How to rescue a cooking disaster

Dishes of cooked food on top of a kitchen work surface and oven hob | Howto rescue a cooking disaster | Tesco Living

Had a cooking disaster? Don't bin it – we’ve got some quick-fix secrets to save your meal.

Too much salt

Try adding a splash of cream or sprinkling in some sugar to neutralise it. For tomato-based dishes, brown sugar will make it less salty.

Too much spice

Gone overboard with the chilli? Fear not. Add some plain yogurt or milk and the heat won’t be half as bad. A squeeze of lemon or lime juice is another quick way to neutralise the spice.

Burnt food

Salvage burnt food with a squeeze of lemon. The lemon helps mask the taste, just be sure to squeeze a bit at a time and taste in-between to avoid the dish becoming sour.

Bitter acidic taste

Added too much vinegar in your salad dressing? Neutralise the taste with a small sprinkling of bicarbonate of soda. This also works with anything that is citrusy or acidic.

Hard butter

If you need soft butter but have left yours in the fridge for too long, try grating it before zapping it in the microwave. Or, cut the butter into cubes and let it sit in a bowl of lukewarm water for a few minutes. It’ll be perfectly soft when you take it out.

Butter being grated | Food preparation tips | Tesco Living

Over-reduced sauce

Water will only dilute the flavour. Instead, use stock, cream or wine to loosen up the sauce and to keep it full of flavour.

Overcooked vegetables

Plunge overcooked veg into cold water to help restore some of their former texture. If they’re too far gone, blend them with herbs, stock, cream and seasoning to create a delicious soup.

Overcooked pasta

Sauté limp or gooey pasta over a medium heat in a pan with butter or olive oil for five or six minutes; this process can help to make it more firm and with bite. A thick sauce with crunchy vegetables like courgettes or carrots also helps to disguise soft pasta.

Lumpy gravy

There are loads of ways to de-lump your gravy: whisk until the lumps break down, strain through a fine sieve, add more thickening agent (flour or cornflour mixed with water) or blitz it in a blender or food processor.

Limp leaves

Limp leaves are a sign that they need rehydrating. Simply place them in a cold-water bath for half an hour to help make them crisp again. The same method works for leafy vegetables and herbs.

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