How to De-Spice Hot Guacamole Dip

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Guacamole is great, as long as it's not too spicy.

With avocados, chili peppers, spices, onion, lime, Tabasco and either sour cream or mayonnaise, guacamole recipes vary widely, but many can result in a spicy heat. You can't take the ingredients away from the guacamole, but spicy guacamole can be tamed by adding to the ingredients already in the bowl. The process takes several taste tests to get right, but persevere and your guac will settle down to "just right" territory. Even guacamole made with spicy Rotel canned tomatoes and chilies can be de-spiced and served with confidence.

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Add Another Avocado

If you have another avocado laying around, open it up, dice it, give it a good mash, then add it to your existing guacamole. A good stir infuses the new avocado into the too-spicy guacamole. Taste. If the dip is still too spicy, try adding another avocado or consider Plan B.

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A tub of sour cream is always handy when making guacamole. Like with Indian foods, the dairy component turns spicy food into silky, mouth-manageable tastes. Start with a tablespoon of sour cream and add as you taste. Don't overdo it because the sour cream has a tendency to overtake the flavor of the avocado and what you'll be serving is an avocado-flavored sour cream. Shredded cheese stirred into the mix also works to calm the effects of the chilies, as does yogurt.

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Squeeze a Lime

Fresh limes are your friend when it comes to making guacamole. Not only do they prevent the avocado from browning, squirts of lime act as a counterpoint to the heat mixture. The tartness of the lime acts against the heat of the chilies and both come together to make a mild heat. When serving the guacamole, use pita bread triangles to soften the blow of the heat, or lime-flavored chips. Both distract from the heat put out by the guacamole.

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Lime juice from a bottle also works, but you'll need more because fresh lime has a more intense flavor. Getting the balance of flavors right might be difficult, but tasting as you go should perfect your dip. Even a dash of sugar works to cut the lime.

Add Herbs for Contrast

Cilantro is a popular "South of the Border" herb and can be used to control the heat of your guacamole. While there are those who don't like the taste of this fragrant herb, those who do will welcome the addition. Chop the cilantro into small pieces, add to the mixture and stir. The flavor takes the heat from your mouth and adds a delicate touch to the dip.

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Instead of using chopped tomatoes, try herb-infused tomatoes that are available in your grocery store. Drain off the liquid, add half a can to the mixture and stir. If more is needed, use the rest. But the flavor of the tomatoes with their high acidity plus the herbs will tame the heat of the chilies.

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Onions to the Rescue

If you haven't already added onion, or even a minced onion spice, finely chop a red onion. Add it to the guacamole, stir and let it sit for a few minutes to let the onion flavor infuse. Taste after a few minutes to see if the heat has dissipated. Another dash of sour cream or even yogurt should make the dish edible. If all else fails, dump the guacamole out, and start all over again, leaving the spicy ingredients out until all the other items have been added. Then slowly sprinkle the chilies, Tabasco or whatever you use to make it hot, until you're satisfied.

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