We all make mistakes in the kitchen, from burning biscuits to oversalting soup. Rest assured, under the right circumstances there are some things you can do to try and rescue your dish. I hope you find the solution you’re looking for in this list.
Problem #1: Excessive liquid in a meat sauce that will overcook if reduced further
Solution: Get an uncooked lasagne sheet and chuck it into the pot. The pasta will absorb the liquid and then you can throw it out (or use it for another dish) before you serve your sauce
Problem #2: Excess fat on the top of stock, stew or sauce due to overly fatty meat
Solution: To prevent yourself needing to stand and wait for the fat to solidify on top, speed up the process by chucking in a few ice cubes wrapped in fresh cleaning cloth and placing it in the pot. The presence of cold will help the fat solidify faster so you can scoop it out and turf it.
Problem #3: Curry or Soup too spicy
Solution: The best thing to do is to divide the dish in half and add more ingredients to one half to reduce the spice but also re-build your meal. Save and freeze the other half for another day’s rescue.
If you don’t have time, you could add coconut milk, coconut cream, cream or yogurt to reduce the heat. Cooked potato or some rice can also help reduce the heat intensity of the dish.
Because the capsaicin in chilli is alkaline, you can try to neutralise it with acidic ingredients such as lemon juice or a little vinegar and some sugar.
Problem #4: the centre of the cake is undercooked and has sunk before you realised
Solution: This is happened to me more times than I can clearly recall (from the despair that blurs my memory afterwards). If you have a circular shaped cake, you’ll find that more often than not the portion that is uncooked is pretty well a perfect circle in the middle. Try and find where this begins and cut around the edges. Scoop out the uncooked part or lift the cooked ring of cake away from the uncooked part. Tidy up your now ring-shaped cake (consider putting a flower pot in the centre like they did in My Big Fat Greek Wedding). Scoop the uncooked cake mixture into cupcake papers and re-bake.
Problem #5: An over-seasoned dish
For other dishes, you’ll need to add ingredients to reduce the saltiness. Adding additional unsalted stock, cream, yogurt or water can help, though it will change the texture of your dish.
Try dividing the dish into 2 or more and add additional vegetables, meat, grains etc. to bulk it out while you save the other portion to be used another day.
Problem #6: Burnt cookies or biscuits
Solution: If your baked goods are only burnt on the edges, then try grating off the burnt or darkened parts with a fine grater or microplane