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Old 12-01-2007, 08:58 PM   #1
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Chili question ~ Is this weird?

Okay, so for whatever reason my chili was really runny this time out. I scooped out two full bowls of watery liquid. My daughter even comment that it was runny. So I took the bowls of chili water, heated them, added corn starch (no noticeable taste change) and made a gravy from the liquid and poured it back in. Has anyone ever tried such a thing? I remember someone once saying chili base is a gravy type mixture so I tried it. The chili actually looks better. I'm so paranoid this year over my chili. Maybe I'm more cost conscious since I know what I sent and that it has to last all year.

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Old 12-01-2007, 10:20 PM   #2
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Thickening chili with masa harina, which is corn flour (finely ground corn meal), is normal. I haven't used corn starch in chili but if it works, it's a good thing.

There will be differences in the liquid level of chili depending on differences in the liquid content of various ingredients. Tomatos, peppers, etc. carry different levels of moisture.
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Old 12-01-2007, 11:37 PM   #3
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I thickened great. Now my dilema is it's to hot temp wise to put in the fridge. I think I'll just keep heat on in through the next 6 hours (I don't sleep that much) and then let it cool in the morning. I think the onions were extra juicy this year so that's probably part of the problem.

thanks for letting me bend your ear. I may just be overthinking it this year.
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Old 12-01-2007, 11:46 PM   #4
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callisto, now that you've thickened it you'll need to keep stirring every once in a while, even on low heat, or it'll burn on the bottom.

also, napping while cooking is extremely dangerous unless you're using something like a crock pot. i would clear a spot on a shelf in the fridge, put in a trivet and let it cool off in there.
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Old 12-01-2007, 11:51 PM   #5
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Bucky, it's a crock pot. It's 18 quarts that's 200 degrees right now. I think putting it in the fridge will cause the fridge temp to rise to dangerous levels.
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Old 12-02-2007, 12:05 AM   #6
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18 quarts? wow, thatsa some crock pot!

i've never worried much about the fridge getting too warm because it will sense the temp and try to cool itself off, as if the door were opened on a warm day.
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Old 12-02-2007, 12:56 AM   #7
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you could set it in the sink, fill the sink with water and ice, and stir occasionally.
That would get the temp down fairly quickly.
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Old 12-02-2007, 01:13 AM   #8
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Miss Calli...Cornstarch is an excellent thickening agent. It is almost tasteless if allowed to cook for just a few minutes. However, if cooked too long it will breakdown and the thickening will reverse. Next time use some of your Masa Harina...It has a flavor like nothing else that is perfect in Chili!! Yum!


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Old 12-02-2007, 05:33 AM   #9
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There was a thread a few months back about how to save energy around the house. One thing is for certain, putting warm/hot foods into your refrigerator is certainly a way to raise your energy use. As BT said, the fridge will work extra hard to cool itself down after having hot food being place in it or if you leave the door open too long. Best to let food come to room temp before putting it in the fridge.
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Old 12-02-2007, 08:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flukx View Post
Best to let food come to room temp before putting it in the fridge.
It depends on how it is done. It you just leave a pot of chili on the counter overnight then it is MUCH better to spend the $ on the energy it will cost to cool it down in the fridge as opposed to spending even more on the potential hospital bill if you do not.
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