August 02, 2016

At first glance, Glazed Chicken and Watermelon Gazpacho don’t seem like they go hand in hand but on closer look, the recipes that Brenda of Crooked Creek created share one key ingredient that packs a punch and provides a complex flavor profile – hot peppers. Mild palates shouldn’t fear – the spice is slightly neutralized by the sugars found in jelly, honey, and even the watermelon itself. 

If you find that you’ve gotten too heavy handed on your spice level in your next dish, here are a few ways to fix it:

  • COOL DOWN WITH DAIRY – The capsaicin in chiles is what gives the peppers their burn. One of the best ways to counteract this chemical compound is by adding a dairy product: whole fat milk, heavy cream, yogurt, cheese, or sour cream. Even rich coconut milk can do the trick.
  • SWEET SALVATION – Sugars help to neutralize the heat of chile peppers. So try adding a little sugar or honey to balance out too-hot flavors.
  • BULK UP THE OTHER INGREDIENTS – Diffuse the heat by adding more of the major components of the dish. That might mean more broth, meat, or vegetables, depending on what you are making. Or improvise and add grated carrots, squash, or potatoes to soak up some of the spice.
  • SERVE WITH STARCH – Offer something neutral in flavor to temper the spiciness of your meal. Pasta, rice, bread, couscous, or grains are all good choices to serve with a spicy main.
  • ADD SOME ACID – Acidic liquids like vinegar, lemon, or lime juice, and even chopped tomatoes can cut through intense heat. Use whatever will complement the flavors of your dish.
  • NUT BUTTER COULD BE YOUR SECRET WEAPON – If the flavors are compatible—maybe an Asian noodle dish like pad thai—try stirring in some tahini, peanut or almond butter. The fat content in nut butters can help extinguish the flame.

*Sourced from epicurious.com.

Missed the cooking demonstration with Brenda of Crooked Creek?! Well at least you can still get the recipes:

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