For some people, cooking is a labor of love that is an enjoyable way to pass the time. For others, it is a necessary way to provide hot meals for your family without spending a fortune on expensive restaurants. Whether you cook for pleasure or out of necessity, encountering problems in the kitchen is not ideal. While there are a number of common mistakes that home chefs make, there are also some simple solutions for each. Here are tips for fixing five basic cooking mistakes.
One of the most common mistakes when cooking pasta is cooking it for too long and ending up with mushy noodles. Rather than throwing the batch out and starting over, a quick fix is to drain the pasta and then saute it for a minute or two in a pan with olive oil. It will stiffen up the noodles slightly, and then you can use them as you intended initially.
Dishes are Too Sweet or Too Salty
Whether you were closely following a recipe or you measured out too much sweetener or salt, your finished dish could end up tasting bad. If you have a salty soup, you can try adding in some unsalted chicken broth or water to dilute it, and you can also add small amounts of vinegar or even sugar to even out the flavors of your dish. If a dessert is too sweet, the acidity of fresh lemon juice can often be just what you need to bring the flavor back to the right level.
Burned or Crispy Cookies
Baking cookies and having them turn out hard and crispy rather than soft and chewy can be disappointing. However, there is an easy way to fix them for the next day. Simply place all of the hard cookies in a plastic container along with a normal slice of bread, which will create moisture in the container and soften the cookies. They should be soft and ready to eat by the next day. For a faster fix, try popping the cookies in the microwave for just a few seconds to make them a little softer.
Your Meat is Dry
Unless you use a meat thermometer and carefully watch your meats roasting in the over, it is easy to cook them for too long and end up with dry meat. Thankfully, this can be rescued in less than 20 minutes and still get to your dinner table. Slice the meat, heat a mix of the meat dripping and some stock and then combine the two in a shallow roasting pan in the oven. Just five minutes of low heat should rehydrate dry meat.
Soup is Scorched on the Bottom
If you stop stirring soup for a while, the bottom can burn. As soon as you notice, stop stirring and turn off the heat. You can save most of the soup by pouring the liquid at the top into a new pot and then getting rid of the scorched bits on the bottom.
These quick and simple tips can help you fix some of the most common cooking mistakes made in the kitchen.