The Solution to Cooking Mishaps

The Solution to Cooking Mishaps

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Published by TOP4 Team

We all have cooking mishaps, no matter how experienced we are. But all need not be lost. When you’re armed with some home remedies and a little improvisation, the burnt roast can be rescued, salty potatoes and watery soup salvaged – even if guests are at the door.

You can’t prevent all misfortune in the kitchen. Luckily, many mishaps can be quickly remedied and others easily avoided.

Preventing Cooking Mishaps
- Milk won’t burn as easily if you rinse out the pan with cold water before heating it up.
- Add a little vegetable oil to the pan to prevent butter from browning.
- Beef stock will stay clear if you boil a clean eggshell with it.
- Boiled eggs won’t split their shells if you make a small hole with a pin at the rounded end before immersing them.
- Keep a roast from becoming tough by basting it regularly with its fat and juices.
- Prevent fried fish from sticking to the pan by dusting it with flour or putting a little salt into the frying oil.
- Fish holds together better during cooking if you pour a little lemon juice over it first and set the fish aside for a moment. The acid in the lemon juice cooks the flesh slightly, creating a thin seal.
- Prevent dishes from burning in the oven by covering them with foil.

Quick Help
- Add a dash of vinegar or salt to the pan of water if an egg bursts while you’re boiling it (the whites will thicken immediately).
- Wrap cracked eggs in aluminium foil before boiling.
- Add a dash of vinegar to the cooking liquid to make tough stewing meat tender.
- To prevent homemade mayonnaise from congealing, beat an egg yolk and a little salt until stiff, and then add the oil drop by drop.
- If mayonnaise begins to separate, add a tablespoon of warm water, or start again with one egg yolk and gradually add the curdled mixture.
- Put excessively firm semolina dumplings into cold water for 10 minutes. They’ll swell up more and become tender when boiled.
- If noodles stick together, strain them into a colander and set it over a pan of boiling water. The steam will separate them.
- If gelatine clumps together, warm it up carefully while stirring constantly, then add it to a warm mixture.
- When you take a cake out of the oven, place the tin on a warm, damp cloth for 10 seconds to ensure that it will come out of the pan more easily when you invert it onto a plate or wire rack.
- To remove the fat quickly from an over-fatty gravy, sauce or soup, skim the top of the liquid with a couple of lettuce leaves or pieces of paper towel. The fat will stick to them.

Too salty, spicy or bland
- In most cases, you can neutralise saltiness with a mixture of cider of wine vinegar and sugar in equal proportions.
- Thin oversalted soups or gravies with water, wine, milk or cream.
- Grate a potato into soups or stews to reduce excessive saltiness. This will add thickening as well.
- Add 1-2 raw egg whites to salty soups to congeal and soak up the salt. Then put the liquid through a strainer or simply skim off the egg white.
- Add a grated carrot or potato to overly spiced meat broth and bring to the boil.
- For a dish that’s too garlicky, add a sprig of parsley for 10 minutes or so.
- Rescue bland soups with a little sour cream or plain yogurt.

Too thick or thin
- Thicken gravies or soups that are too thin. Make a paste with 1 teaspoon of cornflour or potato flour mixed with water into a smooth paste, and then add it to the gravy or soup. Don’t pour it all in at once; add small amounts and stir until you have the right consistency. Bring to the boil and season as needed.
- Thin gravies that are too thick with water, wine, stock, milk or cream. Add seasoning if necessary.
- Pour lumpy gravy through a fine strainer to make it smooth again, or whisk it vigorously.

Burnt foods
- If potatoes boil dry and catch on the bottom of the pan, carefully remove all but the last unburnt layer, put them in a pot of fresh water to finish cooking, and then add a dash of salt.
- If you burn the top of the roast, cut off the burnt bits and roast the meat in a clean pan with more fresh fat.
- If a casserole burns, remove the top layer, sprinkle it with cheese or breadcrumbs and dabs of butter, and finish cooking it.

There’s a solution to every problem. Follow these tips and you’ll be saved from cooking mishaps.

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