Food too salty? Spicy? Watery? Don’t panic. Karen Fittall finds out how to fix five common cooking slip-ups.
WHISK: a sauce or gravy vigorously, by hand, using a figure-eight motion, to help break up any larger lumps that have formed. Consider adding a small amount of water or stock to make the sauce slightly thinner, which will make whisking easier.
SIEVE: the sauce to remove any large lumps that won’t budge, taking care not to press any chunks of flour through the sieve.
BLEND: the strained sauce with a hand or stick blender. As a final step, this will eliminate any smaller lumps that survived the whisking or sieving, to produce a silky smooth, lump-free result. If
you’ve only got a kitchen blender let the sauce cool first – blending piping-hot liquids can blow the blender’s lid off, which not only results in a lot of mess, it can give you a nasty burn, too.
DILUTE: it with water if it’s a liquid-based dish, like a soup, casserole or a sauce that’s too salty.
You may need to recheck and adjust other flavours, such as spices, chilli or mustard, if they’ve lost their kick.
DISGUISE: the too-salty flavour by adding something acidic. Take your pick from lemon juice or vinegar, depending on what goes best with the dish. For example, try vinegar for tomato-based dishes, and lemon juice for chicken, or either for fish.