Rescuing meals in the kitchen when you're feeling disorganized

Sometimes when you're in the middle of cooking multiple foods for your guests, it can be difficult to keep track of everything and you end up with a dish that is "too much" of something. Use these easy tips to rescue your recipes.

Rescuing meals in the kitchen when you're feeling disorganized

Too thick or too thin

  • Thicken excessively thin gravies or soups with five millilitres (one teaspoon) cornstarch or instant potato flakes. Stir them first with water to make a smooth paste and then add to the gravy. Don't pour it all in at once; add small amounts and stir until you have the right consistency. Bring to a boil and season as needed.
  • Gravies that are too thick can easily be thinned with water, broth, milk or cream. Add seasoning if necessary.
  • Put lumpy gravy through a fine strainer to render it smooth again.

Too salty or spicy

  • In most cases you can neutralize saltiness with a mixture of cider or wine vinegar and sugar in equal proportions.
  • Thin oversalted soups or gravies with water, wine, milk or cream.
  • Grate a potato into soups or stews to reduce excessive saltiness.
  • Add one to two raw egg whites to salty broths; they congeal and soak up the salt. Then put the broth through a strainer or simply skim off the egg white.
  • Add a grated carrot or potato to overly-spiced meat broth and bring to a boil.
  • Add a sprig of parsley to a dish that is too garlicky for 10 minutes or so, or until it evens out the taste.

Good to know

Sometimes you not only have to rescue a dish, you also need to stretch it so there's enough for everyone. For soups and stews, add lentils or beans, vegetables or pasta. Make salads go further with fruit, tuna, olives, lentils and nuts. A little sour cream or plain yogurt can often rescue bland soups.

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