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Toning down the heat in chilies


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43 replies to this topic

#1 JohnnyH

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 11:09 AM

I'd really appreciate it if anyone knows a trick to tone down a (very large) pot of still-cooking chili I'm making for tomorrow's superbowl party. It's a little on the hot side for some of the guests. I'll be putting out the usual additions -- sour cream, cheese, etc., but is there anything I can do now to cool it off?
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#2 mamster

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 11:18 AM

The only thing I can think of is to add a pinch of sugar. Take out a cup of chili first and see if it makes any difference; sugar tends to dull spicy flavors a little, but only a little.
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#3 therdogg

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 11:19 AM

Aside from sour cream, the only other trick I know of is to dilute- basically make more chili minus the spices- add more beef, veggies, beans (ducking in case of Texans...)

#4 jpyvr

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 11:33 AM

I've found that time and continued low-temperature cooking both contribute to lessening the "fire" of chiles. Many times I've thought that the dish I was making was WAY too hot, only to find that the next day it was just right when reheated.

So my recommenation is to let it simmer for a while today, chill overnight, and then do the same tomorrow.

Good luck!

#5 JohnnyH

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 11:55 AM

I've found that time and continued low-temperature cooking both contribute to lessening the "fire" of chiles. Many times I've thought that the dish I was making was WAY too hot, only to find that the next day it was just right when reheated.

So my recommenation is to let it simmer for a while today, chill overnight, and then do the same tomorrow.

Good luck!

I hope you're right... looks like that's the way things are going to go. Off to the supermarket now to by more beer :wink: .

Thanks to all for the help -- if anyone else has any thoughts, please post 'em.

J
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#6 Mudpuppie

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 11:56 AM

Cream of chili soup?
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#7 jackal10

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 11:59 AM

Serve it in smaller portions. Its an old catering trick make it hot, that way it goes further without too many complaints, and few come back for seconds...
If you want serve it with a bland filler, like rice or baked potato on the side.

#8 Toasted

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 12:04 PM

I would just dump some more of what ever is in there already, beans,
veggies, whatever, just to be on the safe side because it may not mellow
out. I frequently make things too hot. My husbands favorite (and it's getting
old honey) joke is: "would any one like lip salve with their meal?".
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#9 Steve Martin

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 12:09 PM

Cook a half lemon in it for 30 mins then discard the lemon. An old indian trick.

#10 Toasted

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 12:12 PM

Cool! :smile:
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#11 Chad

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 12:37 PM

Yup, adding an acid/citrus note is a standard trick in Southwestern cooking. It doesn't tame the heat but balanaces it nicely, creating a perception of less heat. I'm not sure I'd do that to chile, however -- unless you're going for that Bobby Flay Mango Chile sort o' feel.

What I'd do is simply serve the chile over rice or pasta with lots of cheese on top, which has the effect of reducing the portions (or at least proportion) of chile and adding a filler starch.

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#12 OPJK

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 01:07 PM

Although I haven't tried this myself, I remember hearing that adding a raw potato would draw out some of the spice. Just remember to remove the potato before serving.
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#13 Mudpuppie

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 01:20 PM

Although I haven't tried this myself, I remember hearing that adding a raw potato would draw out some of the spice. Just remember to remove the potato before serving.

My mom suggested this to me once. She swears a potato works for sucking up fishy tastes and off flavors in old oil (which I don't use anyway).

Anyway, didn't work.
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#14 Mabelline

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 01:32 PM

A big ole sign in front of the bowl proclaiming to everyone it's a genuwine underwear-melting bowl of red is the best I can think of. Then they are properly warned.

#15 Mudpuppie

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 01:44 PM

Bizarre. Just accidentally came across this article from wednesday's Guardian.
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#16 mnebergall

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 07:41 PM

Put a roll of toilet paper in the freezer for later.

#17 rancho_gordo

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 08:36 PM

I hope you're right...  looks like that's the way things are going to go.  Off to the supermarket now to by more beer :wink: .

Add a bottle of the beer!
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#18 wesza

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 10:15 PM

The only way that i've been able to effectively tone down a pot of hot chili is simple, always works and provides a few more meals if frozen or refrigerated.

I simply make a 1/2 receipe in another pot, with out any of the heat being added to the mixture, cook the smaller pot until done.

Put a Large Bowl or another pot to the side and mix both Hot Chili together with the Unheated Chili until it tastes the way you wished your recipe to taste.

Most of the time all it takes is mixing everything together and reserving all the extra until next time, especially if your pretty sure how to achive your results.

This time of year your not likely to have to much Chili on hand.

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#19 ExtraMSG

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Posted 01 February 2004 - 03:34 AM

I've found that time and continued low-temperature cooking both contribute to lessening the "fire" of chiles. Many times I've thought that the dish I was making was WAY too hot, only to find that the next day it was just right when reheated.

So my recommenation is to let it simmer for a while today, chill overnight, and then do the same tomorrow.

Good luck!

I hope you're right... looks like that's the way things are going to go. Off to the supermarket now to by more beer :wink: .

Thanks to all for the help -- if anyone else has any thoughts, please post 'em.

J

This is actually dangerous. While the heat dissipates, in my experience, it only lessens its effects on the mouth, imo. However, it can still have....internal ramifications. I've made this mistake eating way too much of an item that used to be spicy thinking it wouldn't affect me. Would have paid top dollar for that freezer TP the next day.

The potato thing can work. Just don't eat that potato. Otherwise, coming up with options to dilute or balance the heat are great options. Personally, I like sour cream, cheese, crackers, and the like.

#20 Rachel Perlow

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Posted 01 February 2004 - 07:02 AM

I thought the potato trick was for too much salt.

If you do end up making a pot of bland chili, then offer three versions: the super hot, medium and mild.

#21 McDuff

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Posted 01 February 2004 - 08:01 AM

This is actually dangerous. While the heat dissipates, in my experience, it only lessens its effects on the mouth, imo. However, it can still have....internal ramifications. I've made this mistake eating way too much of an item that used to be spicy thinking it wouldn't affect me. Would have paid top dollar for that freezer TP the next day.

I thought I broke something once when this happened to me.

#22 scrat68

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 09:58 PM

I made chili last night/tonight and used a different brand of chili powder than my norm. The stuff is so spicy hot that I can't eat it. Had a peanut butter sandwich for dinner. My husband thought the flavor was great but it was almost too spicy for him - and he likes spicy food!

Any way to salvage this - other than adding another batch of the non-spicy ingredients to thin it out?

Any magical fixes?
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#23 C. sapidus

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 10:03 PM

Serve the chili over rice?

#24 tino27

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 10:07 PM

I made chili last night/tonight and used a different brand of chili powder than my norm.  The stuff is so spicy hot that I can't eat it.  Had a peanut butter sandwich for dinner.  My husband thought the flavor was great but it was almost too spicy for him - and he likes spicy food!

Any way to salvage this - other than adding another batch of the non-spicy ingredients to thin it out?

Any magical fixes?

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Sweet is often used to balance heat. Unfortunately, it's a delicate balance since chili is a savory dish. Try adding a little sugar or honey and see if you can't bring the heat level down. You might also try serving the chili with some bread.
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#25 Marlene

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 10:11 PM

A little sour cream on top will help to cut the heat.
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#26 Tepee

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 10:18 PM

Leave it for a day or 2....the heat will tame down.

Or take your meal with warm milk...so that the capsaicin is carried off in the fat molecules.

Edited by Tepee, 02 November 2006 - 10:45 PM.

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#27 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 10:54 PM

A little sour cream on top will help to cut the heat.

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I second the sour cream. It makes a huge difference.
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#28 Taboni

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 02:06 AM

I like my chili much hotter than my wife does, so I usually add a touch of sugar to hers. It never really imparts a sweet taste, it just tames the heat a touch.
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#29 Smithy

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 08:05 AM

A little sour cream on top will help to cut the heat.

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I second the sour cream. It makes a huge difference.

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Make that three of us. My husband thinks he doesn't like "hot" peppers, but he adds so much "mild" chili powder that it's too hot for me, the inveterate cayenne user. Sour cream is my salvation.

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#30 Megan Blocker

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 08:36 AM

Lots and lots of sour cream?

Milk on the side?

You could freeze it in smaller Ziploc bags and use it to season new batches as you make them...rather than making one huge batch now.
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