Field Notes

How to Cool Down After a Hot Pepper

We've all been there. The love of the chili pepper can come with quite the afterburn! Whether it's the citrusy kiss of habanero in our Grove Blend Hot Sauce or the extra helping of jalapeño in our guac, the allure of the pepper always pulls us back! So, how do you cut the heat when the intensity gets too much? Here are some tips on how to lessen the burn.

Drink Milk

Got Milk? Maybe it's time you did! The active compound in pepper that causes a burning sensation is known as capsaicin. Casein found in milk neutralizes this compound, breaking down the molecules, so they're less potent.  

drinking milk

Drink whole milk if it's available. Fats absorb nutrients such as capsaicin. Consuming milk with a higher fat content will make this spicy compound less prevalent in your stinging mouth and belly. 

No milk? No problem! Anything dairy will do. Ice cream, yogurt, and if you're desperate, even a stick a butter can help in cutting down the burn. 

A Spoonful of Something Sweet

A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. It also makes the swelling in your mouth go down, too. 

All things sweet are made up of little crystallines. These crystals tend to absorb capsaicin partially. Plus, a little sweetness adds another complexity to your palette. By the time you're done putting out the fire, you may make your own hot sauce!

Eat Fluffy Foods

While casein will neutralize capsaicin and sugar molecules will absorb some of it,  fluffy foods create a barrier. Think of when you have a headache. All you want to do is wrap your head in you fluffy pillow. Pepper burn is like a headache for your mouth and bread is that fluffy pillow.

bread

Up the cooldown factor by throwing on some peanut butter. Peanut butter has healthy fats that will soak up the capsaicin. Plus, who doesn't love a good peanut butter sandwich? Just opt out of the Pepper Jelly this time, okay?

Not into bread? Other starchy foods like potatoes, rice, and pasta should also do the trick!

Creamy is Dreamy

For the carb-conscious, a loaf of bread or a bowl of pasta may not be the most viable option. Instead, go for something with a creamy texture like yogurt, avocados, or bananas. If you're not carb-counting, then by all means--have an avo toast!

Foods that become soft and smooth as you chew them will coat your mouth. Their creamy texture is like putting lotion on a rash. Sit for a moment to let the foods cool down your tongue before swallowing. 

Suck a Lemon

Sometimes the only way to cut heat is to bring acid into the picture. Grab something citrusy like a lemon or lime and chomp into it! 

While capsaicin is getting all the heat for bringing the heat, other capsaicinoids also cause these pain sensations. They bind onto our pain receptors, creating that little annoying reminder that we just ate something spicy. 

Many capsaicinoids are alkaline. Therefore, they change the temporarily change the pH balance of the area they're in. This change in environment is was causes the pain receptors to trigger our tingly mouth. 

Citrus fruits are highly acidic. This quality is ideal for bringing the pH balance back to what it was before eating the spicy food. 

Bring the Heat Home

No matter how you decide to handle the heat, don't drink too much water. Capcaisin is like an oil-base. Have you ever tried mixing oil and water? It's not going to happen. Therefore, you are just swallowing the heat all over again!

Now that you're fully equipped to stand the heat, why not dip your toes into the water? Make your own hot sauce with our Homemade Hot Sauce Kit. We deliver everything you need to craft, bottle, and enjoy two hot sauce blends in your own home!

 

5 Ways to Use The Chili Lab Garden Blend Chili Flakes

Chili peppers are our favorite type of food, but we understand the apprehension people have when it comes to these fruits. Spicy food could be a bit nervewracking for the sensitive palette. That's why we came up with The Chili Lab. There is more to chili peppers than spice.

From berry to woody to citrusy, there are flavor profiles found in chili peppers you won't see from other foods. To celebrate their complexity, we came up with a chili flake blend with low heat and lots of flavors. Welcome to The Chili Lab Family - The Chili Flake Garden Blend.

 

From the Hot Sauce Kit to Chili Flakes

 

Our DIY Hot Sauce Kit--The Homemade Hot Sauce Kit, is extremely user-friendly. However, some people are a little hesitant to pick up the funnel. This hesitation doesn't mean they should be penalized from experiencing the spectrum of flavor that comes from chilies all over the world. That is why we came up with our line of Chili Flakes.

 

What is The Chili Lab Chili Flakes?

 

The Chili Lab Chili Flakes are a convenient way to bring flavor (and a touch of heat) to any dish, beverage, or sauce that you concoct. With a dash of a finger, the blandest pot roast can be transformed. It's that easy...and that delicious!

Our Chili Flakes come in three varieties:

🌶 Grove Blend
🌶 Forager's Blend
🌶 Garden Blend

Of the three, the Garden Blend has the lowest level of heat. That makes the Garden Blend a great introductory Chili Flake for the heat-hesitant. However, don't let a low-heat profile turn off the craziest of chili heads. There's still enough of a kick to satiate the buds.

With that being said, the flavor is unparalleled. The Garden Blend Chili Flake has a unique balance of:

🌶 Berry
🌶 Grassy
🌶 Spice

These are three sensations you wouldn't imagine melding together. Prepare to get your mind blown. So, how do you use the Garden Blend Chili Flakes? Here are 5 fantastic ways!

 

Rub Onto Pork

 

Meat is an integral part of the pork dish. However, if the protein isn't seasoned properly, then the recipe is rather pointless. A dry rub is essential to transforming from duller to dinner. 

pork tenderloin
The berry notes in our Garden Blend complements the juiciness of the meat. As it roasts, the juices will bind to the herbs. This marriage in flavor will guarantee an explosion of delight in your taste buds. 

 

Sprinkle Onto Popcorn

 

Let's face it. Nothing you make at home tastes quite like the movie theatre. So, stop clogging your arteries trying to get on their butter level. Turn a dry, flavorless popcorn into an artisan treat. 

popcorn

What makes The Chili Lab Garden Blend stand out on popcorn is the herbal profile of the condiment. It gives a new take on popcorn that might just change the way you see this treat forever. Just don't be mad at us if the movie theatre shakes you down for trying to smuggle some Garden Blend Chili Flakes in!

 

Bloody Mary Mix

 

Let's face it. Every generation, the Bloody Mary game gets upped. Heck, Sunday brunches are littered with Build-You-Own-Blood-Mary Bars. Take it from the make your own hot sauce people...put some Garden Blend Chili Flakes in your next Bloody Mary!

tomato juice

The peppercorns in a Bloody Mary mix pairs wonderfully with the herbs in our Garden Blend. Then the tomatoes in the drink synchronize with the berry notes in the Garden Blend. And what's a Bloody Mary without a little heat? The three components of the Garden Blend Chili Flakes is refreshing icing on the Bloody Mary cake. 

 

Make Your Own Spice Blend

 

Part of the fun of getting in the kitchen is making the space your own. That includes making your own blends. Pre-packaged rubs and marinades are great and all, but you're talking to the same company who makes the DIY Hot Sauce Kit. Craft your own spice blend!

spices

How do you think we came up with the Garden Blend Chili Flakes in the first place? You just need to see what works and go with it. Everyone's palette is different.

Use the Garden Blend Chili Flakes as a base and maybe sprinkle in some adobo and orange pepper for a chicken rub. Maybe mix the Garden Blend with some soy sauce and peanut butter to make an herby Thai teriyaki. The options are endless!

 

Make Your Own Hot Sauce

 

Of course, we are going to say make your own hot sauce. What's great about our Chili Flakes is that you can use them as refills for the Homemade Hot Sauce Kit. In fact, when you purchase the DIY Hot Sauce Kit, you get Forager's Blend and Grove Blend Chili Flakes as well. 

However, if you want to try a new type of hot sauce out, make your own hot sauce with the Garden Blend Chili Flakes. If you don't have the Homemade Hot Sauce Kit, you can also make a Basic Hot Sauce Recipe

 

St. Patrick's Day Recipes...with a Kick!

At the end of every rainbow might not be a pot o' gold, but this St. Patrick's Day you may find a pot of peppers. Whether you are looking for St. Patrick's Day appetizers recipes or traditional Irish St. Patrick's Day food, we have it all for you. And you know us, we even have a make your own hot sauce recipe. You know we can't resist. 

Corned Beef Stuffed Peppers

Image via Chili Pepper Madness

It wouldn't be traditional Irish St. Patrick's Day food without corned beef. And it wouldn't a Chili Lab post without chilies! So, we married the best of both words...or actually, Chili Pepper Madness did with these Corned Beef Stuffed Peppers.

Ingredients:

🌶 2 bell peppers
🌶 1-1/2 cups shredded cabbage
🌶 1 small onion chopped
🌶 1 habanero pepper – or use a milder pepper if desired
🌶 2 cloves garlic
🌶 Dash of olive oil
🌶 10-12 ounces cooked corned beef chopped or shredded
🌶 ½ cup shredded Swiss cheese
🌶 3-4 tablespoons Thousand Island Dressing plus more for serving

Get the recipe via Chili Pepper Madness

 

Guinness BBQ Sauce

 

Guinness BBQ

Image Via The Messy Baker

As the makers of the Homemade Hot Sauce Kit, we felt pressured to deliver on a St. Patrick's Day make your own hot sauce recipe. Well...has does a HOT BBQ sauce sound? The best part? You can alter the heat to your liking. 

Ingredients:

🌶 1 tablespoon canola oil
🌶 1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped
🌶 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
🌶 2 garlic cloves, minced
🌶 1 1/2 cups Guinness
🌶 1 cup ketchup
🌶 1/3 cup brown sugar
🌶 1/4 cup molasses
🌶 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
🌶 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
🌶 1 teaspoon ground mustard

🌶 salt& pepper

Get the full recipe via The Messy Baker.

 

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

 

Vegetarian's Shepherd's Pie

Image Via Delightful-Delicious-Delovely

Sure, this might not be the most traditional Irish St. Patrick's Day food. However, this vegetarian recipe gives a new spin on an old classic. Plus, it features the  jalapeño pepper...which we love. 

Ingredients:

"Meat" Filling

🌶 1 block of extra firm tofu that has been frozen, then thawed, and shredded to the appearance of ground meat
🌶 1 large onion, chopped
🌶 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
🌶 1/4 teaspoon of thyme
🌶 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander seeds
🌶 freshly ground pepper to taste
🌶 3/4 cup of walnuts, toasted and chopped
🌶 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
🌶 2 tablespoons of soy sauce

Veggie Layer:

🌶 3 carrots, diced
🌶 10 Brussels sprouts, chopped
🌶 1 fennel bulb, chopped (optional)
🌶 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced (optional)
🌶 olive oil 
🌶 salt and pepper to taste

Jalapeño Mashed Potatoes:

🌶 2 large Russet potatoes
🌶 3 jalapeño peppers (or to taste)
🌶 4 T butter
🌶 4 oz cream cheese
🌶 salt and pepper to taste
🌶 more butter for browning 
🌶 parsley, chopped as garnish 

Gravy:

🌶 3 T butter
🌶 1/4 cup flour
🌶 1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
🌶 2 T soy sauce
🌶 1/2 tsp pepper

Get the full recipe via Delightful-Delicious-Delovely.

 

Creamy Potato Casserole with Bacon and Poblano Peppers

Creamy Potato Casserole

 

Image Via The Heritage Cook

You had us at creamy potato casserole. Throw in some poblanos and we're sold! Then, bacon? Come on now! Oh, and this is dish and gluten-free too. So, creamy, delicious, and traditional Irish St. Patrick's Day food all in one. Check it out!

Ingredients:

🌶 6 to 8 strips of bacon, cooked until medium-crisp, drained and crumbled
🌶 4 Poblano peppers
🌶 4 large Russet (or Idaho) potatoes, scrubbed and peeled
🌶 1 tbsp organic olive oil
🌶 Kosher or sea salt
🌶 Freshly ground black pepper
🌶 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or Italian parsley
🌶 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
🌶 1/3 cup heavy cream or half and half

Get the full recipe via The Heritage Cook.

 

Potatoes O'Brien

 

potatoes o'brien

Image Via: Savory Experiments

When it comes to traditional Irish St. Patrick's Day food, potatoes take center stage...even at The Chili Lab. However, we make sure we find recipes with chili peppers in them. Case in point, this take on Potatoes O'Brien. The name was created by an Irish cook who was tired of the same ol' fried potatoes. If you're tired of the same ol' too, give them a new type of seasoning with our Garden Blend Chili Flakes.

Ingredients:

🌶 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
🌶 3 large red potatoes chopped into 1 inch pieces
🌶 1/2 cup red bell pepper chopped into 1 inch pieces
🌶 1/2 cup green bell pepper chopped into 1 inch pieces
🌶 1/2 cup onion chopped
🌶 Fine Sea Salt & Pepper
🌶 1 T Worcestershire sauce

Get the full recipe via Savory Experiments.

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with The Chili Lab. Tag us in your posts on social media. Want a hot sauce for every occasion? Check out our Hot Sauce Field Guide to make your next get-together a bit more flavorful.

 

    Peppertizers - Easy Pepper Appetizers That Everyone Will Love

    Here at The Chili Lab, we encourage you to do more than just make your own hot sauce. We want you to go beyond heat and enjoy the chili pepper for the unique fruit that it is. That is why we like to showcase ways you can use peppers to entertain your audiences. If you are looking up easy appetizer recipes, look no further than these pepper side dishes. They take little work on your end and will be the talk of your gathering.

    Cream Cheese & Sausage Stuffed Tribelli Mini Peppers

    Cream Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers via That Skinny Chick Can Bake

    Image via That Skinny Chick Can Bake

    What we love about this peppertizer is how easy it is to make a lot of them. These mini peppers come in bulk in many produce aisles. So, for just five bucks, you'll have a bunch of bases. While we love our chilies, this stuffing is where the gold is. After you read this recipe, you might want to get a couple of bags of mini peppers!

    Ingredients:

    🌶 8 Morita Chili Peppers
    🌶 1 pound fresh Divine Flavor Tribelli peppers (sweet mini peppers)
    🌶 1 pound mild Italian sausage, cooked, crumbled, drained of fat
    🌶 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    🌶 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    🌶 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    🌶 Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

    Get the full recipe courtesy of That Skinny Chick Can Bake.

    Bell Pepper Pizza

    Bell Pepper Pizzas via Peas and Crayons

    Image Via Peas and Crayons

    You had us at pizza. But then you go and throw bell pepper in there, and we're definitely sold. This recipe is another take on stuffed peppers but with everyone's favorite topping...pizza. Wait, isn't the pizza supposed to be the one with the toppings? Well, it still can with this peppertizer!

    Ingredients:

    🌶 8 Morita Chili Peppers
    🌶 1 large bell pepper
    🌶 1/4 cup pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce
    🌶 1/4 cup grated cheese
    🌶 a pinch of red pepper flakes
    🌶 a pinch of basil or parsley
    🌶 as many toppings as you can fit

    Get the recipe via Peas and Crayons.

    Mini Hummus & Roasted Red Pepper Phyllo Bites 

    Mini Phylo Bites via Cook in Canuck

    Image Via Cook in Canuck.

    This vegetarian appetizer will have the carnivores salivating. It has the vegan marriage made in Heaven: roasted red peppers and hummus. Roasted red peppers and hummus is the new age peanut butter and jelly, trust us. 

    Ingredients:

    🌶 30 Athens Mini Fillo Shells (2 boxes), defrosted 
    🌶 3/4 c + 3 tbsp hummus (I use Sabra)
    🌶 1/2 c diced English cucumber
    🌶 1 roasted red pepper (2 halves), diced
    🌶 1 1/4 oz. (1/4 c) crumbled feta cheese
    🌶 2 tbsp minced flat-leaf parsley

    Get the recipe via Cook in Canuck.

     Blistered Shishito Peppers with Sriracha Aioli

    Blistered Shishito Peppers with Sriracha

    Image via Savory Simple.

    Sriracha and Shishito? Both sides of our mouths are watering. These peppertizers are mild with a hint of heat that will make your guests keep coming back for more. So, be sure to set some aside for yourself!

    Ingredients:

    Sriracha Aioli

    🌶 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    🌶 1 tablespoon Sriracha, or more to taste
    🌶 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
    🌶 1 clove garlic, grated or minced (see notes)
    🌶 Kosher salt if desired

    Blistered Shishito Peppers

    🌶 8 ounces (approximately 4 cups) shishito peppers; Padrón peppers may be substituted
    🌶 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (grapeseed or canola oil are also good options)
    🌶 1/2 medium lemon (approximately 1 tablespoon juice)
    🌶 Kosher or sea salt to taste

    Get recipe via Savory Simple.

    Really Good Jalapeño Dip

    Really Good Jalapeno Dip

    Image Via Inspired by Charm

    Every party needs a good dip. Why not kick this dip up? Literally! Sure, many people turn to the jalapeño for the tried-and-true jalapeño popper. However, there are many other uses for the jalapeño. For instance, why not give this favorite pepper the center stage as the kick needed in your dip?

    Ingredients:

    🌶 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese softened
    🌶 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    🌶 1 envelope dry ranch dressing mix
    🌶 1 large red pepper finely diced
    🌶 5 jalapeño peppers seeded and finely diced
    🌶 1 bag Tostitos Scoop chips

    Get the recipe by Inspired by Charm.

    Learn more about the chilies you've seen today with our Hot Sauce Field Guide!

    Pepper of the Week: Morita Pepper

    The Morita Pepper is one of the most popular chili peppers in Mexican cuisine. Typically used died, Morita chili peppers pack a lot of heat. While Morita chili peppers have a kick, they back up the bite with a ton of flavor.

    Morita Pepper

    A Morita pepper has a nutty profile that boasts a lingering smoky afterbite. Popular with the Aztecs and with a long line of fanatics today, let's shed the spotlight on the Morita Pepper. 

    What is a Morita Pepper?

    Morita chili peppers received their name as a loose Spanish translation to "pepper black berry." Many liken their looks to that of a mulberry. These resemblances are much in thanks to the dried chilies' dark red/purplish hue. Like the mulberry, the Morita has a bit of a sweet flavor. This fruity nuance bursts through the initial heat you experience when biting into a Morita pepper. 

    While it may look like a berry and have citrusy nodes, the Morita Pepper is actually a member of the jalapeño family. These fruits develop their chocolate-like aromas when they passed the ripening stage, becoming red. At its highest heat, the Morita pepper can boast a Scoville level of 10,000 SHU. 

    How to Use a Morita Pepper?

    Being such a celebrated staple of the Mexican community, you can use the Morita pepper in a litany of tantalizing dishes.

    Morita chili peppers are typically used in:

    🌶 Moles

    🌶 Stews

    🌶 Hot Sauce

    🌶 Salsas

    🌶 Adoboes

    🌶 Soups

    As you can see, the versatile flavors of the Morita pepper offer this fruit as a great accompaniment to any dish. Here are some of our favorite recipes involving the Morita pepper.

    Pork Tenderloin

    with Morita Chili Pepper Salsa

    Pork and salsa? This is an authentic Mexican dish made to make your mouth-water. The spiciness and fruitiness of the salsa bring great balance to the juicy pork tenderloin. Check out the recipe courtesy of Que Rica Vida.

    Pork Tenderloin

    🌶 8 Morita Chili Peppers
    🌶 3 Garlic Cloves
    🌶 2 cups of Water
    🌶 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
    🌶 1 tsp Ground Cumin
    🌶 2 tsp Powdered Seasoning
    🌶  Sea Salt, if necessary
    🌶 3 lbs Pork Tenderloin
    🌶 1 T Olive Oil
    🌶 6 Slices of Pineapple

    Get the recipe via Que Rica Vida.

    Smoky Spicy Amaretto

    After a long day, a stiff drink is much needed. A great way to unwind is to sweat out the stress. Enjoy the decompression process with this biteful, spiteful, and delightful drink! Courtesy of Well Preserved

    Amaretto

    Ingredients:

    🌶 Chili Syrup
    🌶 1 cup of Sugar
    🌶 2-3 Dried Morita Peppers 
    🌶 1.5 ounces Amaretto 
    🌶 1 ounce Chili Syrup 
    🌶 1 ounce Lemon Juice
    🌶 Ice
    🌶 Thin Slices of Lime, Lemon, Morita Peppers

    Get the recipe via Well Preserved

    Celebrate the Morita Pepper

    Can't get enough of the Morita pepper? We don't blame ya one bit! That's why it's our Pepper of the Week. Join us on Instagram @TheChiliLab. We'll cover all things Morita Pepper including how to make your own hot sauce. 

    Want to take your love for food to the next level. Try our DIY Hot Sauce Kit. This Hot Sauce Making Kit has everything you need from bottles, strainers, to chili flakes. Artisan hot sauce...but homemade!