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10 Quick Ways to Fix Cooking Mistakes

Created by: bivanov | Last Updated: 04/16/2010

It's bound to happen to all of us at one time or another. You're cooking soup and get distracted. You discovered that it scorched. Or it's your turn to fix the holiday dinner and the mashed potatoes AND gravy are both lumpy! Not to worry. Try these quick fixes and no one will ever know.
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1. Too salty

You're trying a new recipe and as you taste your creation, you discover it's way too salty. Try adding water to dilute the salt. For soups or broths, use a peeled raw potato. It will absorb the salt. Also keep in mind that it's not necessary to use all the salt that a recipe calls for.
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Points: 14

2. Too sweet

If your soup or sauce has a sweet taste, use lemon juice or cider vinegar to lessen the sweetness.
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Points: 12

3. Lumpy gravy

There's nothing worse than the taste of flour due to lumpy gravy. An easy fix is to use a mesh strainer and strain your gravy. You can also try using a whisk. As you make your gravy, don't pour flour directly into the stock. Put the flour in a small bowl and mix it with cold water. This will greatly reduce lumps.
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Points: 10

4. Scorched soup

As you're stirring your soup, if you discover that it's sticking to the bottom of the pan, it most likely has become scorched. Immediately stop stirring and carefully pour the soup into another pan. If need be, use a ladle and remove any discolored soup. Cover the pan to keep soup heated. What to do with the first pan? Simply pour cold water in it and let it sit. The water will loosen the scorched food, making for easy clean up.
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Points: 7

5. Dry meat

Cube the meat and use it in a sauce or a gravy. Dry turkey? Slice the turkey and place it in a pan. Using the drippings, add 3 cups of stock and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture over the meat, cover and heat in a warm oven for a few minutes.
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Points: 6

6. Too acidic

Does your spaghetti sauce taste acidic? Add a tablespoon or two of white sugar. The sugar will lower the acidic level. For dressings, try using a quarter teaspoon of baking soda.
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Points: 5

7. Overcooked vegetables

Don't toss overcooked vegetables out. Simply use them to enhance other foods. They can be put into meatloaf, added to soup or chili or pureed and used as a side dish.
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Points: 2

8. Too spicy

Sauce has more of a kick than you want? Add some ketchup! The sugar in the ketchup will cut back some of the bite. Try using a dollop of yogurt to tone down dips.
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Points: 2

9. Cake stuck in pan

Turn your burner on a medium heat and set the cake pan on it. Once the sides of the pan are hot, place the pan on a cold dish towel. After a few minutes remove the cake from the pan. If this doesn't work, make a different dessert out of the cake. With pudding or cool whip you can make a tasty truffle.
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Points: 1

10. Lumpy mashed potatoes

Be sure to place potatoes in cold water rather than boiling water, thus allowing an even distribution of heat. Cook the potatoes until they are tender. Use a mixer to mash the potatoes and then add milk, butter and salt.
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Points: 0
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