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Too much cayenne in the chili- WHAT TO DO???

  • t
  • The Pie Queen Mar 1, 2002 05:51 PM
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This is a cooking emergency happening in real time! I make a lot of chili, so when my little jar of chili powder ran out recently, I bought a big huge jar. I noticed that the color was lighter than chili powder normally is, but chalked it up to poor quality. Turns out it was CAYNENNE, and I added 2 tablespoons of it! The chili is now hotter than 5 alarm, more like 10 alarm. I like spice, but this is inedible. I added another can of tomatoes and another can of beans, to try to spread out the spice. Is this salvagable? I read somewhere that you can add potatoes to a soup to soak up excess salt, and then remove them. Might something like that work? Does nature make any similar sponge for caynenne?

*Sniff*...the chili looks so good otherwise, too. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Even if it's too late for this chili, I'd to know for next time.

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  1. Think like an Indian or a Thai: alleviate the suffering by serving it with large cooling dollops of cool sour cream, or yogurt that's been whirled in a blender with a handful of cilantro. And, more importantly, be sure to have lots of rice over which to serve the chili, and some other non-hot dishes at the table to give your guests a break from the heat.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Tom Meg
      t
      The Pie Queen

      Thanks all, for your great suggestions. Thankfully, there were no guests involved- just me and my boyfriend. When he came home, I told him what had happened and asked him to taste it, in the hopes that maybe it wasn't so bad. He provided a much-need reality check when he said, "I think if I ate a whole bowl of this, I would be bleeding from my [expletive omitted]." We went out for Egyptian food instead, and I'm going to deal with the chili later.

      1. re: The Pie Queen

        you might want to try adding some lime juice when you serve it along with sour cream and cheese. the acid will help balance out the heat.

    2. How about double or trible everything else in the recipe and make a HUGE batch and freeze the excess?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Wendy Lai

        That's exactly what I did with a batch that included too much fresh habanero. Added a batch with everything else but NO hot stuff, and now it's all edible. AND now I won't have to make it again for months! (Remember it freezes very well!)

      2. Potatoes will work, yes. I've heard this before specifically for chili. Would work better while the chili was still cooking, but it should still work at a slightly lower level of absorbtion when reheating this batch. In addition to the spuds, my suggestion would be to drop several squares of unsweetened baker's chocolate into the chili (the flavor works nicely) and you should make the chili sweeter than you would normally want, using sweetener of your choice. Sugar negates the effect of hot chili to a large degree. The above combined with previous suggestions of sour cream and cilantro should take a good bit of the edge off your 'mistake'. Also don't forget grated cheddar in each bowl, and make a cornbread if you'd rather not serve rice - it, too, will lessen the effects of the cayenne, especially if you serve the chili right over the cornbread. Lastly, drink lots of milk with this batch.

        1. Try adding some milk or cream to it. It may reduce it back to a 5 alarm. Chili powder usually has cumin in it, so make sure to add some cumin, as IMHO it is a necessary ingredient in a real chili.

          1. And this is a problem?

            -Always Jonesing For Capiscum

            Link: http://www.tabasco.com

            1. Is there a moral to this story???

              2 Replies
              1. re: Jim H.
                t
                The Pie Queen

                The moral is, don't buy the cheap spices, because they might not know what the hell they're talking about, and call cayenne "Chili powder."

                >:(

                1. re: The Pie Queen

                  That must have been an inescusable labeling problem...cayenne costs about ten times as much as chili powder.