Tricks & Tips

Seven kitchen savers when things go wrong

A brief lapse of concentration and suddenly the veggies have gone soggy. Or you’ve salted too liberally and ruined the recipe. Even the best of us make mistakes, but luckily all is not lost. We’ve put together seven clever tips to save both the dinner and the day!  


1.    Oversalting
Adding salt is a delicate task and can often end in disaster. Suddenly the soup is so salty, it’s inedible. Adding extra water is one solution but if things go very wrong reach for a potato. Boil it or grate it into the dish to absorb the surplus salt. If you’ve oversalted your veggies, rinse them in hot water, allow to stand briefly and then toss them in butter.

2.    Far too sweet
Dessert lovers may be astonished to hear that it’s also possible to make a dish too sweet! But again – all is not lost. Rice pudding or other sticky desserts can be de-sweetened with lemon juice, apple vinegar or a pinch of salt.

3.    Way too spicy
All good things come in threes, so after “too salty” and “too sweet” let’s talk about “too spicy”. Worried your curry is going to blow your guests’ heads off? Try adding milk, cream or some plain yoghurt.

4.    Runny sauces
We love a good sauce or gravy. But what if your sauce looks more like soup and simply won’t thicken? Cornstarch is your BFF. Mix a small amount with water and add gradually to the sauce until it reaches the desired consistency. Continue to cook for a few minutes after adding cornstarch to remove any traces of its flavour.

5.    Burnt food
There are two golden rules when food burns. 1. Be quick. 2. Never stir it. Most foods burn on the base first and stirring only spreads the flavour to the whole pan. Transfer the food to another pan and continue to cook. Seasoning can also help minimise any trace of burning. 
For burnt rice: Lay a slice of toast on top of the rice to absorb the burnt flavour.

6.    Sloppy cream
Nothing tastes better on top of freshly baked cake than a dollop of whipped cream? But what if your cream refuses to stiffen? Avoid the whole dilemma in the first place by focussing on your prep. Make sure all the equipment you use is cold. Cream doesn’t respond well to heat, which is particularly problematic in summer so pop both your cream and the mixer in the fridge beforehand. Make sure there’s no oil, butter or grease in your bowl either. When whipping, never fully submerge the mixer blades as they need to transport air into the cream for it to stiffen. 
And if all else fails, try adding a little sugar or – in a worst case scenario – cream stiffener.

7.    Save soggy veg
Admittedly, once vegetables have become soggy, they can never be returned to al dente. However, there’s no need to bin them. Whip up a veggie gratin by covering them with cheese and baking, or puree them with stock to make a delicious vegetable soup. 
Soggy pasta can be fried briefly to give it more bite.

So there you go. Not all food fails need to end up in the bin. And if it does go horribly wrong, you can always head to your local Vapiano and order a meal to go. Some of our restaurants even offer home delivery. (Link zur Übersicht Take Away & Delivery) Buon appetito!