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Cooking Help for the Single Guy

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Cooking Help for the Single Guy Powered By Docstoc
					Sometimes you can spend all day cooking a meal that would be the envy of any great
chef just to have it ruined by something as small as the gravy being too thin or the
soup too salty. There are tricks around the most common of kitchen gaffs that might
help you salvage your meal and your pride.

Salty Soup

You've just made some of the best chicken soup on the face of the earth, but it still
needs something. So you add a little salt and take a taste. No, that was definitely not it.
Now your soup tastes like a portion of Utah real estate and you have to start over. 'Not
really. Peel a good sized potato and add it to the pot. The potato will absorb a lot of
the excess salt. This works on 90% of the soups you will ever make,
except—ironically—on potato soup.

Too Much Heat

Your eyes are watering and the water you just drank is now steam coming out of your
ears. You might have added too much spice... Try adding some hot water and a
potato—this might help a bit. If you're making chili or a soup of some sort, try
adding more of the other ingredients to help distribute some of the heat. That failing,
put "Dante's Peak" on the TV and throw a volcano themed party.

Burned One Too Many Times

Every kitchen should own a wooden spoon. It is critical to have one on hand for soups
and sauces. Not only will the wood not scratch the surface of the pots and pans you
paid too much money for, but it will save your bacon if the game goes into overtime
and you don't stir as often as you should have. The trick to saving burned gravy, soup,
etc. is to not scrape up the burned bits. Your gravy is only burned on the bottom. Pour
it ever so gently into another pan using the wooden spoon to keep out the caked-on
bits in the pan you are pouring from. Add more of whichever liquid the recipe calls
for (milk, broth, etc.). Hopefully this will help out. You should have recorded the
game or paused the DVR while you were cooking.

Too Thin?

To solve the age-old question of what to do with thin sauce... Conventional wisdom
states to either keep cooking it until it thickens (condenses) or to add a little flour.
Both take a little more skill than it sounds. What's easier and gets the same result?
Pour a glass of cold water and add 2 - 3 heaping spoonfuls of cornstarch. The mixture
will have the look of watered down skim milk, but have the magic of Aladdin's lamp.
Add a little at a time and allow the cornstarch/water mixture time to heat up. As it
heats, it will thicken. Basically, the cornstarch will take on the flavors you are mixing
it with, but don't overdo it.
These four tips should help you right along and save you from having to make the
same meals over and over again. Remember, these are just like any other kitchen skill,
time and practice will perfect these kitchen maneuvers, so be patient. Bon Appetite.

				
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posted:1/20/2011
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