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Chili I made for dinner party tomorrow is TOO spicy. What to do?

I made a version of vssmom's bowl of red for a crowd, but the chili powder I used was very potent and I'm afraid that most of tomorrow's dinner party guests will find it too spicy. Any suggestions for strategies to mellow the heat?

asked by Fairmount_market about 3 years ago
17 answers 9599 views
Zora_margolis
added about 3 years ago

I don't know the recipe you used, and whether you are willing to sully your bowl of red with beans, but here's what I would do in your situation: soak some dried beans overnight, or get some canned ones. Then start a pot of tomato sauce by sauteeing onion, garlic and then blooming a good amount of ground cumin, some coriander, oregano and sweet Spanish or regular sweet paprika in the oil, frying some tomato paste in with the veg and spices before adding canned tomatoes chopped up, plus some non-bitter beer. I'd put in a couple of bay leaves and an herb bundle of celery leaf, thyme and parsley. then I'd let this simmer for an hour or two, adding a little water if needed to prevent over-reducing. Meanwhile, I'd cook the beans with a similar herb bundle until tender. Drain the beans and add to the tomato sauce (having removed both herb bundles), or add canned beans. Add the sauce and beans to your too-spicy chili, and let them cook together for a half-hour or so. Optional: add some unsweetened chocolate or cocoa for extra depth of flavor. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.
Hope this helps.

Flower-bee
added about 3 years ago

Seems like you might just have to add in beans to save the situation, even though that too will require some time in order for the beans to be able to absorb part of the spiciness as well as the flavor and blend in unnoticably. Also, if you haven't already, get some sour cream and follow wssmom's advice to serve the chili with a generous dollop of it.

Default-small
added about 3 years ago

i'd agree. Add more beans and tomato product and simmer for a while. Then, aslso as mentioned, go very generous on the sour cream. The dairy will cool the heat. But if you're really concerned, you can freeze the batch you made (it freezes well) and make a new batch,. As terrible as starting from square one sounds, if it ensures your party will be enjoyable for all involved and that you'll be less worried about everyone enjoying their food, it might be worth it.

Default-small
added about 3 years ago

i'd also suggest taking special note of comforting and cooling sides like a hearty bread, a crisp slaw , a green salad or other vegetable, dressed with something creamy and bright, with less acid. I'd say a creamy drink or shake would also serve as a palate cooler after the red, but serving a milk or some dairy shake at a dinner party might be odd.

Jc_profilepic
added about 3 years ago

I would do something similar to what zindc suggests. I'd add beans (canned at this point to save time) and think of that as additional "meat," then I'd a little more of everything else in the recipe except the hot chili powder. Then I'd get it simmering as soon as possible so that the spiciness transfers. Maybe serve some cooling guacamole or other avocado dish on the side?

Default-small
added about 3 years ago

I'd second the sour cream, and suggest a bowl of grated cheese as well! You could put a small bowl of jalapeƱos out, as a way of subtly finding out if anyone thinks your chilli isn't hot enough!

Me
added about 3 years ago

Canned beans would definitely cut the heat; you could also stir in some Velveeta. Sour cream also takes the edge off!!

Default-small
added about 3 years ago

I agree with beans, tomato sauce, sour cream or even broth/ water too. I wonder if reheating the chili in a slow cooker over a longer period would help since you always have to reseason when using one.

Default-small
added about 3 years ago

thank you all for your suggestions. I appreciate all of your help

Me
added about 3 years ago

I made a black bean chili a couple years ago for a catering project and realized the night before that it was WAY too spicy. I took out one-fourth of the chili and set it aside. To the main pot I planned to serve, I added more beans (as suggested above), sour cream (also suggested above) and quite a bit of lime juice. Then I added back in just a little of the reserved chili as needed. It all worked so well the next day that people kept asking me for the recipe.

Melissa_mitchell
added about 3 years ago

I grew up in a house where the mantra was that chili (or anything else with some kick, for that matter) wasn't ready to be consumed until it made you sweat and that funny vein popped out in my dad's forehead. Having said that, there were times where my mom made something that she thought actually might be too spicy for us. She used to add a potato or two, cut up. She'd fish the potato out before we ate whatever the dish was, usually. It seemed to work pretty well when I was a kid, and it has worked for me in a pinch more than a few times. Having said that, since you have a little time, the suggestions above to add beans or add more of everything except the chili powder will probably work better. The potato trick is kind of point-of-need solution.

5.15.11_coconut_macaroons_best_sm
added about 3 years ago

When mine gets too spicy, I add a bunch of yams and potatoes, diced. Cook them in the chili and they'll mellow much of the heat.

Kg_in_evanston_cropped
added about 3 years ago

Thanks for all of your suggestions! On the morning of the party I cooked a pot of mildly flavored beans with cumin and oregano. Then I reheated the chili and was pleasantly surprised to find that its spiciness had mellowed a little overnight. So I ended up serving the beans on the side for people to dilute into their chili as desired. It all worked out: the chili was really delicious and people appreciated being able to temper the spiciness to their tastes.

Dsc_0122.nef-1
added about 3 years ago

grate up some Paneer (more like finely crumbled), add it to the chili, (Paneer really does not add flavor, but does give a nice texture, ) along with the beans & tomatoes.

Img_1364
added about 3 years ago

Fat will dull the heat, so regular sour cream, yogurt or avocado are all good choices. Plus, guests can modify the chili to their personal preferences. Maybe some cornbread on the side, since carbs sometimes help ease the burn too.

Wholefoods_user_icon
added about 3 years ago

I would probably make another batch (minus the chili powder) and add this second batch to the first, divide and freeze half for later in the season. I see your problem has already been solved. Glad you had an enjoyable party.

Default-small
added about 3 years ago

Whenever I make a tomato based item that is too spicy for my kids, I add a bit of honey (or sugar in a pinch). it seems to heighten the tomato flavour while dampening the spice.