How to six 5 common cooking mistakes

The slightest errors in the kitchen can sometimes turn into big disappointments at the table. Here is how to fix and avoid some of the most common kitchen mistakes.

Mushy Pasta. Instead of getting rid of your overcooked pasta, try this simple trick. Drain it well and give it a good sauté in olive oil or butter. Then sprinkle with Parmesan grated cheese or the one of your choice. Or try reducing a splash of your favorite white wine and a dash of cream in a delicious silky sauce to pour all over it. Yummy!

Pan fried fish fillets that are not enough browned and crispy. You have thrown your dinner fish fillets too soon, too quickly into the pan and they have come out wet and soft.  Preheating the pan properly before adding any seasonings is an essential step not to avoid if you want to seal in juices and brown food nicely. Next time, place the cooking surface on high heat for several minutes prior to adding the oil. A good way to know if the pan is hot enough is to sprinkle a few drops of water onto the hot pan. If it evaporates immediately (water turns into steam at 212°F) then it’s the right time to incorporate the fat. When it begins to shimmer, add that fish or meat you want to brown. Now that you know what the trick is, put those fish fillets back into the pan and give them a nice crisp!

Stale Bread. You have bought too much bread and let some go stale. Well, you can bring it back to life! Place it into a 325ºF preheated oven inside a lightly dampened paper bag. When the bag is dry, your bread will be softened and warmed through. For rolls or slices, 5 minutes in the oven should be enough. For large loaves, allow at least 20 minutes. If you are one of those who will only go for freshly baked bread, you can always put the stale bread to other uses. Cut it into cubes, sauté in oil or butter with some Parmesan cheese and make delicious croutons to throw over salad. Use it to prepare Sunday´s French toast or your grandmother´s bread pudding recipe or to thicken soups and stews (think of delicious French Onion Soup!)

Unripe Strawberries. They looked amazing inside the container, but when you got home and tasted them, they were so bland. Don’t worry; here is how you can spice them up. Slice unripe strawberries and place them in a bowl. Pour a few drops of balsamic vinegar over the strawberries, and sprinkle with sugar. Cover, and let sit at room temperature for at least one hour, until juices form. The balsamic vinegar will bring out the natural color of berries and enhance their flavor. They make a great dessert, to serve along plain pound cake, over ice cream, or simply by themselves! Only next time, take a closer look at the container before buying. Any trace of white near the stems means the berries were picked too early.

Eggs. Can´t you remember when you bought that carton of eggs sitting in the fridge? If you want to make sure they’re still fresh to prepare that Spanish potato omelet you’ve been dreaming about, fill a bowl with water and gently place the eggs inside. Rotten eggs will float and the fresh ones will remain fully submerged. Remember, the fresher they are, the more quickly they will sink!