You worked for hours and maybe even days to create the perfect meal, and then... something went awry!
Before locking yourself in the bathroom and hiding, you CAN fix kitchen disasters. Just breathe and all will be well.
Too MUCH of something?
This is a common problem. You know you tasted the dish at least a million times and it was fine, and somehow the salt level went through the roof.
Great food is all about balance. The play between sweet, salty, spicy, sour, bitter and savory (umami) is what separates a great recipe from a so-so one. When things go awry in the kitchen, cool heads prevail. In most cases you CAN fix it.
Add more water and then maybe more solids to even out the flavoring...pieces of bread and potatoes don't work! Bubbe Meise! For soup, add water or unsalted stock and for solid foods like potatoes or veggies, add more solids.
Try adding acid or even a dash of fat. Sometimes a squeeze of lemon or drizzle of good evoo will even out a dish.
Add a bit of water or solids. If it is still too spicy, add some sugar and acid to balance out the heat.
More cooking mistakes you can still fix:
Sunken cake or cake stuck in pan?
Next time, line you pan with parchment! This time, scoop the cake into dessert glasses and garnish with berries, dried fruit and sabayon. Parfaits anyone?!
Sigh….people have a lot of trouble cooking grains. Add chopped veggies, nuts and fresh herbs to break up the texture. Or, turn it into quinoa cakes with eggs and matzo meal as a binder. Crisp up the cakes in a pan with some evoo and smile bravely.
Burnt or dry chicken or meat?
EEK! This too can be patched up. Saute some mushrooms and onions (lots of moisture in these items) and add them as a garnish.
Chop up the dry offending item and add veggies and turn it into hash. Stuff the dry bird and/or meat into peppers and serve. Relax, you got this!
Greasy Soup or Sauce?
Allow the liquid to stand at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Ladle off the floating grease and add a bit more liquid to make up volume. This is a common problem when reducing pan braising liquid from short ribs or veal.
Meringue problems? Read our Meringue 101 - Understanding the Whites
Have any last minute mistakes you want to fix? Let us know in the comments below and we will do our best to help you out.