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Fixing: too salty/too spicy

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
A buddy of mine that used to work at the restaurant where i do was probably the most informative person I ever met besides my chef. He was 21, a CIA student(and GENERALLY, i hate CIA students because of the size of thier heads) about to graduate. Any question I had for him, he had an answer to, and almost eveytime, was correct, and helped me a lot.

One time i over salted a dish, and i was feaking out cuz it was our staff meal and me being the only line cook who does not attend the CIA, I have a problem where my dinner always is better then the students.. THEY HATE IT. ANYWAY, he told me to add some honey and id be in good shape. sure enough, it hid the salt and i was ready to go.

So last night i was making a chicken marsala type dish, and i added one red pepper(the type of pepper that is generally in flake form) a little to early and i tasted my sauce.. too spicy, and my sauce still had about 10 to 15 minutes of reducing to do, which would have made the sauce way too spicy. So i remembered the honey trick, and believe it or not, it worked on this too! i was surprised, but of so proud oh myself.

What kind of tricks of the trade do u guys have for fixing little mistakes in dishes. IE:too salty/spicy, to bitter, too sweet, you know,, simple stuff.. Id be very interested to know ur tricks.

Jeffaliscous
post #2 of 9
Here's a link to an article I wrote for Cheftalk on the subject of fixing kitchen disasters. Hope you find it informative.
http:www.cheftalk.com/content/displa...7&type=article
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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post #3 of 9
Pete, that's a great article. TY and I will keep those tips in mind, too :crazy:
post #4 of 9
You're essentially trying to add enough other flavor so the salt balances again. Sugar is often used in brines to offset the saltiness of the brine so you can see the reason your honey worked. Sour also works well. Sweet and heat is a classic combo often seen in Thai and Chinese cooking.

Depending on the dish, you might be able to bump up spices/herbs. For example, I was once making a SPICY chili for some chile-head freinds of mine. As I'd bump up the heat, it needed other support from extra cumin, garlic, and even some more salt (plus other flavors) to maintain a proper balance of flavor with the high heat level.

Paul Kirk talks about this obliquely in his book Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue Sauces. In one part of the book he walks you through developing a rub of your own and discusses how a certain amount of one spice can take so much of these other spices before losing balanced flavor. As a barbecue lover, it was a highly insightful chapter, but one you won't really grasp until you've been cooking for a while.

Phil
post #5 of 9
Just added that to my favourites Pete, Thanks
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #6 of 9

I added potato and honey to my too salty beef stew which helped a little. I then added a strong diluted corn starch (Maizena) and water that did the trick.

post #7 of 9
post #8 of 9

Nabbed a thai green curry sauce of a friend. All in Korean as that's where I live. Put too much in, far too salty, added the honey plus a little cream wham bam thank you man!!!

post #9 of 9

This is probably one of the best tips I have ever used!! It worked perfectly. I braised lamb neck fillets in the pressure cooker and reduced the liquid to make the sauce. I wasn't too bad for me but for others it could be far too salty, so following this I put some honey in it a bit at a time and it turned out AMAZING!! 

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