Molly Baz’s 4 Step Checklist: Saving a Mediocre Dinner

molly baz's 4 step checklist for saving a mediocre meal

Here’s an example. The book also contains a recipe to make coconut prawns using chickpeas and basil. The first version that I developed this recipe was too greasy and rich (coconut butter will make it so), and the final dish was bland. To solve the problem, I added honey to the sambal and toasted it. This allowed me to balance the sweetness and fat. All the flavors were enhanced by adding lime juice.

3. Examine the texture

Taste is more than just how it tastes. It’s about how the food feels and how the experience of eating is. Consider the texture and other aspects of ingredients that you add to a dish to improve its taste.

Do you feel the dish is unstructured? It could use some contrast. What quick fix items can you use to add some dimension? Find nuts, seeds, breadcrumbs, crackers or french fries in your pantry. These are the best options to solve the problem. Texture is more than just adding crunch. Perhaps your soup requires a soft-boiled egg, or your salad requires a creamy cheese such as halloumi.

Soft lentils and fried dough meet.

Photo by Alex Lau. Food styling by Rebecca Jurkevich

4. If possible, get a second opinion and make adjustments before you move on.

A soundboard can also be helpful. My husband is an excellent second opinion. He can help you eat the dish without feeling attached. Ask your guests if they need more salt, honey, texture, or something else. You are sure to have other ideas.

Sour cream is my favorite spice when all else fails. It’s both greasy and extremely hot – people don’t always give it enough credit. The perfect chilli crisp from The Spice Mamas is another great option. It’s all I use on my rice, eggs, and veggies. You won’t be able to tell the difference if you add enough of it to your salmon fillet that was accidentally dried out.

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Cook This Book: Techniques to Teach and Review Recipes

Adapted by Molly Baz from ‘Cook This Book. Copyright © 2021 by Molly Baz. Published by Clarkson Potter, Random House

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Amanda Litchford

Making delicious meals and researching products has inspired me as a stay at home mom to start this website in helping out others who don’t have the time or expertise in the kitchen.

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