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how to reduce chile heat quickly

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Help!!! I made a salsa (roasted tomatillos, tomatoes, chiles and garlic) and the chiles are WAY too hot. Yes, I tasted them first, but I guess the roasting did something:rolleyes: . Anyway, I haven't yet added the onion and cilantro. I tried adding some lime (I seemed to think I remembered that as a "cure"--guess not). Any ideas? I don't really have enough tomatillos to start over. Any help will be greatly appreciated.:p
Emily

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Emily

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"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
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post #2 of 7
MORE tomatoes!!

As noted in several other threads, chile heat depends not only on the individual chile species, but the climate it was grown, soil in which it was grown, moon phases and whether two or 20 vestal virgins were sacrificed during the lunar planting. Okay, the last two things don't really affect the heat signature of the fruit, but it sure sounded good, didn't it?

Anyway, add more tomatoes to help tone it down.

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Order In/Food Out ~ It's NOT magic.
- * - * - * - * -
"It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." Frank Zappa
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post #3 of 7
Ahh huh ! Thats my problem , I like to sacrifice only the one vestal virgin.

I am pretty frugal on most things , but especially vestal virgins. The're as scarce as skinny dingos down this way !
post #4 of 7

What kind of chilis are you using?

I agree about just adding more tomato but it will also dilute the flavor. Chilis aren't just all about heat (unless they...well...ARE)

It also depends on what kind of result you want. Dairy or sugar typically is what is used to cut heat. I don't particularly like adding too much sugar. Salsa is supposed to be nice and picante and tart. (IMHO)

For green salsas I like to use poblanos or anaheim. Add maybe one serrano for a little heat. Make sure you remove ALL of the seeds and veins inside of all of your chilis. That's where all the mucous membrane owie is.

So what exactly is the recipe? Hard to say where the prob is.

April
post #5 of 7
Capsaicin is the chemical compound in chilies that gives them their heat.
It is a base or alkaline. You can neutralize some of that heat by adding more acid of some sort-like lime juice or vinegar.

Also, using vinegar is the best way to stop the burning of your skin from chopping and seeding chilies-just pour some vinegar over your hands. This works well in recipes too, but you risk ending up with a dish that is too tart.

Some folks believe that using a dairy product of some sort helps neutralize the heat. It's true-- the lactic acid in sour cream or yogurt does the job. However, the concentration of acid (lactic) in milk is much lower than in vinegar or lime juice and thus, not as effective.

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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your replies. I think the moon must have been full and the virgins were frisky. :p
I did add more tomatoes and some more lime, and the heat was taken down a notch, but, as AprilB said, they did dilute the flavor a bit. My recipe calls for dumping the roasted, uncut chiles into the blender with the roasted tomatoes. And usually I use my home-grown jalapenos which, for whatever reason, have never been all that hot but very fruity. Well, this has been a weird growing year all around. Wouldn't you know that this time the chiles achieved their heat destiny and I didn't pre-taste. So, in the future, I will cut them open and set the seeds aside before blending, then add as needed. I've learned my lesson (along with not rubbing my eyes while chopping chiles :blush: ).
However, our guests liked the salsa a lot, especially after a couple of margaritas. :D
Emily

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"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
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Emily

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"If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." -- J. C. Raulston, American Horticulturist
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post #7 of 7
Hot peppers range in pH from 4.8 to 6 depending on the variety (7 is neutral and above that is alkaline). They are slightly acidic, not alkaline. The heat of peppers has absolutely nothing to do with pH. Capsaicin is oil soluble. Anything with oil in it will help break down the capsaicin and lessen whatever pain is being caused to the consumer's oral tissues. This is why milk is recommended.
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