While cooking many people experience occasional mix-ups! They might be small disasters or sometimes when an ingredient isn’t added or added twice accidentally. This by no means is a way of saying you’re a bad cook. Sometimes it’s a poorly written recipe, too many phone calls interrupting one’s concentration or family members in and out of the kitchen with a request or problem that takes your focus away from what you’re preparing.
That’s when you ask yourself these questions! Did I already salt this dish? Did the bread bake perfectly or is it over or under-cooked? My tomato sauce is too acidic; did I miss a step or ingredient? These and many other questions and thoughts can run through your mind if there are too many distractions, interruptions or when you are juggling too much and accidentally add more spice than you should have.
Well, you need not worry about that any longer. There are easy remedies that can fix most common kitchen disasters by using a simple fix. Try these out next time you think something is ruined and feel at ease when the mishap has a solution to reverse that cooking blooper quickly.
Cooking bloopers and solutions:
Alcohol – If you accidentally pour too much alcohol into the punch bowl or other mixed drinks just add a few cucumber slices into the bowl or pitcher to absorb the alcohol taste.
Baking powder – Sometimes baking powder doesn’t do its job because it is too old. To test it, just place a teaspoonful into a cup of hot water. If the baking powder bubbles then it is still fresh and good to bake with. If not it is time to replace the box before baking anything further.
Beans – When you get distracted and over cook beans then can be salvaged by adding a little vinegar or lemon juice to the pot. Sometimes after cooking them the proper time allotted they still seem quite tough. To fix this issue add a teaspoon of baking soda to the cooking water and salt the water lightly. Once the beans soften up you can add acidic ingredients into the beans but not until they are cooked through.
Bitter coffee – When coffee is overheated it has a very bitter taste and aftertaste to it. To eliminate that bitter taste add a very small pinch of salt to the coffee cup and your coffee will taste just fine. It is best to turn off the coffee pot after about 15 minutes to prevent this from happening in the future. The cooled coffee left in the pot can be micro-waved for a minute and a half and will taste fresh just like it did when it was perked or dripped earlier that morning.
Bread – When bread is overcooked poke a few holes in it with a skewer or knife while the bread is warm. Then lightly drizzle some fruit juice, milk or honey over the bread to soften it up. When bread is taken out of the oven and it is under-cooked just wrap it in aluminum foil and put it back into the oven for a few minutes until the bread is fully cooked.
Butter – Butter burns easily and when you can’t be on top of it while it browns or just happen to walk away at the wrong time remember when you are this busy and rushed to use ½ butter and ½ oil to create browned butter and it will prevent it from burning.
Corn – Sometimes corn isn’t as sweet as it should be. When blanching it in the pot, add a few teaspoons of sugar into the cooking water and the corn will be sweet when it is time to eat every time.
Dull looking rice – When rice loses its whiteness while cooking and seems dull add a little bit of lemon juice to the water.
Fat – When we cook soups, stews and gravies there is a lot of fat that collects in the pot when cooking it. If you drop a few ice cubes into the pot. The ice cubes will attract the fat and attaché to them but you have to move quickly to remove them before they melt. Another way is to place the ice cubes in paper towels and move them over the top of the pot of soup so that the fat will adhere to the towels and the towels and the fat can be tossed. The easiest way to remove the fat is to let the dish cool completely or wait until the next day after it has been refrigerated and all the fat will rise to the surface in a solid form and can easily be lifted off and thrown away so the soup or stew will be healthier to eat.
Garlic – When too much garlic is added to a dish just simmer some parsley sprigs in the soup or stew for 10 minutes then remove them. The potent garlic taste will be gone leaving just enough garlic flavor so no one will ever know too much was ever added.
Over spiced foods – When too much spice is added making the dish too hot to eat add a little salt to the pot. If you are already eating the food and it is unbearable and starting to burn your mouth have a little sugar, milk, eat a slice of white bread or some crackers to cool the burn.
Potatoes – To prevent potatoes from getting brown after slicing, place them in cold water after you slice each one. Then change the water before placing on the stove to cook. Another way is to cook them in milk in lieu of water to keep their white coloring.
Salt – There are many ways that excess salt can be removed from foods. If you are preparing fish a little vinegar will do the trick when added to the liquid it is cooked with. For tomato dishes just adding more tomatoes will cut the salt taste. For soups or stews just add a raw potato that is thinly sliced to the pot. Once those slices get a transparent look remove them along with the salty taste so the stew or soup will be salvaged and edible. Sometimes a pinch or two of brown sugar will cut the salt taste without making the soup or stew sweet.
Tomato sauce – Tomatoes are very acidic and adding a little table sugar can cut that taste. A pat or two of butter added to the pot of sauce will also act as an agent that will cut the acidy taste too.
Soggy vegetables – If your vegetables are overcooked remove them from the pot immediately. Drain them and run very cold water over them to revive them.
Wilting radishes – Should be kept in the refrigerator covered in water in an open container to prevent them from getting soft and mushy.
Whipped cream – Sometimes whipped cream separates at the worst times. To revive it, just add a tablespoon of cream and the whipped cream texture will improve and come back to life to save the day.
© 2013 Beverly Mucha / All Rights Reserved
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