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Old 06-05-2005, 12:42 PM   #1
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Question Parmesan Cheese

Can parmesan cheese be substituted by ordinary cheese?




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Old 06-05-2005, 12:45 PM   #2
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I would guess no, but it really depends on how much of a component the parmesean cheese is in a recipe. If its small enough you could even leave it out alltogether without noticing a huge flavor difference.

BUT, parmesean cheese is very different from regular chedder cheese. It is much dryer and has a very different flavor.
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Old 06-05-2005, 12:49 PM   #3
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First off, Welcome to DiscussCooking, Mary! It's so nice to have you on board!
As for your question, it depends on your recipe.
If it calls for FRESH parmesan, you will get the true flavor and consistency, which is kind of hard to duplicate with another cheese. Possibly romano would be the only thing I'd use as a substitute. Softer, more ordinary cheese, like cheddar, jack, mozzerella, etc, are not even a close match.
If it calls for POWDERED (like the stuff in the green can) you can use a mixture of romano and fine bread crumbs. Unfortunately, that stuff is also really salty, so you may need to increase your salt in the recipe.

What is your recipe? Maybe we can help you with the substitutions.
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Old 06-05-2005, 12:55 PM   #4
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I wanna cook "carbonara." Carbonara it contains only 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.
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Old 06-05-2005, 01:14 PM   #5
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Here's the recipe I use:

Spaghetti Carbonara

4 Tbsp oil
1/2 lb. bacon, cut into small pieces
2 cloves minced fresh garlic
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 lb. spaghetti
3 beaten eggs
1/2 c. grated Romano cheese
1/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Add bacon, garlic, pepper and oregano. Cook, stirring as needed, until the garlic is golden and the bacon is on the crisp side. Remove from heat. While the sauce is cooking, boil the pasta according to package directions. Drain and put onto a heatproof platter. Gently stir in the eggs, then the bacon sauce and Romano cheese. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and place under the broiler for a few minutes or till cheese is melted but not browned.

(Ps - yes, the eggs do cook )
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Old 06-05-2005, 01:27 PM   #6
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um... how about "no" eggs added?
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Old 06-05-2005, 03:56 PM   #7
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I checked with other recipes I had, as well as a couple of online ones, and they all have egg. Most use the method I do, however, I found one where you "cook" the eggs with the bacon (or pancetta) and garlic for 3-4 minutes in a saucepan and then you stir it into the pasta. You can try it without the eggs, but perhaps add a little something, like possibly cream instead.
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Old 06-05-2005, 04:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary
Can parmesan cheese be substituted by ordinary cheese?
The only acceptible substitutes that you can use which would give a similar taste to parmesan would be:
  • Grana Padano (Cow's Milk Chese; cheaper alternative to Parmigiano-Reggiano)
  • Pecorino (Sheep's Milk Cheese; Most common and cheapest is Pecorino Romano)
Whatever you do, buy your cheese in block form and grate it yourself as you need it. Don't buy the pre-grated stuff or you won't get the same flavor.
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Old 06-05-2005, 04:22 PM   #9
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I always use to use the green canned stuff until someone at another site convinced me to try the fresh grated. Boy am I glad I did, I can sit there and nibble on the fresh parm just like regular cheese. :) What a wonderful nutty flavor.
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Old 06-06-2005, 05:45 AM   #10
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I'd suggest you not omit the parm in carbonara- it does add a lot of the taste. But the egg is totally optional, IMO. I've created several eggless carbonara dishes in the restaurants I've worked in, and all have turned out well. I feel the only things you really have to have are bacon, onions, cream & parm- anything else is optional to some degree. I do like garlic and roma tomatoes in mine. And I like bowtie pasta best.
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