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Repurposing your cooking disasters...

I searched and didn't find any threads quite like what I intend...

So it occurred to me that when I've managed to break mayonnaise (and it is possible to break mayonnaise beyond all return), I make fish stew and just stir the broken allioli into it.

When I am making caramel and it starts to smoke (at which point it's useless as dessert), then it's time to mix it with sugar and fish sauce and garlic and pepper and make Vietnamese claypot fish (or chicken, or squid, or tofu...)

What other thrifty "using my mistakes" are out there?

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  1. Well, my one attempt at mozzarella resulted in a very interesting cheezey-food spread.

    1. I bought $9 worth of shelled, roasted pistachios for a pistachio shortbread last Christmas and promptly ruined it by doubling the butter (I was using a pound block and messed up the stick-to-ounce conversion). I dumped it in a bag and put it in the freezer and will use it as a crust for some kind of lemon tart down the line.

      Just last night my friend's husband knocked her bunt cake onto the floor-- we re-purposed it as a caramel-chocolate-whipped cream "trifle." Recently my MIL accidentally used 1 lb. of cornstarch instead of 10x sugar for a dessert recipe-- that was unsalvageable. It just kills me to throw things away so I was bummed...

      1. My first attempt at flourless chocolate cake was so dry that I decided to break it up, re-press and re-bake it with more butter to make bases for a peanut butter mousse pie and a cheesecake.

        1. I attempted to make chocolate meringues for the first time, and they completely flopped - literally. Didn't puff up, they just spread out all over the cookie sheet in flat blobs - looked horrendous. However, they still tasted good! I crumbled them all up over vanilla ice cream and served them to a crowd who ate it all up, happily.

          1. I wasn't exactly feeling the cooking today ... Made veggie burgers and they were absolutely AWFUL ... Turned the rest into a veggie soup (fortunately I don't use breadcrumbs). It was good, not great and we jad it for dinner ... no waste.

            1 Reply
            1. re: SLO

              The day I made bread pudding with the pyrex measuring cup that I forgot to wash out after I used it to make all-purpose cleaner with eucalyptus castile soap...well, let's just say the bread pudding acted as a eucalyptus aromatherapy, um, device.

            2. overcooked rice can always e salvaged in the form of rice pudding, congee, or a breakfast casserole.

              dry baked goods become crumbs for pie crusts. or toppings for yogurt.

              i once had a batch of hummus that just wasn't hitting the right flavor note...so i thinned it out with yogurt, added some extra lemon juice, roasted garlic & pepper, and turned it into a fantastic creamy salad dressing.

              1. We were having several people over for dinner and I was sauteeing garlic for scampi, but forgot about it and it turned into little garlic charcoals (brown, but not black). I chopped two more fists and sauteed them for the shrimp, but I had all this wasted garlic, so I put it on the table in a bowl with a spoon next to the parmesan. People started sprinkling the crispy fried garlic over the scampi and raved about what a great crunchy flavorful touch it was for the whole dish.

                1. my mom's go-to Greek dessert isn't baklava, but ravani, the semolina-almond cake, because it's so much less time-consuming. I remember one time she forgot to add the egg whites, and ended up with dense, flat, sweet almondy goodness. she spread it between phyllo dough and called it "ravaka". it was actually quite tasty...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Sophia.

                    And if you are baking a souffle and it falls, just serve it as a savory pudding.

                    1. re: Sophia.

                      didn't know what to do with the two packages of puff pastry in the freezer that I'd taken out way too soon of making the desired dish I had planned. too late for it as the main ingredient wasn't in my kitchen so now what to do with the PP that is thawed and needs to be used up and quick.

                      our DIL's mom's dessert idea came to mind and all was not lost. instead of tossing it, I can cut into squares bake it off and stuff centers with premade pie fillings. she uses always, it's her thing, vanilla pudding pie filling. my husband likes lemon anything so made lemon curd or pie filling insert into slit in each baked off puff and squeeze small amount in.
                      can even freeze the puffs after they bake off if you made too many.

                    2. my attempt at mayonnaise just now is a good one but don't need mayonnaise as I have plenty on hand. only made it to see if my immersion blender would.
                      so tonight I'll rub down my bl/sl pork chops and bake them off.
                      can't see why it wouldn't add flavor somehow.
                      but we'll see the outcome.