It's been a "hot" week for me, so to speak. On Wednesday night, I went out for Indian food with a friend who insisted we order our meals extra spicy (as in, a five on a one-to-five spice scale). And on Thursday, my office held the annual chili cook-off - and there were some particularly piquant varieties on the menu. Now don't get me wrong. I heart me some spicy food...to the extent that I actually keep a bottle of hot sauce on my desk which I liberally pour on every meal. But even I get a little misty-eyed and go scampering for a glass of milk when a dish is insanely hot. So for anyone who has ever wondered how to cool off the mouth after a spicy meal, here are a few tips courtesy of ehow:
1) Drink milk by the glass. Set yourself up with a big glass if you're planning to eat a heaping basket of buffalo wings or other spicy food.
2) Serve up a big bowl of cold ice cream for dessert after you eat spicy Indian food.
3) Cut a lime, lemon or any fruit when you're eating Cajun shrimp or any other spicy seafood. Eating some fruit should cool your tongue down.
4) Butter up some toast or bread before digging into grandma's spicy tamales. Peanut butter also works well because the higher fat content provides relief.
5) Tip back a pale ale or glass of wine. The alcohol content helps neutralize the capsaicin molecules that come from spicy peppers.
6) Grab some yogurt from the fridge. Select cottage cheese, sour cream or whipping cream because dairy products do work to soothe the mouth.
7) Eat rice with your General Tso's Chicken or chimichanga meal to balance the spice and cool your tongue.
Speaking of spicy foods, if you're looking for a low-cal chili recipe, I found this one on Splenda.com.
I also discovered this list of healthy Indian food recipes. Needless to say, I can't wait to go home and try some of these out, particularly the sucralose-sweetened Mango Lassi and Chana Masala. Yum!
Finally, to finish off this Friday post, here are two clips featuring man (or puppet) versus pepper. Any bets on the winner? Enjoy!