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Old 03-16-2006, 05:36 PM   #1
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Too Much Lemon- What To Do?

Lets say, just for arguments' sake, someone was making a savory stew dish, and thought it a good idea to add some lemon. Further suppose there was a slip and too much lemon was added.
Can anyone think of something to reduce or balance the "lemony" flavor?

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Old 03-16-2006, 06:52 PM   #2
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Gee, Hopz, I don't know. I had the same thing happen to me, and it turned my husband off on lemon, big time. I have to sneak the lemon in when he's not looking.
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Old 03-16-2006, 08:30 PM   #3
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What you might be able to do to balance the lemon would depend on what kind of stew - and the other ingredients.

If you would care to share the indredients someone might be able to come up with some ideas.
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Old 03-16-2006, 08:40 PM   #4
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Honestly, unless you've got this stew laced up with filet mignon, leg of lamb or some other expensive meat, it's probably easier to chalk it up to a kitchen mistake, chuck the whole thing and start it over. You have 2 problems. It's not just the overpowering lemon taste you've got now, but also all the added acidity you've added to the stew.
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Old 03-17-2006, 12:07 AM   #5
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The quickest "fix" I can think of would be to add more liquid to the stew, be it stock, water, alcohol, etc. to lessen the acidic flavor, and then thicken it with a slurry or beurre manie. Keep in mind you'll have to readjust all your other seasonings and you'll end up with more than enough sauce but at least you'll have diluted the lemon flavor. Instead of tossing the whole thing, you can just discard the excess sauce.
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Old 03-17-2006, 06:45 AM   #6
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I agree with ironchef, and also sugar might help to reduce the sour flavor.
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Old 03-21-2006, 05:37 PM   #7
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To fix over flavouring one has to add more of the opposite flavour. if its too sour, add sweet etc., and vice versa. unfortunately this doesn't work for salt. If you have over salted, you are hooped and will probably have to start over. there is no real opposite to salt, you could add more liquid but that will thin out what ever it is you are preparing, and if you reduce the liquid you've just added the salt flavour will return.

thats my two bits
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy
To fix over flavouring one has to add more of the opposite flavour. if its too sour, add sweet etc., and vice versa. unfortunately this doesn't work for salt. If you have over salted, you are hooped and will probably have to start over. there is no real opposite to salt, you could add more liquid but that will thin out what ever it is you are preparing, and if you reduce the liquid you've just added the salt flavour will return.

thats my two bits
J
That will work in some cases but not all. Adding the opposite flavor sometimes will not cancel both flavors out although it sounds good in theory. Rather, it will drive the flavor in another tangent and make an entirely new sauce/dish. A good example is a basic sweet and sour sauce. You have vinegar which is sour, and sugar which is sweet. Adding equal proportions of each will not neutralize each other. They will instead create an entirely different flavor. That's why if it comes to the point where adding more liquid is the only option, you have to re-season every component in the dish, and then thicken it immediately with either a roux, slurry, beurre manie, etc. That is, if one is intent on saving the dish. In some cases, like poppinfresh suggested, it is better to just dump it and start over.
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:20 PM   #9
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#1 lemmon juice will disapate a bit with cooking as will any acid (but lemmon zest will get stronger) and yes you can try to compensate with other component flavors.

salt...all you can do is add more neutral liquid and neutral veggies (potato, or a bitter green like kale can help "use up" salt. Legumes like lentils also use up salt, but now you are really changing that stew a lot. Do not try to boil out, that just concentrates the salt.
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Old 03-27-2006, 06:13 AM   #10
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Too much of a good thing

I agree with the chefs that it really would depend on what kind of a stew you were making as how to counter too much lemon---however, on the too salty side believe me you can help to rectify that by adding a raw potato(s) to the stew, soup, sauce, etc., and that will help to draw out that extra salt. Also while on the subject of too much of a good thing lettuce leaves will help absorb extra oil and add flavor to a dish. Sorry about your lemony fresh problem-----nothing is more frustrating than when a main dish that probably cost a few bucks is ruined by an "innocent" seasoning or flavoring agent.
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