Handling disasters in the kitchen
When you encounter a disaster while preparing food, it is important NOT TO PANIC! This must be the golden rule. After all its only food and usually, there is something that can be done to rectify the situation. I have listed a series of common disasters that people possibly encounter in the kitchen during cooking with some ideas that could potentially help you to get over it. The way we cook and the equipment that is available in our kitchens has changed over the years, helping us to create different dishes and also handle (or avoid!) these kinds of kitchen disasters. I find this kitchen evolution fascinating, take a look at Consider The Fork to learn more.
- Burnt saucepans: while cooking if the ingredients stick to the bottom of the saucepan and burn, do not stir it! Remove from the pan from the heat immediately and taste the food. If it tastes burnt, throw it away, but if it tastes ok, then tip the contents into another pan, leaving the burnt bits in the first pan. Don’t be tempted to scrape around the pan to get it all of it out.
- Too much seasoning: if your seasoning becomes too salty, add some cubes of peeled potato and boil them in the liquid until soft which will take away some of the salt. And if you add too much pepper then replace half of the liquid with stock or water.
- Burnt cakes: slice off the top and coat with chocolate or icing to cover it. Rather than throwing away a cake that spent too long in the oven, disguise the color by sprinkling some icing sugar.
- Lumpy sauces: if you find lumps while preparing a sauce, beat it well by using a whisk. If that doesn’t help then process the sauce in a blender until smooth or pass it through a fine sieve.
- Avoiding food from sticking: to avoid sticky rice or pasta, top up with more boiling water if necessary and then stir a tablespoon of olive oil into the cooking liquid.
- Wet pastry: if you add too much water when making pastry, it will be difficult to cook. If your pastry feels too damp, don’t just add more flour this would cause the proportions to go wrong . Rub a little more flour and fat together in a clean bowl and add that to the pastry. Then knead it thoroughly.
- Unexpected guests: if you suddenly face an extra guest for dinner, just pad out the meal you were originally planning. Think of serving something like pasta, bread, another vegetable, rice or salad with the main dish. If you have made the right proportion of chicken, meat or steak, then cut it into strips or chunks and cook it for less time.