A cobbler-y sort of dish with a cornbread topping can be nice as well. (Chili in pan, batter on top, bake in medium oven until done.)
And diced sweet potato goes pretty well with chili and can help cool things down.
But I agree, beans are probably the most efficient solution.
I've never tried sweet potato with chili...thanks for the suggestion.
Over rice works well as an extender too.
Yes, and I've added some cold leftover rice to a pot of chili just to consolidate things. It's tasty.
Lemon or lime juice will also cool down a dish that people find too hot; the acid works against the alkalinity of capsaicin, to neutralise it.
Neat! I bet a splash of OJ would do the trick.
Orange might interfere with the other flavours, though. Lemon tends to brighten inherent flavours, rather than impose on them (and lime of course is classic with chilli anyway).
It's indeed chili time. Made venison/beef/pork chili yesterday. One of the favorite stretchers around here is frito pie. (Make a nest of fritos, ladle in some chili, top with grated cheese and chopped onions if desired)
I have discovered a wonderful invention for crock pot cooking. The Reynold's wrap folks now sell crock pot liners (near the cooking bags, ziplocks, etc.) that make cleaning up blissfully easy.
I freeze about 2/3 of each batch of chili so I cook no beans. Cornbread can thicken and cool the heat about as well as crackers.
My solution to "too hot" is always to add a teaspoon of honey. It cuts the capsaicin.
Yum! The chili pasty sounds delicious. :9
It was, she says smugly. I'll do that one again.
Normally, I'm a traditional Texas-chili cook, and the heat doesn't bother me. No beans in mine and if it doesn't make your nose run it's not even close to hot enough. (I use Red Eye chili mix, made locally, and add Ro-Tel and sometimes additional heat beyond that.) My therapeutic chili--taken at the start of a sore throat or cold--is intended to cauterize every mucus membrane and thus shorten if not cure the misery right then and there. It's so hot it makes your eyeballs sweat.
But someone I know made a batch of chili she thought was too hot.
Another thing to do with "not-enough" chili leftovers is to start a container in the freezer marked "saving to make nachos with".
A dollop of sour cream is my go to "too hot" solution for chili.
Crumbling in a corn muffin can also help.
Another use for not-enough leftover chili is as an omelette topping.
I've also diluted too-hot chili with sweet barbecue sauce--which might make me unclean in Texas ;)
I dunno about unclean, but I would not touch chili that had a sweet taste to it. You don't want the explanation. Or maybe you do. Chili at one time was what you made out of meat that had, um, aged. Not in a cold room. If it was really gone, it had to go out to whatever animal in the local food chain would eat it, but if it merely had an unfortunate aroma, it went into chili and bubbled away for 8 hours or more in a mix of spices that would finish off any bacteria surviving the searing heat of browning and the long simmering. Meat was expensive, not to be wasted, even if it had a whiff.
If it tasted at all sweet, then you'd miscalculated whether that meat was salvageable.
There's a story one of my granddad's friends told me, about being held captive in Mexico during one of the outbreaks of hostilities, in a little adobe hut with a quarter of beef, from which one of the guys holding him would slice off a hunk every day to cook for the camp and their prisoners. As time passed, being in the hut with the meat became less and less tolerable, and eating it pretty much the same.
Fascinating! I've always wondered how people determined what could and couldn't be eaten before 'use by dates' and use so many days after opening happened. So if it's 'sweet' it's beyond the pale.
2012-12-14 05:51 am (UTC)
Squick-warning for some: talking about meat going bad
It's what I heard about, and learned from others...with beef, if there's a kind of sick-sweet smell...it's too far gone, and it shouldn't have a sweetish taste once cooked. Just a bit off before cooking...quick, get it into the pot, sear it a little, and then cook a long time with hot spices. This works for beef and for venison that was properly handled...game's tricky, because if not field-dressed properly, it may not be safe even with long cooking. Having done some home processing myself now, I know how easy it is to screw something up (too large an animal with too few people, or inexperienced people, deconstructing it, and someone's going to make a mistake from haste or inexperience and then you've got a problem.) But talking of a cleanly butchered carcass of an animal that was healthy, the big mammals can "age" some and still be edible with the right handling. If your ancestors ate meat, they ate some of it fairly ripe and survived. (I'm convinced, on no evidence but my own body's reactions, that some of my ancestors must've been cattle thieves back in the old country, eating a lot more beef than they could possibly have owned...)
NOT true of chicken or turkey, though...if they smell off at all, toss 'em. Same with fish--any off smell and they're not safe. Also, if cooked meat develops an off-odor, re=cooking it won't fix the problem--it's not OK.
Like most kids who had the opportunity to learn from adults who'd learned to cook before refrigeration, I learned what my elders knew about that--the nose was very important, both for detecting problems and for knowing when something was seasoned correctly, ready for the next step, etc. We had cookbooks, of course, but I also received oral recipes that included "When it smells like THIS, it's ready..." or "There's enough sage in the dressing when it smells like this..."
*Grin* In this country, chilli always comes with either a jacket potato or rice. And it always has beans in it. And grated cheese on top. Until very recently, fresh chilli peppers were unknown here - you could get dried (my grandmother used to soak these in cooking sherry, with excellent results - I recommend it!), but mostly if you wanted to flavour a dish you used powder. Even now, you can really only get generic "chilli peppers" or Scotch Bonnet peppers if you live in an area with "World food" shops (Jamaican, in this case). I tried them once - Scotch Bonnets, I mean - and didn't like them.
A chili without beans isn't a chili, IMHO. :-P
Oh, boy, that's throwing down the challenge.
Here are the Great Chili Divides I know about (only applies to US chili makers/eater, probably.)
1. Beans v. No Beans. I am firmly on the side of no beans. Beans (preferably refried beans) are a side dish, not part of chili, according to my background. Granted, when we were poor graduate students, I put beans in the chili to stretch it out. But once we weren't, no more beans IN the chili. Those who grew up with beans in their chili think beans are necessary. I know where they aren't from.
2. Tomatoes v. No Tomatoes. My good friend Ellen is of the no-tomatoes variety, which is odd because she grew up in the same part of Texas I did...but she married a guy from an area where tomatoes are harder to grow. No tomatoes. I am of the tomato camp: diced tomatoes, so they cook down to a subtle background and you have a "bowl of red."
That's four camps, and they can come in more combinations: no beans with tomatoes, no beans without tomatoes, beans with tomatoes, beans without tomatoes.
3. Ground beef v. chili grind or strips or chunks. This gets you into specialist territory. If you think of chili as having hamburger in it...no. At least it should be coarse-ground meat, and ideally fairly thin strips or small chunks. Lean meat, tough meat, meat with flavor.
4. Beef in chili v. game meat (mostly venison, but also elk or moose) in chili. Again, specialist territory. I personally prefer venison chili to beef-based chili, though range-fed beef is almost as good. Venison in a year when it's dry and the deer are not fat and tender. Fry a couple strips of bacon and cut it up, leave the bacon fat in the pan (iron pan or pot, it should be) and brown the venison, then start building the rest of it.
5. In New Mexico, so I hear, some people consider that chili is stewed chili peppers. No meat, no beans, no tomato sauce, and the rest of us are wimps. I have been faced with a plate (more plate than bowl) of what some New Mexicans call chili. They're missing a lot of flavor, in my opinion. Chili peppers do not lose flavor by association with other ingredients.
Every permutation and combination of chili lover is sure their chili is the real thing. I remember eating chili at Diamond Lou's in Quantico, Virginia, and startling people by putting two big spoonfuls of hot sauce in mine because it wasn't hot enough and it wasn't "real" chili (I didn't tell them that--though they knew about the hot sauce and it cemented my reputation as a Texan.) I remember eating what was supposed to be chili in the airport in Cincinnati, when flight delays had sent us all over the east trying to get space on an airplane to Baltimore...and it was nothing like chili at all. (Hamburger meat in catsup is the closest I can describe it. Bleh.)
So if you want your chili with beans in it--eat your chili with beans in it, but know that some of us chili lovers will have something to say in private. And for heaven's sake, don't leave your beans half-cooked.
I eat my chili with beans and tomatoes, but without meat. So, I don't do the chili con carne, just the other type. (I'm not going to tell what happens if I eat meat... My body doesn't agree with it.)
As for what I grew up with, it was no chili. Chili came into my life as a grown up, and I don't think I've ever had it with meat.
If your body doesn't like meat, then you can't eat it...and so your chili is chili for you. My body has a problem with many fruits and some vegetables, and I don't tell what happens then, either.
What kind of beans do you use in chili? If I were making chili meatless, I think I'd use a mix of beans, including at least black beans and red kidney beans, but probably also pinto beans. The different bean flavors (I use all three in bean soups, but then add a few other types) give a rich broth even without meat.
I am a modified tomato in the chili cook. Ro-tel is one of the basic food groups for almost any chili or soup I make.
Ro-tel is definitely a basic food group for chili, soup, stew...any combination like that. (And onion, and garlic, too.) I don't always put Ro-tel in the first pass of a hambone-and-beans soup, but in the leftover phase...yeah, it's what I think of adding. Give it some excitement. (Though the cayenne peppers you gave me from your friend's garden added plenty of, er, zip.)
2012-12-15 11:29 am (UTC)
Too little leftover chili? Chili quesadillas! Only works with no-bean chili. Flour tortillas, mix of jack and sharp cheddar cheeses, and some chopped scallions. Fry in butter, cut in wedges, garnish with sour cream.