Saving Burnt Food from Going to Complete Waste

When you’re cooking for yourself and perhaps when you’re experimenting as well it really isn’t too much of an issue, but when you’ve somehow conspired to burn some food when you’re cooking for an entire family of seven, it’s that much more painful to have to throw it all away and let it go to complete waste. I’m not saying I force-feed my babies burnt food, but depending on the degree to which you’ve burnt the food you can iterate through some steps to try and save it from going to complete waste.

As careful as you may be and as experienced a cook as you likely are, it happens to the best of us and could just be a matter of getting distracted, putting the heat up too high or perhaps just trying to do too many things at once in the kitchen and elsewhere in the house. Perhaps you’ve left the shell of your pie to bake a bit too long, some of the food you’re pan-frying has burnt and stuck to the bottom of the pan or maybe the steak you’re cooking isn’t cooking evenly all the way through and is burnt on the outside while remaining raw on the inside. Either way, here are a couple effective ways to save it all from going to complete waste:

Stopping the burning dead in its tracks

Well I never went all the way to become the professional chef that I had ambitions of becoming, but I did get some good exposure to that world of professional food preparation. One of the many lessons I learned from the restaurant industry is that of stopping the burning of food dead its tracks. There’s a specific point — almost a single instant when you can smell the food just starting to burn, but it hasn’t quite burnt all the way through. In this case take it off the heat source, out of the pot or pan you’re cooking it in, transfer it to different container and pop it right into the freezer.

This stops the burning process which usually carries on even after you’ve removed the food from its heat source.

What if the food is burnt proper?

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If the food has actually burned then the degree to which it’s burnt is what determines just how much of it you can actually save and in fact if you can save it at all. For food which clearly tastes burnt but is only really burnt at the bottom of the pan, do not stir. Simply transfer it into another pan leaving the burnt bit behind and then add a peeled potato to reheat the food on low heat. 15 minutes or so is all it should take for the burnt taste to disappear, after which time you should remove the potato.

For a BBQ steak that’s scorched on the outside but raw on the inside, wrap it in foil and then grill it in the oven until it cooks in the middle, after which time you can cut off the burnt bits.

Safely Carrying Out a Food Allergy Elimination Test

If you or anyone in your family experiences symptoms such as itchy ears when taking the first bite of your food, chances are you might be carrying some food allergies. Food allergies are often detected very early on in one’s life, but they can be developed over time, mostly due to an unbalanced diet which is severely deficient in one form of nutrient or one which contains too much of a certain food which comes with an excess of a certain nutrient or a selection of nutrients.

A visit to the specialist to officially test for food allergies can be a bit expensive since it likely falls under “non-essential” medical care, but ultimately that should be the aim. You should go for an official allergy test so that you can be sure of which foods are causing your body to react.

That said, while you’re perhaps putting the money together to be able to go to a food allergy specialist, there’s a way to safely carry out a food allergy elimination test, but it’s something which should perhaps only be tried by those whose reactions to certain foods are of a milder nature.

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For months on end one of my cousins would feel really, really sick after enjoying a full English breakfast, but it took a while to realise that it was indeed something in the full breakfast which was causing this allergy. It was indeed the egg, which she had somehow developed an allergy to and the symptoms were rather severe at times, including painful heels, double-vision in one eye, vertigo and constantly having a feeling of wanting to throw-up whenever she woke up in the morning.

Eggs as the culprit were narrowed-down on when she’d eaten more than one egg on a particular occasion when she’d been really hungry over breakfast and that’s when the symptoms were aggravated. All she did was eliminate eggs from her diet completely and the symptoms disappeared.

So to do a safe food allergy elimination test one must focus on the most common food items which are known to cause allergies, even if they’d previously not caused any reactions. Eggs definitely form one of these food groups, so too the likes of peanut butter, anything with gluten (which is just about everything these days), different types of nuts like almonds and even peanuts, cow’s milk and even something like artificial flavourings.

It doesn’t end there however because even sugar can cause allergies, particularly white sugar, but mostly when you react to white sugar you’ll most definitely react to brown sugar as well, which sort of gets worse because you might react to sweetener as well.

So while you’re eliminating the potential allergy-causing foods you should proceed to replace them with more natural whole foods, like perhaps replacing white sugar with honey as a natural and healthier sweetener. While you’re at it, keep a box of anti-allergy tablets handy for possible breakouts caused by a food you’re sill eating that might be the cause of the allergy, but yeah, often just eliminating known allergy-causing foods one by one does the trick to find out just what it is you’re allergic to.

Quick Microwave Dishes for When You’re Short on Time

You know that cook-book that came with your microwave oven when you first brought it home from the store? Yes, the one which has some recipes that seem impossible to prepare using the microwave oven? Well there’s a lot more to it than what you might think. With the right dedication to getting the full measure of the functionality of your microwave, you can indeed prepare some quick meals which nobody could ever guess you used the microwave oven to prepare.

Preparing the Dishes

With the right kind of effort and dedication to learning the various functions of your microwave oven, you can prepare just about any dish, even something like a roast dinner or a rice dish with veggies and the works. You can even bake potatoes or even bake a whole cake, but it’s not as simple as using the functions in the manner which they’re described in the microwave oven’s instruction manual.

Those instructions are actually just there to serve as guidelines and quite frankly they never seem to work out right. What you’ll need to do is a bit of experimentation, but not the kind of experimentation which will result in food spoilage and wastage. If you want to learn how to cook rice using the microwave oven for example, you would have your backup option on standby, which is simply to transfer the rice to a regular pot and then boil it like you’d normally prepare it.

Otherwise you might have to contend with not quite knowing whether the rice cooking in the microwave is still raw or if it’s been overcooked and has dried up.

So while we’re on the topic of rice as a dish you can prepare using the microwave, it’s as simple as combining a cup of long-grain white rice with two cups of water and half a teaspoon of salt in a microwave-safe baking dish. Do not cover. Proceed to microwave at your oven’s equivalent of power level 10 until the grains are tender and all the liquid has evaporated, some of which will be absorbed by the rice. This should take between 15 to 18 minutes, but again it all depends on getting your microwave settings just right.

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Pretty much the same applies to the other ingredients you’ll be adding to your rice dish and to the other dishes you prepare. Ordinarily, each food type cooks a bit differently, like pumpkin which would have very little to no water added to it if cooked in the microwave and each food type also cooks over its own time, but once you’ve figured out how you can pair certain food types together (in terms of their cooking time), you can make use of disposable, microwave-safe plastic food containers to cook those foods simultaneously in separate containing wells. That way serving becomes that much easier and also it saves you the trouble of having to do the dishes afterwards.

When I’m short on time I do use the microwave to prepare quite a few good dishes, but it’s never as directed in the manual. I don’t use the “baked potato” function to prepare baked potatoes for instance, rather using the grill function since it retains a good amount of the moisture in the potatoes. Other dishes I’ve prepared using only the microwave oven include the likes of grilled/baked salmon, fried scallops (yes you can fry stuff in the microwave) and even roast beef with all the sides to go with it!