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Thread: How to Rescue Those Kitchen Disasters

  1. Jen
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    How to Rescue Those Kitchen Disasters


    TOO MUCH SALT. If youíve added far too much salt to a sauce or soup, peel and cut a raw potato into two or three pieces and add it to the pot. By the time the pieces of potato become translucent they will have absorbed a lot of the excess salt. Be sure to throw them away before serving. Another trick is to add a bit more unsalted water to the mix, provided this will not also dilute the flavor.

    OVERCOOKED VEGETABLES. If youíve overcooked the broccoli, asparagus or similar vegetables donít despair. Just tweak your menu a bit to include a lovely creamed vegetable soup. Place the mushy vegetables in the food processor, add hot chicken broth or stock, spices and fresh cream. Process until smooth. Chopped vegetables could also be combined with chicken, butter and cornstarch (and a few other ingredientsóuse your favorite recipe) and placed in a prepared pie shell for a pot pie. If itís carrots or sweet potatoes you need to rescue, whip them together with raw eggs and pumpkin pie spices to create a soufflť.

    UNDERCOOKED CAKES. The first sign of a cake thatís not done is that sink hole in the middle. But once cooled you cannot re-bake it. But donít worry. You can break the cake into pieces (even those parts that are under cooked) and combine them with whipped cream and fresh fruit to make dessert parfaits or one large trifle.

    BURNT OR CREAM-BASED SOUP. Even the most seasoned chefs have been known to burn a custard or two. If you notice that the bottom layer of custard or cream has turned dark, stop stirring immediately. You donít want to incorporate any of the burned bottom into the unburnt portions. Pour the remaining custard, pudding or cream into a new pan, making sure you donít scrape up any of the part thatís scorched at the bottom, and keep cooking.

    OVERSPICED FOOD. If taking a taste of the chili, stew or soup sends you running for a glass of anything that will put out the fire, try adding more of every other ingredient except the spices. A raw potato might absorb some of the heat, but donít expect miracles. Adding hot water is also a technique that may bring down the temperature.

    THIN SAUCES. There are several techniques you can try to thicken the sauce. Work some flour into small amounts of butter. Bring the sauce to boil and drop them in one at a time, while stirring, until the sauce is your desired thickness. Cornstarch is usually a good thickener, provided you have mixed it with cold water first and add it to the boiling liquid a little at a time while stirring. Some cooks use dried potato flakes as an emergency thickener.

    ACIDIC FOODS. Sometimes a tomato-based sauce will become too acidic for guests. When dealing with an acid, the neutralizing agent should be a base. Try adding a teaspoon of baking soda at a time to the sauce to reduce acidity. Some cooks prefer to add sugar for the same reason. Sugar can also reduce the acidity of tomatoes used in salads.

    FORGET THE FOOD, RESCUE THE POT. Sometimes a burned-on mess cannot be saved. But the pot or pan can be. Try this: Add hot water and a capful or two of fabric softener. Allow the pan to sit undisturbed for a few hours. The fabric softener should loosen most of the burnt food and allow you to remove it with a spatula.
  2. No one loves their mother like her boys!
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    No one loves their mother like her boys!
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    Dec 2006
    Luke AFB,Arizona
    great tips thanks hon!
  3. Darkly Dreaming Dexter
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    Aug 2007
    Ooh - good post, lots of useful ideas

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