Over the years I’ve noticed that we almost never follow recipes exactly. For example, one of our Mexican recipes calls for black beans cooked until done, the cooking liquid, and green bell pepper. I always substitute those ingredients with canned beans (ease), chicken stock (necessity), and red bell pepper (preference). And the cornbread that I make to go with it may contain low-fat milk, whole milk, soy milk, or buttermilk, depending on what’s handy. I hear that yogurt can also be used in place of milk, so you can bet that I’ll try that someday.
My favorite food substitution of all time is black cardamom pods in place of ham flavored concentrate in a recipe for Rice With Chick Peas and Chorizo. The cardamom is much better, though not exactly a typical ingredient for that dish.
What’s your favorite food substitution?