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Too hot!!... how to cool something down when you've spiced it up too much??

I built a shrimp creole.

Originally it seemed too bland, but my efforts to rev it up have turned it burn-your-face-off hot... and really too uncomfortable for me to eat (and I like spice).

Any suggestions for tempering a dish when you've (accidentally) taken it over-the-top?

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  1. Had this same problem when I made some shrimp in adobo sauce...what i thought were anaheim peppers were actually very large spicy chili peppers...also didn't realize how hot chipotles in adobo sauce really are...anyway, the only thing that seemed to work was to scoop out as much of the sauce as possible and replace it with chicken stock. also ended up eating it over rice and wrapped in tortillas.

    1. I have no first hand experience of this, but I have heard that raw potatoes added to a sauce can leech-out (an unfortunate phrase) spice and salt.

      1 Reply
      1. re: tbear

        The potato is a myth, plain and simple. It's been disproven many times.

        A potato soaks up liquid like a sponge. It doesn't selectively soak up the hot stuff or the salty stuff.

        You'd get the same result -- less liquid -- by adding a potato or a sponge or just ladleing out some of the liquid.

        Really the only thing you can do is make more of the dish without the hot ingredient and combine the two.

      2. I have read that sugar can help, but I'm not sure if that would work in a case of dramatic over-spicing.

        2 Replies
          1. re: jjones21

            Sugar works - I've done it when I've overcurried. But honestly, I usually try to offset with more of an ingredient or the ever popular coolant - beer

          2. The absolute best thing for taming spice is dairy. Wrap it in a tortilla with cheese, sourcream, even guac is good for it. Serve it over cheesy grits. Make an omelet.

            1. Too spicy? Does not compute, does not compute.

              Potatoes will not work, its an old wives tale. There are two ways to turn it down. Either add some sugar or make a non-spicy version and mix, creating a double batch which should have a more balanced heat. Regarding the sugar, you can sprinkle lightly on top and keep tasting till its better. I have done this once when i had made a very spicy/very bitter chile and after a TBS or two of dark brown sugar I finally got it the way I wanted it without dramatically changing the taste.

              The only other way deal with the heat (but not turn it down) would be to serve with some dairy, creme fraiche, sour cream, etc.