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Fixing Mishaps

Sometimes things go wrong with a dish – even for the experienced cook. When that happens, you might have to eat your mistake, or toss the entire thing. But there is a chance you can fix it too. The other day, I was making a mushroom sauce – a basic non-recipe recipe that involves cooking the baby bellas in butter and thyme and garlic, with a dash of cognac for flavor, then removing the mushrooms once they have released their juices, adding a pat more butter, whisking in flour (equal to the butter), and finally adding in milk to make a basic creamy sauce.

Well, I was doing well until I added the milk, and it broke. Meaning  the milk split into clumps, with liquids and solids separating in an ugly curdle. Maybe my pan was too hot, or the milk was old, or something. But I got an ugly graininess that almost made me want to toss the whole thing.

However, the mushrooms were too pretty to toss, and I just can’t give up on pasta (Gemelli). After tasting, to ensure a lack of sourness, I let the broken sauce thicken, added the mushrooms back in (with a heavy heart), and followed up with some pasta water and the pasta. Further thickening didn’t seem to improve things until I added in about a tablespoon or so of Greek yogurt. And presto, the sauce became silky and tangy and wonderful. Trust your instincts, don’t be afraid to try things, and you just might save your dinner from potential ruin. I can attest that it’s very satisfying, and not just for your stomach.

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