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Everyday Cheapskate: How to Cook Your Way Out of These Common Kitchen Mistakes

Mary Hunt on

It happened again; I suffered a kitchen disaster. Boy, do I hate when that happens! This time, I ruined an entire pot of pasta because I got busy and was not paying attention. By the time I realized, the pasta had cooked beyond al dente all the way to al mushe. I could barely make out the pasta shape!

It killed me to dump the whole thing and start over, but there was no way to undo that disaster -- it was that far gone! Thankfully, that's not true for every cooking mistake. Here is a list you're going to want to keep handy just in case.

STICKY PASTA

When the pasta is not totally mush but all stuck together as if by glue, drain and cool immediately. Then return the pasta to a saute pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and toss while reheating. That should take care of the stickiness, while no one is the wiser.

TOO MUCH SALT

It's a common cooking mistake. If you've added far too much salt to a sauce or soup and you have enough ingredients, double the recipe or make more by half. Then mix it in with the salty batch a bit at a time until you've reached your desired flavor. Another trick is to add a bit more unsalted water to the mix, provided this will not also dilute the flavor.

 

BURNT TOAST

Don't toss it until you've tried this neat trick: Use your cheese grater to quickly scrape off the burned layer. Works like magic! Other options: Scrape off the worst, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and present as crostini or use for croutons.

STALE ROLLS

Wet your fingers and generously flick some water on the rolls. Then wrap in foil and heat in a 250 F oven for 10 minutes.

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