Can You Handle These 15 Hot and Spicy Dishes?
Adding a bit of spice is a cheap way to amp up a dish, increasing satisfaction and invigorating digestive enzymes. International Hot and Spicy Food Day on Jan. 16 is the perfect excuse to infuse everyday meals with a fiery kick. Spices of all kinds make an appearance in these 15 recipes, from drinks and desserts to condiments, marinades, and stir-fry. Keep a glass of water at the ready.
Adding a bit of heat to agave-based drinks is a natural fit that makes a cocktail even more invigorating. To make a spicy margarita, muddle a few slices of jalapeño or other hot chili with 2 ounces of tequila in the bottom of a mixing glass, then add 1 ounce of fresh lime juice and one-half ounce of simple syrup or agave syrup, shake with ice, and strain. Muddling the chili with the tequila releases its potent spicy properties and infuses the drink with a gentle heat.
Bring vodka to the next level by fixing spicy shots or subtly hot cocktails. Slice one or two chilis in half (depending on your tolerance for heat) and add to a bottle of vodka. Let marinate at least 24 hours. Pour the vodka into a glass container first, so the chilies are easy to remove after they've given up all their spice and flavor. Halving them exposes the seeds and pith, where all the heat resides.
There are so many types of barbecue sauce and even more opinions about which is the most authentic. Preference aside, any barbecue sauce lends itself to a bit of heat and spice. A recipe on the blog Add a Pinch focuses on tang and heat, with a mustard base and significant dose of hot sauce and cayenne. The preparation couldn't be easier, and the one-pot cleanup is as quick and easy as the recipe itself.
There are so many different types of chili powder to marry with popcorn that it would be easy to plan a month of savory snacking with a different variety every day. To make a batch of spicy popcorn, air pop the corn and add a favorite blend of salt and chili powders. Cayenne serves as an all-purpose base for additional flavorings, such as garlic powder, onion powder, curry, and chipotle powder. Keep the spicy seasoning mix ready to go, as it sticks best when each kernel is piping hot.
One of the best ways to infuse an inexpensive piece of meat with flavor is to marinate it. Steeping spicy pepper flakes and chili powder in a flavorful marinade brings out all their fiery goodness while transferring flavor to the meat. Basting the steak with a marinade concocted by Taste of Home replaces the natural juices that cook out as the meat grills.
Caribbean food has a reputation for being spice laden and hot, as well as addictively delicious. Traditional jerk seasoning gets its heat primarily from the floral and very spicy Scotch bonnet pepper, which is similar to a habanero. The laundry list of other spices and herbs in a jerk chicken recipe from Immaculate Bites, such as thyme, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg, add layers of warmth. Remember to wear gloves and wash all utensils after handling the hot peppers.