How To Fix Your Thanksgiving Food Disasters
While Thanksgiving Day is one of thankfulness and togetherness, some of my more memorable "Turkey Day's" are the ones with food disasters. Burnt pie crust and lumpy gravy never really ruined the day but for someone taking on Thanksgiving dinner for the first time it can be intimidating and anxiety inducing. So here is a list of fixes just in case a "food disaster" strikes.
You can cook a frozen turkey. While you’d never want to start cooking a partially thawed turkey, a fully frozen one can still go in the oven safely. The USDA recommends cooking a frozen bird for 50 percent longer than you would a thawed turkey of the same size. If your bird is partially thawed, you can speed up the thawing process by wrapping your turkey securely, making sure the water is not able to leak through the wrapping. Submerge your wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed. While we are at it, don't bother rinsing your turkey. The USDA says it’s “virtually impossible” to wash bacteria off a raw turkey; instead, the they advise cooks to wash their hands for 20 seconds after handling it. Let's say Uncle Fred was talking your ear off and the turkey got a little over cooked making the meat dry. Carve the turkey, warm some turkey or chicken broth and soak the pieces for three seconds before shaking of excess then plate and poor gravy. No one will ever know.
Too Much Salt
At some point in every cook's life this happens. Before throwing out the dish or starting over try adding a little sugar or sour cream. A little vinegar is another option for soups and sauces. If all else fails, grab a raw and peeled potato and let it simmer for a few minutes to soak up some of the saltiness. Just don't forget to remove the spud before serving.
Don't sweat a few lumps, just grab a blender or a fine mesh strainer. Piece of cake.
Remove any pieces that are beyond salvageable and add a little citrus juice, vinegar and or a little Parmesan cheese. Alternatively, you can embrace the char and add Cajun seasoning.
Soggy Stuffing or Dry Stuffing
Spread out on a baking sheet bake until desired texture and consistency is achieved. You can also add cubed cornbread to absorb excess moisture. If your stuffing is dry, add chicken, turkey or vegetable broth. Only add small amounts at a time and give a few minutes in between to allow the moisture to absorb.
Burnt Dinner Rolls
Scrape the of the burnt parts and add a thin coat of butter good as new. If burnt beyond edible, raid the fridge or freezer for store bought rolls and jazz up with herbs, butter and a little sea salt.
This is an easy fix... simply put scoops of said pie into small bowls with a liitle ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.