Mess up a dish? Too salty? Burnt? Do not know what to do with cheap meats? Here are 8 essential simple food fixes to help you out.
1. There’s nothing more frustrating than over-salting a soup or stew you’ve spent countless hours and countless dollars in ingredients, making. Try adding wedges of raw potato or apple to absorb the salt. Simmer for 10 minutes or so, then remove the wedges. If your soup is still salty, sprinkle in a spoonful of sugar. If that doesn’t work, a dash of apple-cider vinegar may do the trick. Finally, try diluting with water or low-sodium broth.
2. And don’t despair about soup that’s too fatty. It can be fixed. If you have time, put the pot of soup in the refrigerator. Wait 30 minutes and then skim the grease from the top and reheat. If you’re short on time, add a few ice cubes and remove them as soon as you see grease sticking to them. Or try tossing a large lettuce leaf into the pot to absorb any extra oil. Discard the leaf once it looks limp.
3. In a pinch, yogurt can be substituted for cream in recipes that don’t require cooking. But yogurt can curdle when cooked, in which case, it’s best to stick with whole milk or half and half.
4. If you burn milk while heating it on the stove, add a pinch of salt to temper the scorched smell and taste.
5. Marinate inexpensive cuts of meat in at least one of the following: beer, vinegar, or citrus, papaya, tomato, or pineapple juices. These liquids contain enzymes or acids that will combat the meat’s toughness.
6. And if all else fails, tenderize the meat by gently scoring the surface with a pizza cutter. For better results, go against the grain of the meat.
7. If you burn gravy and don’t have enough time, or pan drippings, to start from scratch, stir in a teaspoon of smooth peanut butter for each cup of gravy. This should eliminate any burned taste.
8. Minimize waste and mess when cutting corn from the cob by mounting the cob in the hollow center of a bundt cake pan, where it will be secure. When you run a knife down the cob, kernels will collect in the pan.