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We all have these moments when things don't go according to plan. Don't panic - here are some useful suggestions on how to overcome some of the most common.
If gravy or sauce begins to separate during cooking i.e. fat and solids; very carefully add a little water and it will emulsifier again.
If you have added too much curry then try adding a little honey.
If you burn sauce or gravy, pour it into a clean pan, add some sugar to it a little at a time to avoid the final result becoming too sweet - it takes the burnt flavour away.
Our thanks to David Palmer for this gem
Not sure if you can contact David Palmer or add a note to this page but the tip on rescuing burnt food was a lifesaver; having used it for some burnt curry that I had cooked in very large quantity. Fantastic. Thanks, Sue McArthur
If fudge refuses to set because there is too much moisture in it, put it back in the cooking pan, add a little of the liquid you were using (milk etc.) and simmer. As long as you can see large bubbles, keep simmering. When the bubbles reduce in size until they almost non existent the fudge will be ready to set.
This is another tip from Michael Paterson who explains he discovered this one day when he ruined some fudge. He remembered in Chinese cooking the size of the oil bubbles are important for knowing when something you are deep frying has finally lost all its water and is about to start browning - he applied the same principle to the fudge and it worked.
Our gratitude to Michael.
Sauce or gravy lumpy - just pass through a sieve and you have a smooth sauce.
Thank you Patricia Pagliara.
Sometimes adding a knob of butter helps as well.
Every cook should own one of the hand held electric choppers that have been available for years. We have named ours the "Gravy Saver." It will completely dissolve flour lumps as well as diminish meat chunks that were stuck to the bottom of the roaster. Make sure the "Gravy Saver" is submerged, though, or it will spatter the kitchen. I always tip the pan to assure enough depth to the liquid. The fail-safe way to make gravy is to prepare the roux first, but that's one too many steps for me.
Mike M. Peterson
TOO MUCH SALT!
These remedies also work well on stews, soups and curries.
Chatted too long on the telephone and your supper is burnt to the bottom of the pan - don't panic.
Don't stir the food as this will mix any burnt pieces into the rest of the food and contaminate it all. Plunge the bottom of the pan into cold water to cool it down and prevent further cooking. Carefully remove as much of the unburnt food as you can and put into a clean pan, being very careful not to include any burnt bits, add a little more liquid continue cooking. If it still tastes burnt the addition of something like Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree, spice or herbs, usually disguises it.
If you burn a pot of rice, place a slice of white or "light" bread on the top of the rice. Let it sit for a few minutes (5-10). The burnt taste will be gone but be sure not to scrape the bottom of the pan!
Sarah A. Brewer from Augusta, Georgia kindly sent in this little gem which she learned from her Mother!.
YES, BUT NOW WHAT DO I DO ABOUT THE PAN?????
Thanks Rusty and Rosie.
Mary McMillan Sloan
Shirley Darby - USA
Contributed by Howard Clapsaddle
Thanks to Susan Gunn for this gem
A WORD OF WARNING FROM MIKE MITCHELL - NEVER USE WASHING SODA ON ALUMINIUM PANS AS IT IS CORROSIVE AND IF LEFT TOO LONG CAN DESTROY PANS.
Courtesy of Charlotte Gean - thanks.
Both the above have been contributed by Janet Bowen, thanks
Forgot to turn off the coffee pot and burnt it to the bottom of the pot? Don't ruin the carafe by scrubbing with harsh abrasives, add a few teaspoons of salt and some crushed ice. Let it sit for a minute, then swirl the mixture for a minute. Most of the burnt beverage should come off, the rest will be loosened so that it will wipe out fairly easily.
Brew more coffee (use another pot otherwise it will oddly enough taste burnt). Brew enough so that you can enjoy a cup yourself with enough left over to pour into the burnt pot and cover the burnt remains. After you have finished your cup of coffee, the burned on coffee will have dissolved. Swirl the liquid around, pour it out and rinse.
We have all experienced mishaps in the kitchen and, over the years have found ingenious ways to retrieve the situation. Please don't keep it from us, we would love to hear from you with any useful tips on how to get out of trouble in the kitchen. Or anything else for that matter - contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org., we look forward to hearing from you.
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