Everybody has to learn how to cook at some stage of their lives, going through a lot of flopped dishes along the way. However, there are times when people commit the same mistakes in cooking again and again because they tend to intentionally overlook them. This is not good practice. One should learn how to correct these mistakes and rescue one’s dish from total disaster. Here a ten common cooking problems people usually commit.
Too much Salt
This is a very common cooking mistake. Your read the recipe wrong or got distracted and before your know it, your delicious casserole or stew is ruined by the overpowering taste of salt. To counter the taste, peel a few medium sized potatoes and add them whole to your pot, let them boil in the stew until you are happy with the taste and the saltiness has dissipated. Simply remove the potatoes from the dish and discard them, they absorb the salt and will not be palatable.
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Over Cooked Pasta
It is very easy to overcook your pasta. We have all had this happen to us at some stage and end up with a soggy mess. The only way to remedy this is to drain the pasta and rinse it. Let it stand while you heat up a pan with some olive oil in it. Make sure the oil is hot and fry the pasta. Watch it very closely as it only take a few seconds to firm up.
When cooking your vegetables, keep a close eye on their color. It should remain bright and not dull. If you realize you have overcooked them and they are way too soft, simply drain and soak them in an ice bath, the cold water will stop the cooking process. Next, place them in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle cheese over them. Broil in the oven until the cheese goes crispy and your vegetables are saved.
While there are certain kinds of rice meant to be sticky, more often than not, we are just cooking ordinary long grain white rice to eat with dinner. When you suddenly see that the rice is a sticky mess, you need an easy method to fix it. What you can do is rinse the rice under cold water until it separates and all the starchiness has gone. Now re-heat quickly and serve.
Too Much Spice
The addition of too much hot spice to any dish can spell disaster for those who are unable to tolerate a very hot and spicy meal. If this has happened to your dish, add sweetness in the form of brown sugar, dried fruit or even jam. Do this in small increments until you are happy with the taste. For creamier dishes, simply add a sour flavor in the form of plain yogurt, cream cheese or sour cream.
In making a gravy, you usually remove the cooked meat and drain the juices into a small pot, let the juices cool right down. Once done, one of these two things will happen: you will either have an oily layer floating on top of the liquid, which you can drain off with a spoon, or you will see solid lumps of fat floating on top, which you only have to scoop out. Now you have the perfect base for your gravy.
Lumpy Béchamel Sauce (white roux)
When making your Béchamel or white sauce for the lasagna, make sure that you melt the butter completely before adding the starch. Ensure this is done on a very low heat. Remove the pot from the heat source and stir the mixture to form a dense yellow paste. Return to the heat and add your milk. Now stir constantly with a whisk but never with a wooden spoon. The whisk ensure a smooth lump-free roux. Use this method for making custard as well always stir with a whisk.
Charred But Raw
Regardless of your taste in meat, a charred on the outside steak that is completely raw on the inside is simply not edible. If this has happened to your steaks, leave them in the skillet and place in a medium oven on bake setting. Now bake until cooked enough on the inside. Watch the steaks carefully so that they do not dry out.
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For soup that has caught on the bottom and has a burnt taste, simply add two grated large potatoes into it and cook until soft. You will not be able to taste the burnt flavor.
So you have cooked your beef casserole for hours and the cubes of beef are chewy. To remedy this, add a teaspoon of baking soda and let the casserole simmer until the beef is tenderized. Baking soda breaks down the fibers of the meat.