The Chili Test

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I’ve been looking for a great chili recipe.  In the past I’ve just used the pre-packaged seasoning mixes and added it to ground beef, onions and green peppers.  The other day,  I came across a recipe that looked good so I’m giving it a try!

7:15 AM: All of the ingredients for tonight’s chili are in the slow cooker. I have high expectations for this recipe! Stay tuned!

12:23 PM: Husband went home for lunch and checked on the progress of the chili.  Looks fantastic.  Smells great.  Texture is just right.  Hopefully, we have a winner!  Can’t wait for dinner now!

12:26 PM: Husband called to tell me he snuck a taste of the chili.  He claimed that his mouth instantly burst into flames!  It’s too hot (spicy hot)! Not sure what to do about this.  I think I’ll use the rest of my lunch hour to scour the internet for solutions.  I’m also going to ask some of my co-workers for suggestions.  Looks like I have an experiment on my hands when I get home!

If you have any suggestions for cutting the spiciness, please share!

4:35 PM: Just walked through the door and it smells fantastic!  I don’t know what’s better, coming home to a house filled with the great aroma of dinner cooking, or knowing I don’t have to cook!?!  I have to admit, the chili is quite spicy.  The kind of spicy that sneaks up on you.  Within seconds my entire mouth was on fire.  Time to see if any of the suggestions I found online or learned from my co-workers can actually tame this fiery crock of lava!

I scooped small amounts (about 1/2 cup) of chili into several bowls.  In the first I added a bit of milk.  It didn’t really do much to the heat, but did turn the chili a light rosy color.  Next, I tried sugar (thanks, G-Lo!).  It was still spicy, but the sweetness balanced the heat a bit.  The husband liked this fix the best.

My third experiment was with chocolate syrup.  Yes, you read it right.  Chocolate.  A friend recommended this solution.  Sorry, KFA, this was not for me.  Next, I added a bit of heavy cream.  I just happened to have some on hand.  Again, it changed the color to a light rosy hue, but, unlike the milk, this did extinguish some of the fire.  Not much, but some.  Last, I added a tried and true chili accompaniment — sour cream.  This tamed the heat a bit and provided that little bit of tang.  This was my favorite solution.  Ok, time to pick up my son…turning the slow cooker down to the “keep warm” setting.

5:55 PM: Dinner time!  The moment of truth.  The chili’s been warming for a bit and it thickened up nicely.  And guess what?  The spiciness has actually toned down!  I can’t believe it!  Yum!  Serving it up with some shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.  Perfect dinner for a cold night!

Photo taken by my husband!

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a keeper!

This recipe was emailed to me from myrecipes.com.  You can view the complete recipe here.

Next time I make this recipe (and I will definitely be making this one again!), here’s what I would differently:

  • Swap the pinto beans for kidney beans — I did this for tonight’s recipe too
  • Omit the beer.  Don’t get me wrong, we like our Yuengling Lager and it goes great with a big bowl of chili.  But we didn’t care for it IN the chili.
  • Cut the chili powder, ground red pepper and hot sauce in half.  You can always add more heat if you wish, but, as I found out, it’s much harder to tone down the heat!

If your chili is too spicy, here’s another great suggestion that I came across in my research today.  Divide the chili into several smaller portions and freeze it.  The next time you make chili, use the frozen chili as your spice base and add it to additional ground beef, beans and tomato sauce.

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