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Substituting Ingrdedients in Recipes


Seanchai
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OK, I will be the first to admit that I nearly always cook from recipes except for a handful of tried and true dishes. However, I know most "real" cooks scoff at recipes and cook in the "a little of this, a little of that" style and knowledge of technique. So. I have a recipe for Chicken Sauce Piquant from Donald Link's Real Cajun that I have made before and know is awesome. Among many other things, it calls for a small pobano chile, seeded and diced, that I just realized I forgot to purchase. So, trying to think like a real cook, I'm thinking that the qualities it would bring are mellow chile bite and maybe a little textural contrast with the rest of the red sauce. However, since the recipe also calls for diced celery, onion, garlic and tomatoes, I'm thinking not to worry about texture and just add a little subtle heat with ancho or allepo chile powder, maybe a teaspoon or 2.

Thoughts?

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However, since the recipe also calls for diced celery, onion, garlic and tomatoes, I'm thinking not to worry about texture and just add a little subtle heat with ancho or allepo chile powder, maybe a teaspoon or 2.

Thoughts?

The quick google search showed that ancho chile powder is the dried version of the fresh poblano pepper, so that would be your best bet, I guess.

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The allepo chile powder would be all wrong, it would bring a smokey cumin flavor with it. If the ancho is pure I would use it, otherwise if it is also a mix you are going to have a similar issue. If all you want is the heat, give it a pinch of cayenne or shot of hot sauce (neither would be out of place for a cajun dish).

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I should also add one more note on substituting, it sounds like the author is substituting the typical green bell pepper you find in the Cajun trinity with the poblano, leaving out one of these green peppers (whether the mild or hot) will also take away the grassy green flavor that they bring to the dish - to me that is no great loss, but it might be something you would miss.

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...leaving out one of these green peppers (whether the mild or hot) will also take away the grassy green flavor that they bring to the dish ...

I also vote for adding in something green - even a jalapeño - for the poblano. Anchos have a much deeper flavor than the unripe poblanos. You could even chop up a bit of green or other bell pepper and add in a pinch of cayenne for the heat.

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