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Oct 31, 2006 01:53 PM

Taking the heat out of my too spicy chili

So last night I decided to make this great sounding chili recipe I got off of the Craigslist message board for Chicken and Chorizo Chili. It sounded great, but the fact that part of the directions read "throw all the shit in the pan and cook it" should have been the first sign that the person who posted it was not the most meticulous recipe writer. Despite my better judgement, I ended up following the recipe, and 1 jalepeno and 1/8 cup of cayenne powder later (i know, i know), I had a great tasting chili that burned the crap out of everyone's mouth. The initial taste was great, but this guy was converting a restaurant-sized recipe to one that feeds two people, and was totally off.
My question to you is, is there any way to take the heat out of chili when you accidentilly put too much hot stuff in? I know if something is too salty, you can put a potato in to soak up the extra salt. I read a couple places that extra stock or even extra veggies or beans can help, but it just made it more liquidy without really taking away enough heat. Clearly, I will alter this recipe before trying it again, but it'd be nice to know what to do in the future. Thanks!

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  1. If you have really good quality mild paprika, the sort sold at Indian markets, or even mild chile powder then the best way would be to make another batch, substituting that for the cayenne, and blend the two.

    An easier way, I suppose, would be to make a simple chile gravy with the mild powder (roux, powder, water, cumin, oregano and salt) and add it along with some beans. It would dilute the heat without making the end results all watery.

    1. Yeah - dilute the chili with more ingredients (can you increase the amount of veggies and beans?) AND serve it with sour cream or yogurt.

      1/8 CUP??? That's very funny.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Nyleve

        That's 2 tablespoons, isn't it?

        1. re: Kagey

          Correct. But that's a lot of cayenne, seriously. And I like hot food.

          Of course if the recipe was for, like, 50 servings, that would be a different story.

          1. re: Nyleve

            One of my favorite recipes is Paul Prudhomme's Crawfish Etouffee which requires 2 Teaspoons of Cayenne. I love hot food, and I love his recipe, but 2 teaspoons is too much for my guests, so I cut it in half. I can't imagine 2 Tablespoons.

            1. re: dhedges53

              A bit off topic, but: I read a Prudhomme interview once where he bemoaned the oversight that his first cookbooks didn't note that cayenne comes in different heat levels. The cayenne that he used in LA is really milder than the cayenne that people buy in most parts of country. Only once, in the D.C. area, did I find a grocer that sold (I think) three different cayennes, each marked by heatness level with a Scoville number or whatever that system is.

              Prudhomme regretted that this mistake actually established what he regards as a false national impression of how blazing hot cajun/creole cooking is supposed to be.

        2. while certainly not traditional, some dairy would remove the burn. However, I think the best way is a little sugar. It doesn't necessarily cut the fire, but it eases the blow. I actually always over spice my chilli a little bit, then give it some sugar cause I like what it does to the chilli. I've also noticed that any spicy concoctions like that mellow out if they age a bit.

          1 Reply
          1. re: amkirkland

            how much sugar for 2lbs of chili meat. put a serano in there cuz they didn't have jalepeno at the market and WOW...too hot

          2. I am not sure how it would go with chicken and chorizo chili, but I am a big fan of mixing a little bit of 70% or unsweetened chocolate into chili at the very end (1/2 or 1 oz per batch). This might slightly cut down on the spiciness. Otherwise I might suggest using it as a nacho topping with cheese and sour cream. Dairy and starch are the best things I have found for cutting down on spice.

            1 Reply
            1. re: LauraB

              Dairy, especially sour cream or Mexican crema, are the prescribed way to tone down heat in chili. That's why you keep a large glass of milk on hand if you are foolish enough to try anything with ghost peppers. IMHO Vanilla ice cream is the best of all at cooling a burnt tongue/throat.

            2. Foodrocks, My suggestion is to take a teaspoon of Dave's Insanity Sauce each morning to start your day. In no time you will find that no chili is too hot and that Szechuan peppers are better than popcorn for watching movies.

              5 Replies
                1. re: berrrdman

                  Capsaicin does not cause or promote ulcers in any way. It actually helps to prevent them.


                2. re: Walters

                  I'd go with this approach no problem! lol

                  1. re: Walters

                    ummmm wow.
                    I once put a SINGLE drop of Dave's on my tongue just to see if what the bottle said was true to form, I almost died. all day I walked around with a mouthful of milk. my husband &the kids loved my discomfort.

                    1. re: Walters

                      When I was very young, my parents told me that the parents of the Mexican-American soldiers in Korea during the Conflict would send them chili peppers because the peppers helped make the C-rations edible, and kept them warm in the frigid Korean winters.