than ranch style beans.
I want to make ranch style beans using canned pinto beans.
Canned beans are cooked through and can be cooked with all the seasonings right away.
It’s best to drain and then rinse canned beans before cooking, to get rid of the salt in the canning liquid.
The personal taste of the cook is as important an ingredient as any on the recipe list.
The most important parts of the recipe don’t change: beans, onions, garlic, something acidic like tomatoes or vinegar, spices, and something sweet. Take the recipe instructions as a guide, not as law.
Stock as the basic cooking liquid is considered essential by some and optional by others. Some feel that if the beans cook with bacon or beef, the stock isn’t necessary.
If you don’t like the taste of oregano, substitute marjoram, and so on. Tweek the recipe until you find what you consider the perfect combination of flavors.
After you’ve done the work and spent money on ingredients, you don’t want to see your home-baked cookies going to waste because they got hard.
Cookies get hard either because they were over-baked, or because they got stale over time. There are two ways of dealing with the problem: preventing it, and fixing it.
Let’s examine the first way:
Prevent Hard Cookies
Baking them correctly. Make sure there’s no extra flour in the dough. Measure the flour by spooning it into the measuring cup, rather than scooping the measuring cup through the flour.
Then level the flour off the full measuring cup with the edge of a knife. This method does take a little longer, but it ensures that your dough won’t be stiff with extra flour.
A too-stiff dough can be treated with a little milk or a teaspoon of added butter to achieve the proper consistency. Make notes and adjust liquid and fat the next time you bake that recipe.
Brown sugar is moister than white, so bake your cookies with brown. Or if the recipe calls for both, make the majority of the sugar brown.
Bake cookies on an aluminum baking sheet rather than a dark sheet. Or line the sheet with baking parchment.
Be careful not to over-bake. Cookies continue cooking for a few minutes after they’ve been removed from the oven, so take your cookies out while they’re still a little soft and only the edges are golden brown.
Don’t let freshly baked cookies sit on the baking sheet longer than five minutes. Left alone on the hot baking sheet, they’ll continue to cook and lose moisture, so set them on a rack to continue cooling.
The way you store baked cookies also makes a difference. To store them long term, freeze them in airtight containers or freezer bags.
Pieces of parchment paper tucked between cookies will prevent their sticking together in the freezer. They will be fine for three months.
Frozen cookies should be thawed out at room temperature. They will be nice and fresh.
Cookies that you plan on serving soon should be kept at room temperature. The fat in them will harden in the refrigerator.
Place them in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag and set them away from heat and cooking steam. They will be fine for three days.
If you’re storing several batches of different cookies, keep crisp ones separate from soft ones. Crisp cookies will soften on contact with soft ones.
The reverse is also true: soft cookies will lose moisture to crisp cookies.
You need to expose them to something that’s moist. They will wick up the moisture and soften.
The classic, tried-and-tested way is to put a thick slice of fresh white bread in the bottom of a cookie jar or airtight container. Put the hard cookies on top of it.
Keep the jar or container closed overnight and check the texture of the cookies in the morning. If they’re still hard, close the jar and wait another 8 or 12 hours.
The cookies will have absorbed moisture from the bread and softened.
Note: make sure the bread’s flavor is compatible with the flavor of your cookies. A hearty rye-and-onion bread will spoil the flavor of your sweet cookies.
That’s why a slice of standard white bread is best for softening cookies: its neutral flavor won’t pass on to them.
A couple of slices of fresh apple placed on the bottom of the jar will also do the trick.
Another alternative is to wrap a damp paper towel in foil and poke holes through the foil with a toothpick or thin knife. As with the bread, put the package in the bottom of a jar or container, and place the cookies on top.
Close the jar and wait 24 hours.
You can also soften a few cookies at a time with a damp paper towel and the microwave. Wrap each cookie with the damp – not wet – paper towel.
Then microwave them on the medium setting for 15-20 seconds. If they’re not soft enough, replace the paper towel with a fresh damp one and microwave another 10 seconds.
The microwave method works, but the cookies will revert to stiff soon after, so plan to eat them right away.
If cookies overbaked, wrap each one in plastic wrap while still warm. Then put the wrapped cookies in a container and close it. Don’t wait – you want to trap some of the steam they give off before it evaporates.
The heady aroma of spices such as tumeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, and others like them, can truly make your head swirl and your taste buds tingle in anticipation. Even in cordon bleu cookery, certain spices are interchangeable, and I have found that there is a substitution for tumeric.
One of my fondest travel memories is taking a slow stroll through a Middle Eastern spice market. The sights and smells of all the different spices were quite staggering, in fact almost overwhelming. The heaps of yellow, brown and red powders, in so many different shades, each with its own unique fragrance, made me want to start cooking straight away.
I have always considered myself to be something of a Foodie. I just love experimenting with all sorts of exotic ingredients, turning out one delectable dish after another.
While I bake like a scientist, measuring every little ingredient with the utmost precision, I tend to cook the way that my grandma taught me; a little bit of this, a pinch of that, and if you don’t have a particular ingredient, find something else to use instead.
So it may come as no surprise to you to learn that I often chop and change ingredients in my recipes, substituting one item for another. This was how I learned about substituting spices, and specifically, what can be used as a substitution for tumeric.
One of my favorite creations is what my family named Orange Soup. As you may have guessed, this is a soup that is orange in color but has no actual oranges in it. It gets its orange color from a combination of the vegetables that go into it, and the tumeric that gives it its color and flavor.
I sometimes make my famous Orange Soup using other spices as a substitution for tumeric, and later on, I will share my foolproof recipe with you.
You may be wondering, how do you pronounce this spice tumeric orturmeric? Most people pronounce it as tyoomerik, without the sound of the letter ‘r’ before the ‘m’.
Tumeric is a bright yellow spice with a strong flavor and heady fragrance. It originated in India thousands of years ago. And although it can now be found almost anywhere in the world, India remains the source of the best tumeric you will ever find.
Think of an eye-watering, taste bud-tingling Indian curry. Today, we can buy commercially made ready-mixed curry powders of different flavors and strengths. These all consist of blends of various spices that have been put together to create that incredible curry.
A proud Indian chef would not use these ready-mixed curry powders. He would use an assortment of spices that he would carefully select and blend himself. One of the main ingredients he would use is tumeric. However, it is possible to achieve the same result using a substitution for tumeric.
Tumeric is not only used as a spice in cooking. In Indian culture, it features very strongly in both traditional medicine, and religious and cultural ceremonies.
Because of its striking yellow color, tumeric is often used as a dye. Many Indian silks achieve their alluring color from being dyed with tumeric.
It is used in religious ceremonies by the Hindus, who consider tumeric to be holy and sacred. In some parts of India, a piece of the tumeric root is even worn as a lucky charm, with supposed powers to ward off evil spirits.
Tumeric is known for its medicinal properties and has become very popular, not only in India but also in the Western world, as a natural remedy for many ailments. Well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties, tumeric is often used as a treatment for muscular aches and pains.
Heating tumeric to the burning point gives off fumes that are said to alleviate problems of nasal congestion and ease respiratory difficulties.
Because it is supposedly so effective at treating these issues, natural healers claim that, in terms of its medicinal effectiveness, there is no substitution for tumeric.
The most common use of tumeric is still as a spice that adds a unique flavor to a simmering saucepan on your stove. Whether it is a bowl of spicy curry or a pot of hearty soup, tumeric will give it a special kick. So what can you do if you have run out of tumeric?
Substitution For Tumeric
Tumeric has a strong and distinctive flavor and fragrance. While there are numerous other spices that can be used as a substitution for tumeric, none of them will give exactly the same final result. However, using any of the following will be a close second.
Saffron As A Substitution For Tumeric
Sweeter than tumeric, saffron also has a bright yellowish-red color. It is known to be one of the most expensive spices, so you may not want to use it too often as a substitution for tumeric, which is fairly inexpensive and much more affordable.
Saffron is so expensive because it comes from the Crocus flower, which is quite rare, and it has to be harvested by hand. 75 000 saffron flowers will only yield about one pound of saffron spice. So it is understandable that you may not want to use it unnecessarily, even though in terms of taste, saffron is an excellent substitute for tumeric.
Cumin As A Substitution For Tumeric
Cumin spice is made from the seeds of the Cuminum Cyminum plant. Also originating in India, cumin is redder while tumeric is more yellow. Although their flavors are different from each other, when added to certain dishes they will have a similar effect.
Cumin has a flavor that is a strange combination of sweet and bitter. Rich in iron, it has many health benefits. Like tumeric, cumin is often used in natural remedy preparations.
Like tumeric, cumin has a strong, aromatic flavor. When using either of them in a recipe, I always recommend using them very sparingly at first and tasting as you go along. While it is easy to add more spice if the taste is initially too bland, there is very little that you can do to save the dish afterward if you have too much of a heavy hand with cumin or tumeric.
While cumin and tumeric do not have exactly the same taste, cumin can easily be used as a substitution for tumeric in many recipes.
The commercially available curry powders that you find in stores today are a careful blend of a variety of spices. The most common basic ingredient in all of them is usually tumeric. Tumeric is what gives them their yellow color, and their aromatic flavor.
When making curries, an accomplished chef would probably mix his own curry powder, using an assortment of spices. But the easier way is to simply use a ready-made curry powder. So it is usually quite acceptable to use curry powder as a substitution for tumeric.
However, if you use curry powder as a substitution for tumeric, I would advise you to use less than the recipe specifies. Because it contains other spices as well as tumeric, curry powder will have a stronger flavor than tumeric alone, so less is better.
Orange Soup Recipe
This soup is a creation of my own experimentation in the kitchen, after trying many different recipes and combining the best of them.
I large butternut squash
2-3 medium sweet potatoes
3-4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
1 red onion
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
10-12 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable stock powder
1½ teaspoons tumeric, OR 1 teaspoon curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice the onion
Peel and chop all the other vegetables
Place a large pot on the stove. Brown the onion lightly over medium heat.
Add the chopped vegetables and mix through.
Add enough water to cover fully, plus a little extra
Mix the tumeric/curry powder and the vegetable stock powder with a little water to make a smooth paste.
Add the paste to the pot and stir in well. Bring to the boil, stirring regularly.
Simmer gently for at least an hour, longer if possible, keeping the pot covered with a lid. If your lid does not have a steam vent, tilt it very slightly so that steam can escape. But take care not to let all the liquid cook out. If it looks like there is not enough liquid, you can add some more water.
When all the vegetables are lovely and soft, almost mushy, switch off the heat and leave the soup to cool slightly.
Remove the vegetables, but reserve the liquid.
Using a stick blender, blend the vegetables to a smooth puree.
Return the vegetable puree to the liquid and mix well, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
Reheat and enjoy.
While this Orange Soup is best when made with tumeric, it is just as delicious when using curry powder as a substitution for tumeric.
How I love my herb garden! I adore that time of year when my herbs are all growing abundantly and are at their most prolific. There is nothing better than picking your own fresh herbs to use in your cooking. My favorite at the moment is dill weed, but if you don’t have any, there are numerous substitutes for dill weed.
Herbs are truly a gift from nature. These plants, whose aromatic leaves and seeds are used for flavoring and garnishing so many different dishes, are easy to grow yourself.
If you have a garden, it is wonderful to dedicate a small patch to growing herbs. In your own little herb garden, you can plant a variety of herbs to suit your personal taste and preference.
If you stagger the planting, you will have an ongoing supply and might never need to look for substitutes for dill, parsley, fennel, or anything else that grabs your fancy.
But what if you do not have a garden? Do not despair. Herbs will grow quite happily in little pots on your kitchen window sill. Even in the tiniest apartment, you can enjoy the satisfaction of picking that sprig of fresh dill and popping it into your pot.
Fresh dill weed is a popular ingredient in many different types of cuisine. It will add incredible flavor to dishes like soups, seafood, salads, and sauces.
There is no better pickle than one that has been made with fresh dill weed. Later on, I will share my secret Dill Pickle recipe with you. Luckily, these tangy, delectable pickles can also be made with substitutes for dill weed, and I will explain what to do.
What Can You Use Dill Weed For?
Dill weed is a common ingredient in many recipes. It is not only aromatic and tasty but also has numerous health benefits. It is filled with Vitamin C, which is essential for the healthy growth of all body tissues and developing a strong immune system.
Dill weed is rich in antioxidants and is also a valuable source of magnesium, which is an electrolyte that helps to promote a healthy heart and normal muscle development.
In your kitchen, dill weed will add a special flavor to so many dishes. While it is always best to use fresh dill, if it is not available, you can either use dried dill or you can experiment with a few substitutes for dill weed.
Dill is a soft-leafed herb, and both the leaves and seeds can be used in cooking. Like fennel and tarragon, it has undertones of aniseed, giving it a wonderful aroma. It has a hint of lemon, which makes it ideal for adding a unique zing to your fish dishes.
What Are The Best Substitutes For Dill Weed?
Of course, one of the things that are so special about herbs is that every one of them has unique properties. Each individual herb has its own distinctive fragrance and taste. Therefore no substitute for dill weed, or for any other herb, will ever taste exactly the same as the original, but you can still certainly get a very good result if you choose your substitute carefully.
Because dill weed is a soft-leafed herb, you can use a few other soft-leafed herbs as substitutes for dill weed. Let us take a look at some of the options and possibilities.
Chervil As A Substitute For Dill Weed
Chervil may be one of the lesser-known herbs, and might not be as popular as the better-known varieties, but it is a wonderful addition to your herb garden. Like dill weed, chervil is quite delicate and has a mild flavor, comparable to dill weed, tarragon and anise.
Chervil comes from the carrot family, and its leaves look a lot like carrot leaves. It has undertones of licorice flavor because it is very similar to anise. It is often used in French haute cuisine.
Many egg dishes call for dill weed. When making dishes like scrambled eggs, a sprinkle of chervil instead of dill weed works very well. Chervil can also be used as a substitute for dill weed in things like sauces, salads and soups.
Fennel As A Substitute For Dill Weed
Fennel makes an excellent substitute for dill weed because it comes from the same family of herbs. It is also a root vegetable belonging to the carrot group, with leaves resembling carrot leaves.
Fennel is a light herb with a sweetish flavor and a hint of licorice fragrance. When eaten raw, it has a crunchy texture and a mild flavor. But when cooked, the flavor is enhanced and the texture becomes much softer.
As a substitute for dill weed, fennel can be used in soups, stews, sauces and many other dishes. It works well when sauteed, or added to baked or braised dishes.
Fennel leaves are wonderful in salads and can be used as a substitute for dill weed in many salads that call for dill.
There are many vegetable recipes featuring dill. Fennel can usually be used as a substitute in these dishes, without changing the flavor too drastically.
When chopped up finely, fennel leaves look very similar to dill weed, and you will hardly notice the difference when substituting fennel for dill weed as a garnish in salads or soups or sauces.
Basil As A Substitute For Dill Weed
Basil is quite an unusual herb. It is one of my firm favorites because it is so versatile. There are a few species of basil, with some of them being strong and spicy, while others lean towards the sweet side.
Many Italian dishes are made with sweet basil, which gives them their distinctive flavor and mouth-watering aroma. Think Pasta Napoletana. It just would not be the same without sweet basil.
When using basil as a substitute for dill weed, it is better to go for the more pungent, spicy variety. This will give you a flavor that more strongly resembles dill weed.
In my pickles recipe, coming up soon, you can successfully use basil as a substitute for dill weed, and they will taste just as tangy and scrumptious.
Rosemary is a wonderfully aromatic Mediterranean herb. It features very prominently in both Italian and French cuisine. It has a strong, intense aroma, making it highly suitable in dishes with lamb, chicken and fish.
As a substitute for dill weed, rosemary complements many foods, such as potatoes, salad dressings, meats and stews.
Rosemary is a good substitute for dill weed when paired with mushrooms, peas, beans, spinach, and various grains.
Quick And Easy Tangy Dill Pickles
As promised, here is my secret quick and easy recipe for the best Dill Pickles you will ever eat. And if you don’t have fresh dill weed, you can use one of the substitutes for dill weed, and no-one will ever know. In fact, you can even still call them ‘Dill Pickles’, because they will taste so similar.
10-12 pickling cucumbers
4 cups of water
2 cups white vinegar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
Large bunch fresh dill weed ( If you can’t get dill weed, I would use a spicy variety of fresh basil )
1 head of garlic, skins removed and cloves smashed
There are two different ways to make these pickles. You can either slice the cucumbers into thick slices, or you can pickle them whole, and slice them as you use them.
I have tried both methods, and I prefer to pickle them whole because I like to eat my pickles very thinly sliced. If you slice them too thinly before pickling them, they tend to go soft, and the perfect pickle should be crispy and crunchy.
Wash the cucumbers well. Prick a few holes in them with a fork, and set aside.
Combine water, vinegar, salt and sugar in a saucepan.
Bring to the boil, swirling around and stirring regularly to ensure that the sugar and salt dissolve fully.
Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Place cucumbers in a large container with an airtight seal.
Add dill weed, garlic and peppercorns.
Pour lukewarm brine liquid over the cucumbers and seal the container.
Place in the fridge and leave for at least 4-5 days, giving it a bit of a swirl around once or twice a day.
Your Dill Pickles are now ready to eat.
These pickles can keep in the fridge for weeks and weeks. If you prefer to use pickling jars instead of a plastic food storage container, that will also be fine. I just find it too much of a fuss and love the simplicity of one big container full of pickles.
An optional extra in this recipe is to add a spoonful of dill seeds to the brine. They are not always easy to find. Because they are not readily available, I usually leave them out and I am renowned for my amazing Dill Pickles.
I usually do not even let on to my friends that I sometimes use substitutes for dill weed in this recipe.
As a confirmed, self-confessed Foodie, I can’t help but marvel at the wonders of nature. We have so many magnificent edible plants just waiting to be added to our pots. While it is glorious to have a garden, you don’t really need much more than a small space on your kitchen windowsill to grow a pot of aromatic chervil and other herbs. If you don’t have chervil, there are a few things that you can use as substitutes for chervil.
When I think ‘herbs’, of course, that beautiful song comes to mind, “Parsely, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme….” and I find myself with the melody stuck in my head for hours. There are so many exotic dishes that we can cook up with these wonders of nature.
What Is Chervil?
Chervil is a herb that is one of the four main ingredients used in fines herbes. Now you may be asking, ‘What is fines herbes?’ Fines herbes is a special blend of herbs that is used as a base ingredient in many dishes in French haute cuisine. The other three ingredients are parsley, tarragon, and chives.
This unique blend of herbs gives its own special flavor to dishes such as chicken, fish, and eggs. It is particularly good when added to an omelet, or sprinkled lightly over scrambled eggs. It is also used as a seasoning in many French sauces.
While chervil is a key ingredient in many exotic French dishes, you may find it somewhat ironic to learn that it gets its name from Greek. The Greek word chaerophyllon means ‘herb of rejoicing’, and it was known in Greece as the happy herb.
What Does Chervil Look Like?
Chervil looks a little like parsley, but the color is a slightly lighter shade of green. The leaves are thinner and more fragile and have a frilly edge to them. They are also slightly flatter than parsley leaves.
You may be surprised to learn that chervil is actually a member of the carrot family, and its leaves look a lot like carrot leaves.
If you find chervil with blossoms, you should not use it in your cooking. The herb usually becomes bitter once it starts to flower.
What Does Chervil Taste Like?
Again, when it comes to taste, there are some similarities between chervil and parsley, but chervil is not as strong as parsley. The taste is more subtle. The undertones of the flavor have a hint of aniseed.
What Should Chervil Be Used For?
Because of its unusual, mildly aniseed flavor, chervil adds an interesting touch to many fish dishes. Just a small amount can totally change the flavor of the fish.
Chervil can be added to soups and stews, giving them a more elegant and sophisticated twist.
Using chervil in sauces like a butter sauce, or a mushroom sauce will add a delicious hint of exotic flavor. Many substitutes for chervil will also add a hint of something different to your cooking.
Does Chervil Have Medicinal Properties?
Many people who believe in natural remedies make use of a variety of herbs in their medicinal preparations. Chervil is one of those herbs that is often used to prepare natural remedies. All the parts of the plant, leaves, flowers, juice, and roots, are considered useful and beneficial.
Unfortunately, when it comes to natural medicine, the experts say that there are no substitutes for chervil. Each herb has its own unique properties. Chervil is used to treat problems of the digestive system, respiratory issues, bloating caused by water retention, and elevated blood pressure.
Even though chervil is considered by many to be an effective natural remedy, I do not advocate relying on it to treat any kind of serious ailment. If you are not well, I recommend seeking professional medical advice.
What Are The Best Substitutes For Chervil?
Chervil has a fairly mild, subtle flavor. Because it is not overpoweringly strong, it is not always easy to identify it straight away in foods. For this reason, if you find that you don’t have any chervil when magically creating that exotic French dinner, there are substitutes for chervil that you can use. These may not give exactly the same flavor, but, when blended with all your other ingredients, will taste just as good.
When your recipe says chervil, but your chervil jar is empty, don’t despair. All is not lost, and nor do you have to take off your apron and rush out to the nearest store. Rather try using a substitute for chervil.
Even if you do heroically put your cooking on hold and tear off in search of chervil, you may not be able to find it. It is not always readily available in all stores.
Chervil can be added to recipes in either fresh or dried form. If your recipe calls for fresh chervil, which you now realize you do not have, try using one of the following, in each case allowing for a substitution of 1 tablespoon of the substitute for 1 tablespoon of fresh chervil leaves.
Freshly chopped parsley leaves.
Although many people think that parsley should only be used to garnish food, it also contributes a lovely flavor to your food when added during cooking. If you don’t have any chervil, you can use fresh parsley and it won’t affect the outcome of your dish.
An extra advantage to using parsley is that it is known to have many health benefits. It is rich in vitamin K and is said to have certain properties that could protect against some types of cancer.
Freshly chopped tarragon
Tarragon is a perennial herb and is a member of the sunflower family. Now if chervil is a member of the carrot family, and tarragon comes from sunflower lineage, you may think that they are not related and therefore are very different. However, their flavors do have some similarities.
Fresh tarragon has a strong licorice taste, similar to the undertones of aniseed that we can taste in chervil. This is because they both have an organic element known as estragole. This element is what gives them the licorice flavor. It is also found in my next suggested substitute for chervil.
Freshly chopped fennel leaves.
Although fennel is not considered a root vegetable, it is also a member of the carrot family. It consists of a bulb topped with leaves, and it is these leaves that also have that hint of aniseed in their flavor. Therefore, when your recipe calls for fresh chervil leaves, but they are unavailable, you can successfully use fennel leaves instead.
Dill is a highly versatile herb, coming from the celery family. Both the leaves and the seeds are rich with flavor and can be used in many different dishes. It has a grassy flavor and aroma, with a hint of citrus undertones. It goes really well with other herbs such as mint and parsley and also enhances the flavor of garlic.
When used as a substitute for chervil, fresh dill may not have exactly the same flavor, but it will be a pretty good alternative.
A mixture of chives, hyssop, fennel, and thyme, in equal quantities
This blend of herbs creates a unique flavor that closely resembles the taste and aroma of fresh chervil. When using it as a substitute for chervil, your dish will give off a tantalizing herby aroma as it cooks. And it will taste as good as it smells.
This little-known herb is also a plant that comes from the celery family. It has a sweetish flavor, with that same undertone of aniseed. Because of its slight aniseed flavor, Cicely can be used as a good substitute for chervil.
In addition to being a good substitute for chervil, Cicely is often used to make a hot tea-like drink, used in natural remedies for ailments such as coughs and sore throats.
When chervil is dried, it loses much of its flavor. This is why most recipes that include chervil call for fresh chervil, rather than dried chervil. However, if your recipe includes dried chervil, it is usually safe to use any of the above substitutes for chervil in their dried form.
If you want to avoid having to use a substitute for chervil, you can ensure that you always have a fresh supply. When you buy your chervil, wash it in fresh cold water as soon as you bring it home. With paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, pat it dry very well, then wrap it in a clean, slightly damp cloth and store it in the vegetable drawer of your fridge. It will keep like this for 2-3 days.
Can You Freeze Fresh Chervil?
You can freeze chervil. Keep the leaves attached to the stem. Place in a single layer in a dish and place in the freezer for a few hours. Once frozen, store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months, and use when needed.
In this way, you will not need to worry about finding substitutes for chervil.
Many people love nothing better than a crispy pork roast. One of the reasons that pork is so popular is that it is such a versatile meat. Pork loin is very lean, with little excess fat. This makes it a healthy choice for that Sunday roast. And if you have leftovers, you will be reheating pork loin.
With today’s frenetic, busy lifestyle, it is useful to be able to plan and prepare in advance. When you are cooking dinner, if you have freezer space to store it, you will find that it really simplifies your life if you cook double and freeze one meal.
Reheating pork loin, or chicken, or any other food that freezes well, instead of needing to come home and cook, makes a hectic day so much more manageable.
Reheating pork loin is really quite simple, and there are numerous ways that it can be done. The method that you choose will depend upon how much time you have available, as well as your personal preference.
When reheating pork loin, it can become very dry if you don’t take the necessary precautions. You can either reheat it whole, and then slice it just before you serve it, or you can slice it first and then reheat it.
I prefer to slice first when reheating pork loin, for various reasons. If you reheat the whole piece, it will take longer to get to the desired temperature, and then it may dry out.
If you have a large piece of pork loin, you may not want to use it all in one meal. If you slice it first, you can reheat only as much as you need for that meal, saving the rest for the following day. Sliced cooked pork loin makes a fabulous filling for a sandwich for lunch – a great way to use every scrap of the leftovers.
If you are in a hurry, reheating pork loin that has already been sliced will take much less time than reheating a whole piece of pork loin.
Reheating Pork Loin In The Oven
Reheating pork loin in the oven is my preferred method, although I will explain some of the other methods as well.
Preheat your oven to 325° Fahrenheit, with your oven rack in the center of the oven. When reheating pork loin in the oven, I always like to add some liquid. This will prevent it from drying out and will keep the meat nice and moist.
Take an ovenproof dish and pour a little beef or chicken broth into the dish, enough to cover the bottom of the dish. Add the slices of pork loin and brush with a few drops of oil or melted butter. Add a little more broth and cover tightly with tin foil.
Place the dish in the center of the oven for about 20-25 minutes. The meat should then be hot enough, and deliciously moist and succulent.
If you prefer to reheat a whole piece of pork loin, rather than slicing it up first, follow the above steps, but instead of placing the slices in the dish, place the whole piece of pork loin in a dish and brush it well all over with oil or melted butter.
Add some broth to the dish and cover tightly with foil. Place in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your piece of meat. If you have a meat thermometer, the inside of the meat should reach a temperature of about 140°.
If you have reheated a whole piece of pork loin, let it stand for about 10 minutes after removing it from the oven, before cutting it up into slices. If you try to slice it as soon as it comes out of the oven, it may fall apart.
Reheating Pork Loin In The Microwave
If you are in a hurry and need to reheat pork loin quickly, the fastest method is in the microwave.
Place the pork loin slices in a microwave-safe dish. Add a little beef or chicken broth, and brush the meat lightly with oil or melted butter. Cover the dish with a vented microwave lid.
If you do not have a vented microwave lid, cover tightly with cling wrap and pierce a few holes with a toothpick. Place the dish in the microwave and microwave on 70% power for
1 minute per 200 gr of meat. Try not to do too much at once. If you reheat small amounts, the meat will reheat more evenly.
After reheating pork loin in the microwave, the meat must be left to stand for at least 5 minutes before eating. The heat will continue to diffuse throughout the meat for a few minutes even after the microwave has stopped. You will then have perfectly heated pork loin, with the heat evenly distributed.
Reheating Pork Loin In A Pan On The Stove Top
Reheating pork loin in a pan on the top of the stove is also a quick way to heat up your pork, but you need to be very careful not to let it get overdone and dry.
This method is best suited to reheating ready-sliced pork loin, rather than a large whole piece of meat. If you try to reheat a whole piece of pork loin in a pan on the stove, the outside will heat very quickly, but the inside will take so long to get hot that the outside will become hard and dry.
Spray a pan with a little olive oil. Place the pork loin slices in the pan with a little broth for extra moisture. Heat gently over a medium flame, turning every minute to prevent the meat from drying out and burning.
You should only have to turn 3 or 4 times, and the meat should be heated through after about 4-5 minutes.
Can You Reheat Pork Loin In A Slow Cooker?
If you are going to work and want to eat dinner as soon as you get back home, reheating pork loin in your slow cooker is a great idea. You can place a precooked, frozen piece of pork loin in the slow cooker before you leave for the day. Add enough beef or chicken broth to cover, and switch on to the lowest setting.
When you arrive home in the late afternoon or early evening, your dinner will be piping hot and ready to eat. However, when you slice it, it may fall apart a little, so it will be better to pull it apart rather than try to slice it precisely.
Note that reheating pork loin in a slow cooker only works well with a whole piece of pork loin. Slices of pork loin will fall apart and disintegrate if heated in the slow cooker.
While reheating pork loin on the grill is not ideal, it can be done. If you have a few left-over slices of pork loin and you want to add them to the following night’s barbecue dinner, you will need some basting sauce and tin foil.
Brush each slice of pork loin generously with a basting sauce of your choice. An oil-based barbecue sauce works well. You can also brush it generously with mayonnaise. Wrap each slice individually in tin foil and place on the grill over medium heat for 5 minutes, turning halfway through. It will heat through and should be lovely and moist from the sauce.
Can You Reheat Pork Loin In An Air Fryer?
An air fryer is a marvelous appliance to have in your kitchen. I use mine for so many different things and I love it. However, I have experimented with many different types of food, and with both cooking from scratch and reheating.
Through trial and error, I have discovered that reheating pork loin in an air fryer does not work well. I don’t recommend it, because the meat gets very dry and the texture is not very appetizing.
How Do You Ensure That The Meat Does Not Lose Its Flavor When Reheating Pork Loin?
If you want to make sure that when reheating pork loin it does not lose its flavor, there are a few tips that you can use.
Instead of brushing with oil or butter, brush lightly with mayonnaise. This will give the meat a lovely tang.
Add a little bit of prepared mustard to some melted butter, and brush the meat with this.
Sprinkle a little barbecue spice on the meat after you have added the liquid and brushed the meat with oil.
Make a sauce with a little ketchup, some barbecue sauce, a dash of lemon juice and a teaspoon of brown sugar, and ¼ cup of water. Brush the pork loin generously with this sauce before reheating.
Preparing your pork loin in advance and reheating it, using any of the above methods, will simplify your life and you will not have to stress about preparing a whole meal from scratch.
I’m sure that you are all familiar with the expression, ‘Dynamite comes in small packages’. Well, this could really be said of mustard seeds. These tiny little seeds are true dynamite when it comes to flavor. They have a pungent taste and aroma and add an incredible zing to so many culinary dishes. But sometimes you may run out, and then you will be looking for a mustard seeds substitute.
There are numerous different varieties of mustard plants. Their tiny little seeds have a distinct flavor and fragrance, and they are used in many everyday foods. Can you imagine a hotdog without a squirt of mustard? No, neither can I!
Chicken cooked in a honey and mustard sauce is an all-time favorite in my house, (look out for my fool-proof recipe at the end of this article), while the iconic Corned Beef sandwich just wouldn’t taste right without a generous dollop of mustard pickles.
There are two main species of the mustard plant that are popular in cuisine. The Sinapis Alba plant is from North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East and yields a mild, pale yellow mustard seed.
Brassica Juncea, a black mustard seed, comes from the Himalayas, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Both of these mustard seeds are used to flavor foods, and while each has its own unique flavor, it is also possible to use mustard seeds substitutes when neither of these is available.
Is It Safe To Eat Mustard Seeds?
Many people are unsure whether or not it is safe to eat mustard seeds. While I certainly would not advise consuming copious amounts of plain mustard seeds by the spoonful, it is certainly safe to eat mustard seeds in the quantity that is required for cooking.
All commercially made sauces and condiments that are manufactured using mustard seeds actually contain such small amounts of the seeds that they are perfectly safe. You would have to consume a few pounds of plain mustard seeds before developing severe gastric problems such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
Mustard seeds that have been ground into mustard powder contain isothiocyanate. This is a compound that can be toxic if consumed in very large quantities. It will irritate the airway and cause swelling of the esophagus, obstructing breathing. But only if consumed on its own, in vast amounts. When used to season foods, it is perfectly safe.
Which Mustard Seeds Are Stronger, Yellow Or Black?
Both yellow and black mustard seeds are full of flavor and will add a delicious tang to your food. However, even though they have a similar flavor, there are some basic differences between the two.
Black mustard seeds are a lot stronger than yellow mustard seeds. The Yellow seeds have a mild, tangy flavor with an almost sour undertone. Black mustard seeds are slightly peppery and are much more potent both in taste and aroma.
Yellow mustard seeds are the seeds that are used in most foods that have mustard in them. They are much more readily available. All the sauces and condiments that have mustard in them are usually made with yellow mustard seeds. Yellow mustard seeds can be found in almost any supermarket.
Black mustard seeds, which, by the way, are not actually black, but rather are a dark reddish-brown, are much rarer. They are considered to be more exotic and are more difficult to find. You would probably have to go looking for them in a specialty store that carries many of those hard to find items.
Both yellow and black mustard seeds can be used in most recipes that call for mustard seeds, but if you are using black, you should use a lot less. For both, you can also use certain other things as a mustard seeds substitute.
Mustard Seeds Substitutes
The most common, and obvious, mustard seeds substitute is prepared mustard. There are many different commercially made brands of prepared mustard and mustard sauces. These are all made with mustard seeds and will give your food exactly the same flavor when used as a mustard seeds substitute.
When substituting mustard seeds with prepared mustard, you need to be careful with quantities. Especially if the label says ‘HOT Mustard’, proceed with caution.
When you are unsure of quantities, I always recommend starting off with a little, doing a taste test, then adding more if needed. In this way, you don’t risk ruining your culinary creation by having too much of a heavy hand with the mustard.
Think of that well-known expression, ‘As sharp as mustard’. It defines the flavor of mustard so well. Sharp! You don’t want to be too generous with that dollop, only to find that the taste is too sharp and burns your tongue.
Generally, you can substitute one TEASPOON of prepared mustard for one TABLESPOON of mustard seeds.
Dried Mustard Powder
Dried mustard powder is a fine powder that is made from ground mustard seeds. It will give your dishes exactly the same flavor as mustard seeds and has the same yellow color.
Dried mustard powder is readily available and has a long shelf life, so it is a handy item to keep in your pantry to use as a mustard seeds substitute. Exchange it spoon for spoon when assessing quantities in a recipe.
Turmeric is a spice that has the same yellow color as mustard, and a somewhat similar flavor. It is not quite as pungent or potent as mustard, but in case of need, it can be used as a mustard seeds substitute in most recipes without making too much of a difference to the taste of your finished product.
When using turmeric as a substitute for mustard seeds, you can generally follow the same measurement of quantities, spoon for spoon.
Prepared horseradish is a sauce made from the horseradish root. It is spicy and tangy and will give your dish a great flavor when used as a mustard seed substitute.
While the food might not have quite the same color or flavor, it will taste so good that no one will ever know that you substituted the main ingredient. Use one spoon of horseradish sauce in place of one spoon of mustard seeds.
Honey And Mustard Chicken Recipe
When you are in a hurry and don’t have time to spend fiddling around with a complicated recipe, this is a quick, easy and delicious way to prepare chicken. Honey and mustard are two completely different flavors, one being sharp and tangy, while the other is deliciously sweet. However, despite their difference, they complement each other perfectly.
4-6 chicken pieces
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds or dried mustard powder
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon ground ginger
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit
Spray an ovenproof dish lightly with olive oil
Place chicken in the dish, skin side up
Mix all ingredients except rosemary together
Brush mixture over chicken and sprinkle with fresh rosemary
Place on the center rack in the oven and bake for 1¼ – 1½ hours or until golden brown on top. (Bigger chicken portions will take longer to cook. Keep checking, as you won’t want it to dry out ) Every half an hour, baste the chicken with the juices.
Your chicken will be moist and succulent, with a delectable flavor from the mingling of the honey and the mustard. And if you use a mustard seeds substitute, it will taste just as good.
Your kids have finished smacking their lips, and have truly licked every last crumb off their plates. That fried chicken was so good, it’s surprising that there is even anything left over after dinner. But, amazingly, there are still a few pieces left in the dish, and everyone is satiated. You can put them in the fridge for another day, but how long is fried chicken good for in the fridge?
Chicken is a popular food that finds its way onto my table at least once a week, in one form or another. It is a healthy form of protein and contains many nutrients needed to keep our bodies healthy. It is highly versatile, as there are so many things that you can do with chicken.
One thing that you should always be on the lookout for is to make sure that your chicken is fresh. If you have leftover chicken, it only has quite a limited fridge life.
How Long Is Fried Chicken Good For In The Fridge?
Chicken has a lot of natural moisture. It is also usually soaked in brine before being packaged and sold, in order to keep it soft and succulent. As a result of this moisture, chicken tends to go off rather quickly.
After putting the fried chicken in the fridge, it can usually keep for about 3 days. After this, it will start to deteriorate, and bacteria will build up. By day 4 it is probably starting to go off. By day 5 it is not safe to eat it and I would recommend throwing it out.
How Can You Tell If Chicken Has Gone Off?
You do not have to take chances and risk feeding your family chicken that is not fresh. If the chicken has gone off, there are numerous ways to tell.
Fresh chicken has a distinctive smell. It should not smell like dead fish or dirty socks. If fried chicken is off, it will have a strong, unpleasant, rancid smell. If you get even the faintest whiff of a foul odor as you unwrap it, toss that fried chicken into the garbage.
In addition to making you ill, the bacteria in that fried chicken could potentially multiply and contaminate other food in your fridge.
Fried chicken that is still good to eat should look as good as it tastes. It should be golden brown in color. If it is going bad, the crumbed coating will start to fall off and the chicken will start to develop a greyish hue. It will look completely unappetizing.
If you suspect that the fried chicken in your fridge is no longer good, try feeling it. Chicken that is still good to eat should feel dry when it is cold. If it has a slimy coating, it is off and should not be eaten.
What Will Happen If You Eat Chicken That Has Gone off?
Bacteria and other microorganisms, like Salmonella and Campylobacter, can multiply very rapidly in chicken that is no longer fresh. These can cause food poisoning if they are ingested in sufficient quantities.
You don’t need to eat much for it to make you sick. One small chicken leg will cause enough of a gastrointestinal upset to make you feel pretty grim.
If you eat a whole meal of fried chicken that is off, within a few hours you will probably start to feel nauseous and may begin vomiting. You could also have severe stomach cramps, accompanied by an unpleasant bout of diarrhea.
What Should You Do If You Have Eaten Fried Chicken That Was Off?
If you neglected to check how long fried chicken is good for in the fridge, and you have inadvertently eaten some that are off, you should try to keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
You may need to take an over-the-counter anti-spasmodic medication to help with the cramps. If symptoms persist and you are vomiting copiously, I always recommend seeking medical advice.
If you do have leftover fried chicken, and you aren’t sure if it’s still okay, you should follow this guide for how long fried chicken is good for in the fridge.
Italians really have a way with food. Most people would agree that, when it comes to food, Italians are original and creative. Who else could have come up with something like Guanciale? This Italian cold cut is truly in a class of its own, but many people have managed to find a Guanciale substitute.
Guanciale (if you are struggling to pronounce this word, say the words “Go on Charlie” VERY quickly and you’ve got this) is an Italian delicacy made from pork jowls or cheeks. The name comes from the Italian word for cheek, ‘guancia’.
Guanciale is a cured meat with a unique flavor that is much stronger than any other meat products made from pork. It has a delicate, smooth texture, and the finished product has very little fat.
Because of the special cut of meat used to make Giancale, the fat content is highly soluble, and most of it melts off during the cooking process. This is what gives the meat its lovely smooth texture.
How Is Guanciale Made?
The most difficult part of making Guanciale is finding the perfect piece of meat. Genuine Guanciale is made from the piece of muscle lining the inside of the pig’s cheek. This muscle is so tasty because it is very pliable. Therefore it is super soft.
The meat needs a good spice rub, made up of spices like ground black pepper, sage, thyme, rosemary, and garlic. After the spice rub has been massaged thoroughly into the pork jowl, the meat then has to be left for anything from 3-12 weeks to cure.
Curing the meat for a long time enhances and strengthens the unique flavor of the Guanciale.
The curing has to be done in an environment where you are able to control the humidity levels, as the meat needs to lose about 25-30% of its weight through moisture loss. But this has to be done very gradually. Therefore it is best done in a special curing chamber.
As you can see, making genuine Guanciale can be a complicated and tricky process. As a result, authentic Guanciale can be difficult to come by. That is why many people look for a Guanciale substitute.
How Is Guanciale Meant To Be Eaten?
For many years, genuine Guanciale could not be eaten in the USA. It was banned by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) because it was made from a prohibited cut of meat.
After an outbreak of swine flu in the 1970s, Guanciale, together with numerous other cured meats imported from Italy, was prohibited. It was around this time that creative chefs started to come up with Guanciale substitutes.
Now that the ban has been lifted and Guanciale is again permitted, it has regained its popularity.
Some people like to eat Guanciale on its own, cut up into small pieces, but it is primarily used as an ingredient in many Italian dishes, like spaghetti carbonara. It is also used to add a special flavor to certain sauces, like Amatriciana sauce.
The cut of meat used for Guanciale, from the pork jowl, has a completely different flavor, because of the fat in this piece. The flavor is quite intense, so one only needs to use a small quantity of meat in these dishes in order to give them that special taste.
Guanciale is often used as an interesting addition to certain vegetable dishes. Sautéed vegetables are quite delicious with a few pieces of Guanciale added for extra flavor and protein.
Guanciale substitutes are a cheaper and easier way to enjoy this delicacy, and there are numerous options available that will work well. You could possibly not even be able to tell the difference.
At the end of this article, I will share one of my special recipes with you, in which I have used one of the more readily available substitutes for Guanciale. You will be surprised at how easy this is to prepare, and how utterly yummy it is to eat. You might never bother with finding genuine Guanciale again.
If you are looking for a good Guanciale substitute, you could try any of the following.
Pancetta is a well-known Guanciale substitute, readily available in America. It is a type of salami made from pork belly. It is salted, spiced, and cured in much the same way as real Guanciale, but it has a slightly different flavor and texture.
Pancetta is often used to add flavor and substance to sauces and soups. It is highly versatile and is often added to dishes to make them more interesting and tasty. It will enhance the flavor of a sauce in a similar way to Guanciale.
Bacon is often used as a Guanciale substitute, because, like Guanciale, it is also meat derived from pork, and is also cured. However, one major difference between bacon and Guanciale is that bacon is smoked.
Because it has been smoked, bacon has a stronger flavor than Guanciale. Like Guanciale, bacon can be used to add flavor to sauces, soups, and stews and of course, it can be eaten plain, or as an accompaniment to many other dishes. After all, don’t most of us love sitting down to a breakfast of iconic bacon and eggs?
Prosciutto can be used as a Guanciale substitute in most recipes. Prosciutto is also made from pork meat, but, unlike Guanciale, it comes from the hind leg of the pig. This cut has different fat content to the meat from the jowl that is traditionally used for Guanciale. The ratio of fat to meat affects the flavor and texture of the meat.
Prosciutto is also salted, spiced, and cured for a few weeks and left to dry out gradually in a cool place. If your recipe calls for Guanciale, and you cannot get any, you could use Prosciutto and it would have a similar flavor. But be aware that the texture will not be as smooth and creamy.
Speck is also Italian specialty meat and comes from a region in Italy where the meat is usually only lightly smoked and then dry-cured.
Although speck is made from the same cut as prosciutto, it has a slightly lower fat content, with a higher ratio of meat to fat. As a result, the flavor is not quite as strong, however, it also makes a fairly good guanciale substitute.
When added to pastas, sauces, soups, and stews speck will give an interesting twist to the flavor and will taste wonderful.
Using A Guanciale Substitute In Recipes
Any accomplished chef will tell you that no matter how talented a cook you may be, your skills are worthless without the right ingredients.
Select your fresh produce carefully, to ensure that you use only the best tomatoes. If a recipe calls for a particular type of cheese, source the best quality of that cheese that you can lay your hands on. Wine? Don’t use cheap plonk.
Quality ingredients will yield a quality dish that everyone will enjoy and rave about. Inferior ingredients will produce nothing more than a mediocre result.
So does this mean that you should never substitute ingredients in a recipe? Of course not. But when substituting, take care to obtain the best possible quality of the substituted ingredient. In this way, your dish will remain almost true to the original.
As promised, here is my favorite recipe using a Guanciale substitute.
The town of Amatrice is a little-known place in the mountainous regions of Lazio in Italy. It was here that this delicious sauce was first created. Truth be told, it is intended to be made with Guanciale, but I have experimented and played around with a few recipes, and I found that it works just as well with pancetta or prosciutto.
3½ ounces pancetta or prosciutto cut up into small pieces
2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
1 pound ripe fresh tomatoes, chopped, or a can of Italian tomatoes
1 chopped red onion
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound good quality spaghetti
3 ½ ounces strong pecorino cheese, grated
Put the oil in a pan and gently brown the onion.
Add the pieces of meat and continue to sauté over medium heat, until the meat is lightly browned and slightly crispy around the edges.
Add the tomatoes and spices.
Continue stirring gently until heated through.
Simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken.
Take off the stove and set it aside.
Cook the spaghetti until it reaches the al dente stage.
Drain the spaghetti well and place in a serving bowl.
Toss with the grated Pecorino, reserving a little to sprinkle on top.
Pour the sauce over and sprinkle the remaining Pecorino on top.
Serve immediately, while still piping hot.
This dish is so delectable that, when made like this, you wouldn’t even know that this Amatriciana sauce was made using a Guanciale substitute.