Instructions: Breathes there the man, with soul so dead Who never to himself has said.....
Oops...I think I goofed.
(With apologies to Sir Walter Scott!)
You taste your elaborately prepared soup, only to find out its horribly salt.
the salmon youve selected as your main course is burning and stuck to the bottom of the pan. Whether youre a home cook or a professional chef, anyone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen has encountered a few near disasters that threaten to ruin a meal. While it is almost impossible to avoid these common "mistakes", the cook doesnt have to despair. Ive learned through my own personal trials and errors that most mishaps can be fixed by keeping a few ingredients on had, namely lemons, potatoes and fresh herbs.
ITS TOO SALTY. If you are making a sauce or a salad dressing and have added just a little bit too much salt, it can be balanced by adding some form of acid such as lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar, wine or tomatoes. For a stew, a soup, or a large amount of sauce, peel and quarter a potato (one baking potato or several smaller boiling potatoes), add it to the pot and simmer the mixture for 20 minutes or so. The potato will absorb some of the salt. Also, serving a salty dish with a bland accompaniment (unsalted pasta, rice or veg- etables) helps to counter the taste of the salt.
ITS TOO WATERY. (The flavor is not strong enough.) Usually this kind of problem can be solved by simmering the mixture until it is reduced and the flavor concentrated. To concentrate the liquid part of the mixture without over- cooking the solid part, strain out the solids and park it while boiling down the liquid. if there are vegetables in the mixture throw the whole thing into the blender so that pureed vegetables thick it. Or, add a shredded peeled potato, simmer the recipe for 20 minutes and then puree it. Of course, there are the traditional methods of using cornstarch, arrowroot or a roux to thicken a liquid. Or use instant mashed potatoes. These work fine as well, providing the dish being thickened already has enough flavor.
IT LOOKS DEAD ON THE PLATE. (Its not visually appealing.) This kind of situation happens when the meal was not planned well and you ended up with a scenario such as three white things on the plate (poached fish, white rice and glazed parsnips) or three brown things (bbq chicken, grilled carrots, and roasted potatoes), The simplest way to fix it is to put something very fresh-looking on the plate to dress it up. A few sprigs of a fresh herb (better yet, a flowering fresh herb) can brighten up the monochromatic plate.
OOOOOOOOOH, I BURNT IT. The question is: How burnt is it? If its a little burnt, try the old potato trick. Add a peeled quartered potato and let it simmer for a while. But if it is burnt beyond redemption, either pretend you meant to serve it smoked or...cut your losses and order out for pizza.
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