Spices and seasonings tips
Removing the seeds and ribs from jalapeños lessens their spicy kick. Capsaicin, the compound that makes peppers hot, is more concentrated there.
Quickly roasting peppers in a hot oven (500° F/ 260° C) for 5 minutes will also tame their heat.
Milk is your best option for cooling your mouth after eating something too spicy.
Seasoning your meats with black pepper before searing will tame the pepper’s punch. Season with black pepper after cooking if you want more punch.
Want to use raw onions but the flavor is too strong? Mellow out the sulfuric compounds by soaking the sliced onions for 15 minutes in a mixture of water and baking soda (1 tbsp. per cup of water). Just rinse the onions after soaking to remove any baking soda taste.
Using a coarse salt when seasoning individual cooking items such as meat or fish can help keep you from over salting. The large granules are easier to feel and control, they distribute evenly over the surface and cling well to the surface.
WHEN SEASONING DISHES,
remember to account for the reduction of liquid, especially in soups and sauces. Make it a habit to season lightly during the cooking process and adjust the seasonings at the very end. Here are tips for balancing flavors:
Try an acid like vinegar, lemon or lime or a sweetener like sugar or honey.
Add vinegar, citrus or a dash of cayenne.
NOT SALTY ENOUGH?
Before reaching for the salt again to season a soup or stew, try a dash of lemon juice or one of the varieties of vinegars in your cupboard (and a little can go a long way). This is often described as adding “brightness” to a dish. Try it and see if you enjoy the taste before adding any more desired salt.
TOO SPICY OR ACIDIC?
Add a fat like butter, cream, cheese or olive oil or a sweetener like sugar or honey.