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Need to de-spice some sauce

HavaRocks's picture

So I was doing some prep work for dinner tonight (mom's in town) and was planning on some chicken with a MILD chile & ginger glaze served with roasted red peppers. So I went ahead and made the sauce but once it reduced, it was blazing hot.

Contents: Stock, ancho chile powder (freshly ground), honey, lime juice, finely minced ginger. Tastes pretty good to me, a guy who likes spice. However, I don't think it's going to go over too well with mom...(especially since me, the budding foodie is trying to impress her!) Is there any way I can tone this down a little and make it palatable to someone who doesn't really like spicy foods?

wisekaren's picture

(post #32448, reply #1 of 19)

The easiest workaround is to make MORE sauce, but this time with no heat at all, then combine 'em.
Karen

elizaram's picture

(post #32448, reply #2 of 19)

Acid helps tame spicy foods - citrus juice or vinegar work well. Try adding another splash of lime juice. Salt enhances spicy flavor, so if you are going for mild, go easy on the other seasoning.

You could also try serving it with plain rice, which would dilute the spice of the sauce and help cool the palate.




Food-forward parents like mine served dinners of homemade falafel, Mediterranean fish stew or stir-fried beef with broccoli. To me, dishes like spaghetti and meatballs, mashed potatoes with gravy and macaroni and cheese seemed exotic and unattainable. --Julia Moskin (NYT)



When I was young, all my friends were imaginary. Now that I'm older, all my friends are virtual.

Regality's picture

(post #32448, reply #3 of 19)

I wonder if tossing a chunked raw potato in might help.  I know it absorbs salt, and I once attended a dinner where someone "over garlicked" a spaghetti sauce and the trick seemed to help there. 

 


“For me, patriotism is the love of one’s country, while nationalism is the hatred of other peoples.”–Dmitri Likhachev


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TracyK's picture

(post #32448, reply #4 of 19)

The potato thing is an old wives tale... it doesn't do anything but suck up some of the liquid. The remaining liquid is just as salty.


Why is it so cold on this beach? And what's taking the bartender so long?

Adele's picture

(post #32448, reply #5 of 19)

 and the trick seemed to help there. 


The mind is a wonderful thing.    :)


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

JillElise's picture

(post #32448, reply #6 of 19)

I have used that "trick" and find it works. And the potatoes, are they ever good afterwards!!! So, maybe it is an old wives tale, but the few times I've done it, I've been happy with the result.


Could someone please find a scientific experiment for this and try it?


Jill Elise Vancouver BC
Gretchen's picture

(post #32448, reply #7 of 19)

I think it was done. The amount of liquid decreased.

Gretchen

Gretchen
Adele's picture

(post #32448, reply #8 of 19)

It's been scientifically proven a couple of different times by a couple of different people.  Last time I read about it was in 'What Einstein told his Cook, volume 1'.

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

TracyK's picture

(post #32448, reply #9 of 19)

Lots of folks far more knowledgable than I have disproven that particular myth, including Robert Wolke in "What Einstein Told His Cook" and (I think) Harold McGee (or was it Shirley Corriher?).


Toss it on the junk heap along with "salt makes beans tough." :-)


If you're cooking a potato in a salty liquid, the potato is going to taste salty. But the liquid leftover is still just as salty. You can try it yourself, the next time you boil potatoes just taste the water... or if you have a chemistry set, test the salinity.


Edited to add: Yeah, what Adele said. LOL.



Why is it so cold on this beach? And what's taking the bartender so long?


Edited 4/18/2006 2:17 pm ET by TracyK

Regality's picture

(post #32448, reply #15 of 19)

" have used that "trick" and find it works. And the potatoes, are they ever good afterwards!!! So, maybe it is an old wives tale, but the few times I've done it, I've been happy with the result. "


We seem to be  a minority here....perhaps the ones with the best imaginations?  ;-)



 


“For me, patriotism is the love of one’s country, while nationalism is the hatred of other peoples.”–Dmitri Likhachev


http://regality3.livejournal.com/profile


 




Edited 4/20/2006 12:01 pm by Regality

TracyK's picture

(post #32448, reply #16 of 19)

Could someone please find a scientific experiment for this and try it?


Here's one: Can You Save a Salty Soup? by Robert Wolke, Washington Post


Excerpt:

I reserved the potato slices after they had been simmered in the salty waters. I had also simmered potato slices in plain water as a control. (Same amounts of potato and water.) My wife, Marlene, and I then tasted all of them for saltiness. She didn't know which samples were which. (That's called a blind tasting.) Sure enough, the potato simmered in plain water was bland, the potato simmered in the one-teaspoon-per-quart water was salty, and the potato simmered in the one-tablespoon-per-quart water was much saltier. But does this mean that the potato really removed salt from the "soups?"


No. All it means is that the potatoes soaked up some salt water; they didn't selectively extract salt out of the water. Would you be surprised if a sponge placed in salt water came out tasting salty? Of course not. But the concentration of salt in the water -- the amount of salt per quart -- would not be affected. So the salty taste of the potatoes proved nothing, except that for more flavor we should always boil our potatoes, and our pasta for that matter, in salted water, rather than in plain water.


Okay, now, what were the results of the conductivity measurements?


Are you ready? There was no detectable difference whatsoever in the salt water before and after being simmered with potato. That is, the potato did not lower the concentration of salt at all, either in the one-teaspoon-per-quart sample or in the one-tablespoon-per quart sample. The potato treatment just doesn't work. Period.


 


Why is it so cold on this beach? And what's taking the bartender so long?

JillElise's picture

(post #32448, reply #17 of 19)

Ok, I am corrected. So wrong, so wrong...

Jill Elise Vancouver BC

TracyK's picture

(post #32448, reply #18 of 19)

The power of persuasion is an amazing thing! :-)


The same food scientists generally claim there is no taste differential between different kinds of salt, either... that it's the size and appearance of the crystals that make us believe that one kind or another tastes saltier or cleaner. I'd be very interested to participate in a blind tasting of salts (though the really prove it, they'd have to be dissolved in water).


Why is it so cold on this beach? And what's taking the bartender so long?

thecook's picture

(post #32448, reply #19 of 19)

Egullet had a similar thread some time ago- the key to the issue is to use a starch (I think rice was most effective) to absorb salty liquid, remove it, and then REPLACE THE LIQUID without replacing the salt.  If I remember correctly, the rice was bundled up in cheesecloth so that it would absorb only the liquid and solubles (salt in this case), but could be pulled out while leaving any solids (herbs, veg, meat) behind.    For instance,  say I have 8 cups of soup which I over-seasoned with 4 tablespoons of salt.  If I add 1 cup of rice, it will absorb 2 cups of water (more or less), along with 1 tablespoon of salt.  When I remove that rice to serve with something else, and replace the 2 cups of water to the pot, I have 8 cups of water, with 3 tablespoons of salt.  Overall salinity has dropped 25%, I have an excellent side dish, and haven't had to make another batch to add to the original.


 


Jalapenos count as a vegetable, don't they?

Jalapenos count as a vegetable, don't they?

unbaked's picture

(post #32448, reply #10 of 19)

Vinegar helps when they're soaked beforehand, but that isn't going to do a thing now.


What others have said is what I have always done when my sauce is too hot..double it without the chile. Rice does help as well, it dilutes the spiciness, I almost always serve a plain rice with something that I know will be very piquant.


I'm surprised that anchos would make the sauce too hot, but even the mildest chiles will at times be hotter than expected. I believe it has to do with how much water the plant received (that could be a wives' tale, though).


Time is the best cure..but you probably don't have enough of that. With salsas, I've found that even a salsa that I could barely tolerate the first day is almost bland two days later.


 

'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

shoechick's picture

(post #32448, reply #11 of 19)

A big hunk of butter stirred into the sauce will cut it somewhat..and the taste doesn't hurt either :)

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HavaRocks's picture

(post #32448, reply #12 of 19)

I actually did this already since I had just read the section in Kitchen Confidential where Anthony talks about his sauces being better than mine because he puts butter into them, haha!

When I get home I'll just add some more honey and lime juice, I won't have time to double it and reduce to a good consistency.

Lword's picture

(post #32448, reply #14 of 19)

It will change the color and consistency, but yogurt will cool it off. It's also very tasty. Strained would be my preference, like a clump of sour cream, but on the side as I also like the heat.

L.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." Mother Teresa

L.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." Mother Teresa
HavaRocks's picture

(post #32448, reply #13 of 19)

I'm surprised the anchos were this hot, too. The reason I went with them was because I figured they'd be mild...backfire!