Happy New Year! Here’s to a new year filled with realized dreams, fresh ideas, new opportunities and positive vibes. So as the aging year comes to pass, begin the new one with a sparkle in your eyes for all the greatness to come!
Here’s a spicy gift guide for the holidays your heat seeker friends and family will love. They’re unique, fun and spicy so you’ll proably want to buy two…one to give, another to keep! Isn’t that how it usually works? What better way to spend the holidays with awesome treats to heat things up that can also be shared? So ditch those socks you were planning on giving and add these spicy goods. Hope you enjoy my gift guide and let’s keep things spicy folks!
1. Just WOW! Someone please send me this! My two favorite things, bacon and chile peppers! You can’t go wrong with this habanero bacon from Tender Belly.
2. I haven’t tried this spicy beer yet but Rogue has gone on and made a sriracha stout. The most talked about hot sauce this year has now made it into beer! I’m not sure how I feel about it but its definitely worth a try. I’ve had a chipotle porter for a more chocolatey, spiced, smoky flavor which I enjoyed and this one would be a great choice, especially for sriracha lovers. Let me know if you get your hands on it.
3. This is a fun kit from Grow and Make. The set includes everything you need to whip up your own hot sauce. A pretty cool gift for spicy food lovers! Just make sure you give them goggles and a face mask too…kidding, these may not be too hot but definitely a fun project for a weekend night.
4. And if you don’t want to make your own, get this set from Salamander Hot sauce makers. Their Whiskey hot sauce is pretty amazing and friggin hot! I made these awesome hot wings with this sauce for a finger licking appetizer.
This wasn’t supposed to be a cheesy jalapeno, chicken and rice casserole recipe, this was supposed to be burrito-like stuff jalapenos recipe but I really didn’t think through the execution. Getting all the ingredients into the halved jalapenos, no matter how large they were, was a challenge so I instead aligned all the jalapenos neatly in a dish, topped with all the ingredients and voila! Cheesy Jalapeno Chicken and Rice Casserole! Here are a few step by step photos.
I stuffed the jalapenos with the rice, beans an cotija cheese but I still had not added the chicken and as you can see I didn’t have much more room.
Once I shredded the chicken I just spread it over the stuffed jalapenos. I then spooned in the leftover sauce from the chicken so the dish wouldn’t dry out while baking.
When it’s done baking, serve it immediately while the cheese is still melted!
The casserole was a hit! My only regret was having to hollow out all the jalapenos because of the lightweights in the room! Yes, you heard that correctly and these were only jalapenos! I figured by now I would have built up their heat tolerance levels but guess I have to keep working on that. I’ll have to plan a hot sauce tasting next time and see if I can convert a few.
You can have this cheesy jalapeno, chicken and rice casserole for game day or a week night dinner. It will go well on its own, in a tortilla wrap or as an appetizer. The peppers get tender soft with crispy chicken on top but the melted cortija and Mexican blended cheese brings it all together. If you want it spicier, don’t remove all the seeds or inner lining of pepper, just scoop out enough to get enough ingredients into each jalapeno…then top with chop up serrano peppers! Let me know what you think if you decide to make it. Enjoy!
- 1 lb boneless chicken thighs
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 chipotles peppers in adobo
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1-2 tsp Goya Adobo seasoning
- 1 can small red beans
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp Goya Adobo
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Few cilantro leaves
- 1 cup of rice
- 8-10 large jalapenos, halved
- ½ cup cotija cheese, crumbled
- ¾ cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
- For the chicken, in a heavy saucepan on medium heat, heat up oil. When oil is hot add the onions an cooked until translucent. Add the tomato paste, chiles, garlic and Adobo seasoning. Cook for about 1 minute while stirring.
- Add the chicken and let the fat cook off the chicken. Cook on one side for about 5 minutes then turn and cook the other side for about 5 minutes. Add about 1 cup of water to the saucepan and cover. Cook for about another 10 minutes but keep an eye on it to be sure the chicken doesn't completely dry out. Taste the sauce to make sure it's well seasoned and adjust with more Adobo or water to taste.
- While chicken is cooking, in another smaller saucepan, cook the onions in oil until translucent. Add the beans, tomato paste, oregano, Adobo, black pepper, cilantro and about ½ cup of water. Since beans are already cooked you just need to heat up enough so the flavors meld well together, about 5 minutes.
- In a separate small pot, salt the water for the rice and cook as per the package instructions..
- Once everything is done, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the rice and beans in a bowl and add the cotija cheese. Stuff each of the jalapeno peppers with the mixture and add each individual, stuffed jalapeno to the bottom of the casserole dish.
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred the chicken with a fork, then top the stuffed jalapenos. Drizzle any of the remaining juices from the chicken over the chicken and jalapenos.
- As a final step, top the dish with the shredded cheese and bake for about 15 minutes and top of dish is crispy and cheese is melted.
Oh my! All I have to say is you must make these spicy honey whiskey hot wings. They’re saucy, messy and hot, hot, hot! I used Salamander’s Whiskey hot sauce which is already friggin amazing but wanted to add a bit of sweetness to tame the heat just a bit. If you like mouth burning wings, and I mean the kind that make your lips burn for at least a good 10-15 minutes, then this is it.
This was the best photo I could take at the time, tough handling a camera with sticky fingers!
- 2 lbs chicken wings, split
- 1 tsp Adobo seasoning
- 1 cup Salamander Whiskey Hot Sauce
- ¼ cup honey
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ salt
- *1/4 cup whiskey, optional
- Season the wings and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil and add wings. Boil the wings for about 10-12 minutes or until cooked all the way through.
- While chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce. Add the hot sauce, honey, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and optional whiskey to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Continue cooking until sauce thickens a little then remove from heat and set aside.
- When chicken is done, drain chicken and pat dry with paper towels.
- Heat about ¼ inch of oil in a saute pan and pan fry the wings until wings are brown and crispy.
- Transfer wings to paper towels to absorb oil then toss in a bowl with the prepared wing sauce.
- Stir until wings are well covered and serve.
Make it for you next football game, your Friday night dinner, your next party, just make it!
I normally drink lagers or the less hoppy IPAs so when I saw this smoked chipotle pepper porter all I thought about really was that it had chipotle peppers. I’m always drawn to spicy foods and products so this smokey dark beer with roasted peppers sounded too good to pass up. I had a plan for this bottle. At 22 ounces I knew I could enjoy it several ways and that, I did.
I grew up on malty drinks or the sweet maltas you can find at any Latin gorcery store so the flavors were very familiar. Mom used to mix non-alcoholic stouts or malts with condensed milk for a sweet, milky and malt heavy afternoon treat for us kids. Sounds weird? Well, it’s a Dominican thing and probably a Caribbean thing in general. You have to make sure the beer is ice cold and stir in enough condensed milk to sweeten. You can also blend it with ice for a thicker smoothie. Not sure of this concoctions’ orgins but its a close cousin to the fizzy ice cream floats enjoyed here in the US or the milk and Pepsi Laverne made famous on Laverne & Shirley (I loved that show!). Try it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert this Summer. It removes all the heat and tastes a little like coffee ice cream but stronger in flavor.
This smoked chipotle pepper porter is great on its own too. The Stone Brewing company out of California has been around since the mid nineties but this smokey jalapeno beer is a special release from several years ago and available in limited quantities. Check their website for locations on where this porter can be found. I found mine here in Jersey City.
It is dark, chocolate brown in color and has a malty, rich flavor with a slight bitterness upfront which my guess is the smokey peppers. I wouldn’t think of this as a spicy beer at all but it does have a warming feeling on the backend. I like this brew. I like that I can enjoy a pint on its own, drop a scoop of vanilla ice cream into it or stir it up ice cold with some condensed milk and I am happy woman. Salud and Cheers!
Here’s a quick summary:
Color: dark chocolate
Heat: very mild
Alcohol by Volume: 5.9%
Taste: Deep malt and roasted coffee flavors with slight bitterness
Brewing Co: Stoner Brewers
Hello, I’m back! It’s been a while since I’ve written so hopefully this spicy peanut butter and bananas smoothie recipe will make up for my absence. I’ve been making the best of the wonderful Summer we’ve been having here and spending as much time as I can outdoors. Our Summers are way too short and soon enough the cooler September weather will be here. It always feels like I’m running out of time when August rolls in; like I’m doing an end of Summer countdown! All I can think of is filling up my evenings and weekends with trips to the beach, outdoor music festivals, sidewalk dinning, dog walking and movies under the stars. So naturally, I just want cool, refreshing foods like this spicy peanut butter and bananas smoothie.
I think I turned on the oven once this entire Summer. I’ve been making easy summer meals like grilled chicken over arugula salad; pasta made simply with basil, garlic, cherry tomatoes and olive oil; Indian takeout and well, smoothies! A thick, hearty smoothie can keep you full for a few hours and keeps your kitchen nice and cool. So here’s my amazing spicy peanut butter and bananas smoothie recipe made with almond milk, I hope you enjoy. I also used my volcanic dust from Volcanic Peppers which is just ground up habanero & ghost peppers but it that’s too much, you can always use ground cayenne pepper instead. The peanut butter and chile pepper blend goes really well together. Also, you’re not using much, just enough to give it a kick.
- 8oz Almond Milk
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 banana, sliced
- 2 dashes of Volcanic Peppers volcano dust
- dash of cinnamon
- dash of nutmeg
- Add all ingredients to a blender then add about 4-5 ice cubes and blend.