This happens to cooks all the time. While cooking you may get distracted, forget an ingredient, or even add the wrong ingredient. But don’t fret, there are ways to fix the most common cooking mistakes and no one would ever know the cook had a mishap in the kitchen.
Butter is too soft. Did your cake come out too heavy? Or are your cookies flat and crispy? Be careful when softening your butter, let it stand out at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. Sometimes rushing the process by softening in the microwave can make the butter too soft turning your batter into a different texture. Take the time to let your butter soften properly; cutting them in small pieces will help the process as well.
Lumpy Gravy. Making mashed potatoes, need gravy for your turkey and it’s not the right consistency with lumps in it? That’s okay it can be fixed. While mixing in the thickener (usually flour or cornstarch mixed with water) make sure that you gradually whisk it in with the gravy. If not, you get the lumps. The lumps can come out, just pour the gravy over into a sieve and let the liquid drain out leaving the lumps on the inside.
Overcrowded Pan. Is your food cooking too slowly, nothing is browning and you don’t have room to flip your food over? Your pan is overcrowded. When cooking make sure that you leave room in your pan for your food to cook properly. If you have to cook the food in two batches, place the first batch in the oven on an ovenproof plate; set the oven at 200°F.
Food is too greasy. Are your fries or chicken too greasy? Was your grease hot enough? Before adding your food to the grease make sure that the grease is hot enough, it should be 350°F. If you don’t have a thermometer you can try these tips to test the grease. Add a piece of bread to the oil, if it browns in 10 seconds, your oil is ready. Another test you can try is to add a piece of the food you are cooking to the oil, if it sizzles right away then your grease is ready. If not don’t worry, if your grease isn’t hot enough just give it a few more minutes to heat up properly.
You didn’t taste as you cooked. Your food tastes bland, sauce is too salty, and you think you may have missed an ingredient? Are you tasting your food as you are cooking? If you wait until your food is done to taste, you miss out on knowing whether or not something can be added to the recipe or knowing if it’s just the way you want it. By tasting your food as you cook, you’ll know if you need to add more seasoning or if your food is just right. Allow your palate to be your guide, it will never steer you wrong.
These are just 5 cooking mistakes that people make in the kitchen. This series of cooking tips will continue every Thursday.