Whether your food comes out too sour, sweet, greasy or dry (on a cringeworthy level), you may not need to chuck your dish in the trash. There’s probably still a way to salvage it.
The cast from A is for Apple (airs Mondays-Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. on Gusto) knows a thing or two about experimenting with food combinations and getting each flavour to balance one another out. In fact, they recently applied their ability to make an impromptu dish to something we can all relate to: saving destroyed food. So don’t go around flipping tables and losing all hope when you mess up your food–not when there are a few simple tricks that may just save your meal.
When you’re making a meal, the last thing you want to do is make food that’s so sweet, you’ll be bouncing off the walls after eating it. The members of the cast generally agreed that there’s a fairly easy way to fix something that’s too sweet. All you need to do is add some acid. In other words, add a splash or two of lemon or lime juice to take away from the sugar.
Drier than a desert
Robert Jewell, one of the chefs from A is for Apple explained how “It’s very hard to come back after going dry.”
But there is one trick he always tries before even thinking about starting over: finish with olive oil. Even though this trick won’t save all your dried out dishes, the slippery texture of the oil can help to re-establish a touch of moistness in your meal.
Getting sick from all that grease
When it comes to grease, more is almost never better. So when your food is just oozing oil and fat out of every pore, it becomes a little less appetizing. Instead, you can go the easy route and skim the grease off the top of a soup or sauce or rub some of it off with paper towel. You can even take it a step further and add a starch to absorb the grease.
Way too much salt
So you added too much salt to your dish. Rather than trying to choke it down anyway, you can add an acid, like lemon juice or vinegar depending on the dish. Or, the cast explained that you can add more ingredients to dilute the salt and add more flavours to your food.
When you’re dish is so hot you can practically feel your tongue starting to melt, you probably need to tone the heat down. Lauren Gulyas and Leah Wildman, two chefs from the show, suggest adding either sour cream or coconut milk to cut the spice.
Whether you’re baking a cake or trying to make some homemade pasta, having a product that’s too dense means you probably over mixed the dough. Mixing makes starch develop–so you may want to try mixing your dough a little less on the next try.
But no matter what goes wrong with your food, you just need to act like it’s perfect the way it is.
“The worst thing you can do is apologize for your food before you even serve it,” said Gulyas. “Odds are, your guests won’t even know if you screwed up.”