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Old 02-13-2013, 09:13 AM   #1
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Pushing through...one page/recipe at a time

So I decided to get a healthy cookbook and randomly cook my way through it... found one of my favorite people, got his book, set my mind to it... now I am in over my head haha

So last night for dinner I made fish cakes with anchovy dressing... it actually turned out much better than it sounded. I had to make a small substitution because it alls for two types of fish and they only had one... so i just doubled the one... and one of the spices I have never heard of they only had dry not freash so i still went with it...

but i had a question, what do you guys do when you find a recipe that calls for something you have never heard of. I live in a smaller town and I called the butcher yesterday to ask about poussin... cause I had never heard of it, and neither had he... with a google search I learned what it was, but i'll never be able to get that around here. I will probably just use quail or chicken... but is that cheating?

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Old 02-13-2013, 09:31 AM   #2
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I don't think it is cheating at all. I use what I can get. Recipes that call for things like free range chicken, organic produce, expensive extra virgin olive oil, can all be made with regular stuff that is available to us regular folks. Sure, it would be nice to have access and the finances to buy this high quality stuff on a regular basis but it is not at all practical. I substitute and disregard ingredients all of the time. You will get to know what you like and what you think is important to a recipe. And you will also accumulate ingredients and sources for them as you journey through your culinary adventures.

If you really want poussin, you can search it out some day and try your recipe, but in the meantime ya still got to eat.....
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:55 AM   #3
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I google it to find out what it is, then look for substitutes if I can't get it in my grocery store

The one thing to remember....recipes are just a roadmap. You can turn off at any point to do your own thing.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:56 AM   #4
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Poussin is just a fancy word for baby chicken. Usually less than 28 days old.

Sometimes the fancy ingredients are not so fancy afterall lol!

Good luck :)
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:00 AM   #5
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Interesting challenge. You can order on line for some things, such as special spices. You could find a supplier and order the poussin on dry ice like they do with Omaha Steaks. Or ask your meat man to special order.

I save up a list until it is worthwhile to shop in a specialty store, such as an Asian market. You could do the same until you visit a larger city near you. I especially like to buy herbs/ spices at a bulk food store rather than bottles at the grocers or even Penzeys on line. Much greater savings, and I can buy just how much is worthwhile having on hand. How often does one use Fenugreek anyway. Well, maybe some people do.

Substitute. Like you may do with quail for poussin, A quick look says cornish game hens may be used too. Quail seems like a leaner meat, which may be true-er for a young / smaller size bird. Ask a local farmer who grows chickens to sell you a younger size bird.

Substitute. Some things do work almost as well. Lime zest / juice for lime leaves. Lime for lemon and vice versa, Fresh ginger for golangal. Not quite the same, almost. Some chiles-- spices or sauces. I probably alter the dish more than I know. I can't keep Korean, Thai, Malay, Indian, Mexican, etc sauces on hand nor use them often enough in a dish. And that's just Chile sauces, Then there are how many different soy/shoyu light/ dark sauces. Pretty soon it could get out of control Since I don't frequent restaurants often either to know what I am missing or if it is a true enough to original, it works if I keep basic ones on hand. This is probably Not as good an answer since it sounds like you want to make more true to form recipes.

Somethings may not substitute well. Then it's time to decide is it worthwhile finding the ingredient and paying who knows how much VS will you use the item for more than one recipe vs the cost etc.

Plan ahead and grow your own. Easier said than done.

Search on line shopping. It's amazing what you can find on Amazon and elsewhere.

I am not going to offer choose a different recipe as this defeats the purpose why you want to make something special. Have fun too.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:03 AM   #6
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You could get by using a Cornish *Game* Hen, too. Even my little country store sells those.

If I am trying something new with ingredients I don't have on hand, I will make an effort to plan ahead if I really think I need the ingredient to make the dish. I have been holding off on making a paella recipe until I get some saffron because the recipe calls for it. It really depends on what the ingredient you are going to omit or substitute is.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:16 AM   #7
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I had been thinking about going through the whole book and making a list of all the things that are going to be hard to get... and then as i travel and do different things look for these things and ifI can get them that will tell me what I am cooking that week...
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:33 AM   #8
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Speaking for myself, I pretty much do what you are suggesting. I keep in mind the things I want to try and when I come across them, I grab them.

Personally, I think you are trying to do a difficult thing by adhering to any one particular cookbook all at once. That's a lot of shopping and searching. Some of these ingredients may be acquired easier and at less of a cost if you take your time and work the shopping into your regular routine. Just my 2 cents.

Your idea about keeping a list is good. I would keep it in my car so you have it all the time. Lists like this usually end up in a coat pocket or the laundry...
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:40 AM   #9
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If you have a smartphone, Evernote is perfect for things like this.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocklobster View Post
Speaking for myself, I pretty much do what you are suggesting. I keep in mind the things I want to try and when I come across them, I grab them.

Personally, I think you are trying to do a difficult thing by adhering to any one particular cookbook all at once. That's a lot of shopping and searching. Some of these ingredients may be acquired easier and at less of a cost if you take your time and work the shopping into your regular routine. Just my 2 cents.

Your idea about keeping a list is good. I would keep it in my car so you have it all the time. Lists like this usually end up in a coat pocket or the laundry...
True, but it's kind of cool, too. Like that Julie Julia movie.
Maybe he should start a blog and document everything
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