Welcome to my kitchen...

Welcome to my kitchen...
There is no love sincerer than the love of food. ~George Bernard Shaw

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Fixing Cooking Errors

We have all had our share of kitchen disasters. Here are some quick and easy tips to fix some of the common errors we make while cooking...

Too Salty
You can try neutralizing the salt by adding sugar and cider vinegar. Add 1 teaspoon, each, at a time until you have reduced the level of saltiness.  Another method that has been around for a long time is the potato method.  If making a soup and it is too salty, add 1 peeled potato, cut into large chunks.  Allow the soup to simmer for 15 minutes then remove the potato.  It will absorb some of the excess salt.  I find this method only to work if the soup in question is just slightly over salted.  The final, and most effective, way to reduce saltiness is to add more of all the other ingredients to dilute it.  At least you are guaranteed leftovers!

Too Spicy
Try adding a can of crushed pineapple to your chili.  It will virtually disappear, leaving very little traces of itself while helping to counteract the heat.  Give that super spicy salsa a few squirts of lime juice to help tame it, or, if appropriate add some dairy, in the form of sour cream or yogurt into a spicy sauce.  At the table, offer sour cream and cheese to help counteract the heat or offer chopped cilantro which also seems to have a cooling effect on the mouth.  Also remember that milk or dairy based drinks are the best way to cool a burning mouth.  Highly sweetened, non carbonated drinks are second best.  Stay away from water as all it does is spread the heat around in your mouth while doing very little to counteract it.

Miscellaneous other kitchen fixes
-Melted Chocolate becomes hard and grainy (seized) - Try adding a teaspoon of shortening or oil per ounce of chocolate.  Doesn't always work but worth a try before throwing it away.
-Runny (or Soggy) Mashed Potatoes-  Try adding a few dehydrated potato flakes to the your runny mashed potatoes (yes even potato flakes have a use or 2) or try adding some powered dry milk
-Gummy Mashed Potatoes-  Unfortunately there is no fix for overworked, gummy mashed potatoes, but don't throw them away!!!  Cool them down, add some minced onion, a couple of egg yolks and some seasoning, form into patties, pan fry and you have some wonderful Potato cakes.
-Hard to peel Hard boiled eggs-  Crack the eggs and place in a bowl of cool water for 5 minutes.  The water will seep into the cracks and help loosen the shell from the egg.
-Slightly stale Bread-  You can breathe new life into day old bread by lightly sprinkling it with water, wrapping it in foil and baking it in a 300 degree oven until warm.


praveen said...

good tips payal, you are giving ideas like expert chef. thanks, your mom

veena said...

nice tips.

Alia Dalwai said...

Hi Payal,

I am your new follower.
I loved this post. Very good tips, I must say.

Do visit my blog too and follow it if you like.


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