Ground mustard can stand in for seed, but experiment...

ASK THE CHEF

May 26, 2002|By Jim Coleman and Candace Hagan | By Jim Coleman and Candace Hagan,Knight Ridder / Tribune

Ground mustard can stand in for seed, but experiment first

Q. I have a few questions that involve spice equivalents: namely, the spice in question is mustard seed and its equivalent to ground mustard. Can ground mustard be substituted reasonably for mustard seed? What would the equivalent be?

A. The answer is yes. I would experiment first, by using just a small amount of mustard powder (which is normally made with brown mustard seeds and can be quite strong). Make sure you blend the powder really well with the rest of the ingredients.

Q. I found a recipe for lobster bisque that looks fairly easy to prepare after you make the stock. The stock recipe calls for seven pounds of shells to make one gallon. I don't have any friends in the seafood business, so could you give me some suggestions for a suitable alternative?

A. Come on, I thought just about everybody had at least seven pounds of lobster shells stowed away in their freezer. You know, left over from that family reunion lobster dinner?

Seriously, if you can't find enough lobster, shrimp or crab shells (all of which can be used to make stock for lobster bisque), try looking in a gourmet store for something called lobster base. It is a thick paste that you dilute with water to make lobster stock. The sodium level in this product is quite high, so if you use lobster base, don't add salt to your recipe until the very end and not before you taste it.

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