Author Topic: Is there a way to make a recipe (partly made with a mix) less salty?  (Read 2938 times)

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MommyPenguin

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So, we've really been loving a "Savory Herb & Garlic" recipe that is made by Lipton.  Looks like this: http://www.amazon.com/Lipton-Recipe-Secrets-2-Count-2-4-Ounce/dp/B000EMAZS6  It's a soup mix, but it has a recipe on the back where you make a crockpot chicken with it, and it's great!

The one issue is that my husband finds it a bit too salty.  I don't have this problem myself (there's such a thing as too salty?) but I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to cut back on the salty taste, considering that most of the recipe is from a box mix that I can't really alter.  I could put less than called for of the box mix in, but my concern is that it might then end up losing too much flavor?

So, the recipe calls for 2 1/2 to 3 pounds of chicken, one cup of cubed onion, two red bell peppers, two packets of the soup mix, and 1/2 cup of white wine or water.

Any obvious alterations I could make?  Would love ideas, I know some of you are brilliant in the kitchen.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Is there a way to make a recipe (partly made with a mix) less salty?
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2012, 06:51:59 PM »
It looks like all the salt is coming from the soup mix so you really need to back off on it.  To make up for the lack, check the ingredients on the soup mix and add some of the same herbs and spices.  The ingredient list is listed most to least amount for ingredients so if basil is the first ingredient and oregano is the last, use quite a bit of the basil and not very much of the oregano.  And then tweak from there.
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Raina

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Re: Is there a way to make a recipe (partly made with a mix) less salty?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2012, 06:56:07 PM »
Alternatively, you could try adding some potatoes (cut up) while cooking since potatoes will soak up the salt.

Oh Joy

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Re: Is there a way to make a recipe (partly made with a mix) less salty?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2012, 07:09:53 PM »
Quote
Maltodextrin, Salt, Cornstarch, Onions*, Garlic Powder, Tomato Powder, Wheat Flour, Monosodium Glutamate, Garlic*, Sugar, Herbs and Spices, Onion Powder, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Chicken Fat, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavors (Soy), Caramel Color, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate. *Dehydrated

If I were cutting the salt (and that totally sounds like something I'd do, too), I'd use only one packet, then add a bigger palmful of dried onion and either a good few shakes of garlic powder or a cube/two cubes of frozen garlic (I keep all of these things on hand because sometimes the flavor just better matches what I'm looking for than fresh, and they never go bad). 

Then I'd just stick my nose in the empty packet and check spices such as oregano, basil, and sage to see if they have similar notes.  I'd probably toss an extra teaspoon or so of cornstarch in as well for thickening.  And sometimes I keep a tube of tomato paste in the fridge - a squirt of that would likely round out the flavor imitation.  It all ends up just taking an extra minute, and this 'should' be an easy recipe.

If you're using boneless/skinless chicken breast, you may find throwing a bone-on/skin-on thigh in might be needed to make up for the chicken fat flavor.

Sounds like fun - keep us posted!

WestAussieGirl

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Re: Is there a way to make a recipe (partly made with a mix) less salty?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2012, 07:17:55 PM »
Hmmm, I don't think there's enough liquid for the potato trick to work since it really needs to be in a broth to have time to absorb the salt.

You could try a good splash of olive oil.  It won't remove salt but might coat the tongue slightly and should reduce the taste of it.

I've also heard that adding about a tsp of bicarbonate soda (I think this is called baking soda in the US) helps but I haven't tried it and don't know the chemistry of it.

Personally I would half the amount of mix and see how it goes.  It's in their interest to sell you extra soup mix but those are very concentrated so one might be enough. I'd just add a good squeeze more of lemon and maybe a sprig of the main herb.

Zilla

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Re: Is there a way to make a recipe (partly made with a mix) less salty?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2012, 07:36:14 PM »
Crockpot adds alot of liquid even though it starts with only a half cup. I would add cubed potatoes to the bottom layer, then add the rest of the ingredients on top and cook like normal.  I would add about 1/2 cup to 1 cup.

Cat-Fu

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Re: Is there a way to make a recipe (partly made with a mix) less salty?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2012, 07:41:30 PM »
Another vote for potatoes, they are magical vegetables. I think if you diced the potatoes, they'd end up so mushy that they'd just thicken the sauce. A little extra liquid might help make that super delish.

Another option is making your own version of the Lipton stuff. Does something like this work? http://www.food.com/recipe/savory-herb-salt-substitute-1-235592



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MommyPenguin

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Re: Is there a way to make a recipe (partly made with a mix) less salty?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2012, 07:56:59 PM »
Thanks for all the ideas!  It's definitely a very wet recipe, probably between the wine/water and maybe also some moisture from the red bell peppers and onions?  It ends up close to a stew consistency.  So I could probably try the potatoes without an issue.  I don't mind experimenting.

And I wouldn't mind at all cutting it back to one seasoning packet (saves a lot of money, too!), and trying to duplicate the spices.  The recipe that "My cat is a ninja" posted also might be a cool idea, because if it tasted as good, that would really save a lot of money as well!  I could probably make up a bunch of batches of it at once.  I'm unfortunately a little limited in some of the lesser-used spices at the moment because our house is partially packed, so that means that while I have the spices I use most commonly, I don't have the rarer spices (dry mustard, dill weed, thyme, no idea what "savory" means, and white pepper).  Still, for a meal I make with some regularity, buying replacement spices might be less than buying Lipton packets all the time!  :)

cicero

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Re: Is there a way to make a recipe (partly made with a mix) less salty?
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2012, 04:51:08 AM »
that's why i don't use mixes and i rarely use prepared sauces - i find them way too salty for me.

I buy regular spices from a good source, i dry a lot of my own herbs (stumbled across this by accident and i really enjoy the home-dried herbs better than the store bought). I find that if you use fresh veg in season, good spices/herbs, you get better tasting food than using mixes. just my 2$. and much cheaper, too!

for chicken, i use herbs (oregano, savory, thyme, sometimes a few mint leaves), mix with garlic, fresh ground pepper, cumin, and i add in some olive oil and grated lemon peel (it really adds a  little oomph!) and lemon juice. sometimes i'll add olives as well.

or i go more asian-fusion and mix oil, soy sauce, honey, fresh ginger (I buy a bulb, peel, grate, and keep in the freezer), hot pepper, garlic, fresh cilantro (optional).

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Stormtreader

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Re: Is there a way to make a recipe (partly made with a mix) less salty?
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2012, 10:31:14 AM »
My dad recommends adding a little sugar to balance the salt taste, sounds a bit weird but it did help rescue a *very* salty stilton and brocolli soup.

sparksals

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Re: Is there a way to make a recipe (partly made with a mix) less salty?
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2012, 12:29:23 PM »
If you are in Canada, Epicure Selections is a great alternative.  Since I discovered this little gem, I do not buy those envelopes anymore.  I find plenty of alternatives with Epicure.  Most are VERY low in sodium.  For instance, their chicken bouillon in packages or cubes have an immense amount of sodium.  Epicure's very little and it packs a large flavour.   In place of the herb and Garlic Lipton, I would use the Herb and Garlic Epicure and maybe soem 3 onion.  Don't need alot b/c they have a lot of flavour.

sweetonsno

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Re: Is there a way to make a recipe (partly made with a mix) less salty?
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2012, 02:27:43 AM »
I've only used the onion soup before (to make yummy dip). Are there big chunks in this? If so, can you use a fine strainer to remove the fine, powdery stuff (mostly salt) and keep the rest of the herbs? That might be one way to do it. (Save the salt. You can use it instead of regular salt for faux gravy or when you need to stretch some broth. Works a charm if you want to double the broth for ramen, or I suppose you could sprinkle some on your portion of this dish.)

MyFamily

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Re: Is there a way to make a recipe (partly made with a mix) less salty?
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2012, 12:47:02 PM »
Google 'lipton savory & herb garlic substitute' - you may be able to find some suggestions on how to make it yourself. 


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Thipu1

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Re: Is there a way to make a recipe (partly made with a mix) less salty?
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2012, 10:23:13 AM »
My dad recommends adding a little sugar to balance the salt taste, sounds a bit weird but it did help rescue a *very* salty stilton and brocolli soup.

A little sugar does do a lot to balance flavors.  We use it in chili and certain Chinese dishes.   The sugar itself (only about a teaspoon) isn't noticeable itself but the difference is.