Fixing Mistakes

1.  Don’t panic:  99% of the time, whatever you’ve created is still salvageable.  Usually the problem with what you’ve cooked is either a taste issue or a texture one.  In either case, there are remedies.

2.  If it’s a texture issue, cover it:  If it’s a baked good, make a fruit compote where you saute some fruit with Agave and spices and serve it over slices of the cupcakes, cake or cookies.  If it’s an entree or vegetable item, sprinkle the type of cheese you can eat over it and warm it in the oven to melt the cheese.  Or make a sauce that complements the dish and pour it over the entree or vegetables.  The fruit or melted cheese or the sauce will help to cover the texture issue.

3.  If a baked good’s taste is not what you’d like, drizzle it:  If a cake or cupcakes or cookies aren’t quite to your liking, nothing works better than a good drizzle.  Melt some allergen free chocolate, thin it with your type of milk product, and drizzle it over the cake or cupcake or cookies.  Or if you can use powdered sugar, make a glaze of your liking with powdered sugar, a liquid to thin it, and flavoring of your choice — vanilla, orange, mint, etc….  Or use a cream cheese that you can eat where you melt it in the microwave with your type of milk to a drizzling consistency.  A good drizzle covers a multitude of taste imperfections.

4.   If it’s both a taste and texture issue, disguise it:  If you’ve made something that is falling apart or has a texture that is too soft or too thick or too anything, turn it into a crumbled or cut up mixture that can become a part of something else. For example, a cake that you crumble or cut up can become a layer in a parfait or trifle of fruit, yogurt or pudding, and cake or you can layer it with ice cream or frozen nondairy dessert to make a terrine.  Vegetables or meat can easily become a part of a stew, stroganoff, soup, or layered pasta or other type of casserole.  Once you layer the food in with other things, the taste and texture issues become a non-issue.

5.  If something you’ve cooked doesn’t taste good, doctor it:  Generally if you don’t like how something tastes, you usually have a sense of what is wrong.  It might be too salty or too sweet or too bland or different spices are competing with one another or one spice is too overwhelming.  In any of these cases, you can remedy the situation.

If it’s too salty:  Add more of the solid (vegetables, pasta, meat, beans, etc…) or liquid (broth, water, juice, milk, etc…) ingredients to balance out the ratio.  Or use a dash of something sweet like honey, Agave, maple or brown rice syrup, etc… to counter the salt.

If it’s too sweet:  Add an acid like lemon juice or balsamic vinegar.  Or if it’s a dish that will work to do so, add some salt or more pepper or a spice that works with the dish like cayenne or cumin.

If it’s too bland:  Add something sweet, salty or spicy to jazz it up.  Or use lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, in small amounts like a teaspoon at a time, to bring out the other flavors more.  Or invest in oils like truffle oil which a small drizzling of on top of a dish goes a long way toward adding deep flavor.

If it’s too spicy:  Cut the heat with something sweet like honey or Agave or molasses or with something fatty like your type of butter or peanut butter.  Or if it’s a dish that you can mix rice or pasta into to spread the spice out more evenly, do that.

If one spice is overwhelming:  Add a little more of a complementing ingredient. For example, spices like nutmeg, cloves, coriander, anise, ginger, etc… can be “diluted” with the addition of more fruit.  Herbs like basil, dill, oregano, bay leaves, etc… can be evened out with more vegetables.  Garlic, onions, chives, etc… can benefit from more beans or chicken or meat.

If flavors are competing with one another:  Decide which flavor you want and add more of that one.  Or add more ingredients until the flavor are dulled.  Or add a sweetener or something salty or an acid like vinegar to help the flavor meld more with one another.


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