How can I reduce the heat/spiciness of a dish?
November 25, 2021 12:09 PM   Subscribe

I am making this collards greens recipe and I think I accidentally put in too much red pepper flakes. I’ve got an hour until they are served. Anything I can do to reduce the heat?
posted by andoatnp to Food & Drink (6 answers total)
Yogurt or sour cream will smooth it out if you think either will work with collard greens.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 12:11 PM on November 25

I use lemon juice or vinegar to cut spice.
posted by pazazygeek at 12:28 PM on November 25

Here are some solutions. If you are serving a number of people, though, I'd separate the dish into one dish of "hotter" for people who don't mind (I totally wouldn't mind!), and to the other I'd try one of the heat reduction methods. To try to avoid significantly altering the flavor profile, you could add something else to bulk it out a bit to reduce the concentration. You could add another green, if you have any, even just some sautéed cabbage or lettuce, etc., or a few pan fried potatoes, or maybe some rice if it's not a significant ingredient in another dish.

Looking at my first link, I'm very curious how peanut-butter would be in that sort of greens recipe, though I realize that today is probably not the day you feel like experimenting with that. It sounds very intriguing, though!
posted by taz at 12:42 PM on November 25 [1 favorite]

I would bet that unsweetened natural peanut butter would be really good with southern style (savory) collards
posted by toodleydoodley at 1:19 PM on November 25

You can put in whole/half potatoes to simmer with them, then remove and trash the potatoes or serve separately. They will absorb some heat (and fat and salt) and then you can literally remove it, which is often preferable to diluting.
posted by SaltySalticid at 1:21 PM on November 25 [10 favorites]

I would consider "a pinch" as listed in the recipe to be insufficient, so unless you added like a tablespoon, maybe it will be OK? Depending on your guests' spice tolerance, of course. I like red wine vinegar as a condiment on greens, which would also reduce the apparent spiciness.
posted by LadyOscar at 2:51 PM on November 25

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