How do I cook without chiles and hot sauce?

Dear Cooks,

I so enjoy your recipes.  I like to fix different , not every day, food.

HOWEVER ! Most all your recipes have hot spicy ingredients which my family can not eat.  What would I substitute for all your different chiles and hot sauce and etc.?


Dear “Smiles”,

If you don’t like the heat, you can leave it out for the most part.  If you are making a Tex-Mex type dish, there are other ways to get the deep flavors without the sting.  For instance, cumin is a mild spice that is rich in flavor and not at all hot.  Paprika comes in sweet and hot forms but either way is pretty mild compared to hot sauce or fresh chiles.  Usually a dried”chili seasoning” blend is not too hot but will impart the rich flavors of those peppers and other spices. If making Italian cuisine, just leave off the hot peppers.  If making Asian foods, use sesame oil instead of chili oil and opt for the sweet sauces over the hot ones.

When working with chiles, make sure you remove the seeds and all of the internal membranes.  The seeds carry the heat and the body of the chile does not.   Also, some chiles and peppers are hot and others are not-jalapenos are hot while red and green bell peppers are not, for example.  When working with hot chiles, either wear rubber gloves or wash your hands with soap and water after handling and don’t stick your fingers in your eyes or they will burn!

-The Cooks

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