Solv­ing prob­lems in the kitchen

HOW TO FIX (OR PRE­VENT) SLIP-UPS

YOU Winning Recipes - - CONTENTS -

We’ve all ex­pe­ri­enced the odd er­ror or mishap in the kitchen and the YOU test kitchen is no ex­cep­tion. But there’s no need to panic, we’ve found there are quick and easy ways to fix or pre­vent most cook­ing prob­lems. Here are so­lu­tions to a few com­mon is­sues:

YOU’VE ADDED TOO MUCH SALT TO YOUR FOOD

So­lu­tion If it’s a stew, add pota­toes or chopped car­rots to ab­sorb some of the salt. You could also add a can of chopped toma­toes. For other dishes, such as a quiche, try adding lemon juice to bal­ance the salty taste.

STEW STUCK TO THE BOT­TOM OF THE POT

So­lu­tion Do not stir. Care­fully re­move the stew from the pot with­out scrap­ing the bot­tom. Trans­fer to an­other pot and carry on cook­ing.

DULL, COLOUR­LESS GREEN VEG­ETA­BLES

So­lu­tion Don’t boil green veg­eta­bles in wa­ter. Rather blanch quickly in boil­ing wa­ter then re­fresh im­me­di­ately in ice wa­ter so it’s cooked but still firm and keeps its colour. And don’t cover the pot if you’re adding green veg­eta­bles to a stew (this will cre­ate steam which will cause the veg­gies to over­cook). Acid­ity, such as lemon juice or vine­gar, in a meal also makes green veg­eta­bles dull.

HOME-MADE MAY­ON­NAISE THAT SEP­A­RATES

So­lu­tion Beat an egg yolk and add slowly or beat a lit­tle of the sep­a­rated may­on­naise with 5 ml (1 t) wa­ter and grad­u­ally add the re­main­ing mayo while beat­ing. Add a lit­tle more wa­ter if nec­es­sary.

YO­GHURT THAT CUR­DLES WHEN HEATED

So­lu­tion Dis­solve 5 ml (1 t) Maizena in a lit­tle wa­ter and stir into the yo­ghurt. Heat un­til it thick­ens.

PASTA THAT STICKS TO­GETHER

So­lu­tion Place the pasta in a colan­der, pour over boil­ing wa­ter and rinse im­me­di­ately with cold wa­ter. Serve im­me­di­ately.

MEAT THAT’S BROWN ON THE OUT­SIDE BUT RAW INSIDE

So­lu­tion Sim­ply place the meat in a very hot oven so it can cook for longer (beef fil­let for about 10 min­utes and chops 5 min­utes).

OVER­COOKED VEG­ETA­BLES

So­lu­tion No need to throw out the veg­gies, sim­ply pulp with or with­out a small knob of but­ter to make a purée and serve with the meal.

LUMPY SAUCE

So­lu­tion Put the sauce through a sieve or process in a food pro­ces­sor un­til smooth.

RED MEAT THAT DOESN’T SMELL COM­PLETELY FRESH

So­lu­tion If it doesn’t smell com­pletely fresh but has not gone bad rinse the meat with vine­gar wa­ter to get rid of the odour and dry with kitchen pa­per be­fore cook­ing.

OILY FOOD

So­lu­tion Pre­vent this prob­lem by pre­heat­ing the pan be­fore adding a lit­tle oil – this way you’ll need a lot less oil as the food, es­pe­cially meat, brin­jals and mush­rooms, will seal first then cook and not ab­sorb as much oil. Pre­heat­ing the pan also helps pre­vent food from stick­ing to the pan.

BUT­TER IC­ING THAT’S TOO STIFF

So­lu­tion If it’s too stiff add a spoon­ful of boil­ing wa­ter and beat. The longer you beat but­ter ic­ing, the fluffier and lighter it will be­come. To ap­ply ic­ing smoothly to a cake, dip your spat­ula in a lit­tle wa­ter.

LUMPY MASHED POTA­TOES

So­lu­tion Get silky smooth mashed pota­toes by beat­ing with a whisk.

OVER­COOKED MEAT

So­lu­tion Flake the meat with two forks and mix with a sauce. Serve on mashed pota­toes, rice or spread on piz­zas. You can also use as a fill­ing for sand­wiches or tor­tillas.

CHOCO­LATE GANACHE THAT SEP­A­RATES

So­lu­tion Add a lit­tle boil­ing wa­ter or hot milk and beat rapidly un­til well mixed.

A CAKE THAT’S FORMED A DOME

So­lu­tion If the cake has risen too high and formed a dome, push it down or cut it flat and turn over to the level side be­fore ic­ing. It’s best to turn cakes over be­fore ic­ing as it’s eas­ier to work with a flat sur­face.

A CAKE THAT HAS COL­LAPSED IN THE MID­DLE

So­lu­tion Cut out the mid­dle part and spoon in a fill­ing such as cream cheese. Or fill with sweets – a great sur­prise for the kids. Cover the cake with ic­ing.

CAKE CRUMBS IN THE IC­ING

So­lu­tion Place the cake in the fridge or freezer to set be­fore ic­ing to pre­vent crumbs get­ting into the ic­ing.

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