Add a Kick to Your Favorite Dish

It doesn’t take much spice to give your favorite foods a little extra dose of authority. You can spice up nearly any type of consumable and do it well. Just a little disclaimer here, you might want to consider how much of a kick you can endure before you begin. We wanted to share a few ideas for imparting spicy goodness to a few common dishes for added flavor and enjoyment.

  • Red Pepper Flakes

Red Pepper Flakes are among the most versatile heat generators. Although they’re not terribly high in heat units, they can add a moderate kick to most dishes. If your scrambled eggs are a little bland or if you enjoy having a little kick to your pizza, they’re a great resource to have on hand. You can also add them to spaghetti, chili, soups and stews.

  • Fresh Hot Peppers

Using fresh hot peppers can give you nearly any degree of heat that you desire. Although you’ll need to take care when prepping them, and we strongly recommend that you use rubber gloves when chopping them up, they can add flavor and a kick to most dishes with a great infusion of pepper flavor. If you’re excessively brave, you could go with the super hots including the California Reaper for maximum heat, or the Ghost Pepper for a barely noticeable tone down or perhaps the Habanero. If you’re into a milder heat, then you may want to settle for the Jalapeno which ranks fairly low in heat generation.

Here are a few of our favorites

  1. Hot pepper burgers are easy to make and there are a couple of ways to do it. Finely chopped peppers can be added directly to the burger before you make the patties (again, with rubber gloves), but be warned, this could result in fiery consequences so watch the amounts that you use.
  2. Another way of doing this is to simply grill the peppers and add them on top of the patty for a superb kick. You can also add fresh hot peppers to any soups, stews or casseroles.
  3. Cracked Black Pepper

This is a source of spice that is often overlooked. Although it isn’t on the level of the super hot peppers, Coarsely ground black pepper makes an amazing addition to tomato soup if you want to crank up a little heat. There is something about the flavor that turns ordinary tomato soup into a spicy delight, and it’s even better when served with grilled hot pepper cheese sandwiches.

These are just a few of the things that you can do to jack up the heat in your favorite dishes. The amount of heat that you add is under your control so it pays to be aware of how much spice your peppers are capable of adding. The best advice that we can give here is to start out with small additions until you get a feel for the effect that it will produce. It’s a little more difficult to dilute an over spiced dish than it is to gradually increase the heat with more spice. Good luck and have fun!

Handle With Care (Safety Precautions When Prepping and Cooking Peppers)

Working with super hot chili peppers can lead to pain untold if it isn’t done correctly. With some pepper varieties reaching over 2 million on the Scoville Scale, it’s vital to take protective measures to ensure that the heat isn’t transferred to your skin while preparing and cooking them.

Peppers That are Highest on the Scoville Scale

The Scoville Scale is the brilliant invention that gives you an accurate assessment of the heat of a specific variety of hot pepper so you don’t have to find out on your own. This will give you an idea of what you’re dealing with before you begin. It’s bad enough to get the juice from a jalapeno pepper on your bare hands. While the pain is quite intense and you can depend on a half hour of complete misery if you do, it’s really minimal when you compare the 5,000 Scoville units of heat of this pepper with the range of 1.5 to 2.2 million with the Carolina Reaper for example.

Here is a quick guide on heat levels for some of the most prolific hotties.

  • Caribbean Red Habanero- up to 475,000
  • Red Savina -up to 580,000
  • King Nag -: up to 800,000
  • Bhut Jolokia (or Ghost Pepper) – 1,000,000+
  • New Mexico Scorpion – 1,191,595
  • Naga Viper – 1,382,118 SHU
  • Trinidad Scorpion Butch T: 1,463,700
  • Trinidad Moruga Scorpion – 2,009,231
  • Pepper Spray – Up to 5,300,000

It’s no wonder that a shot of pepper spray will disable an attacker. Consider these peppers as being a delicacy with unrivaled flavor, yet treasures which are to be handled very carefully. They can even cause a little coughing as you prepare them fully gloved during the preparation process so it’s a good idea to prepare them in a ventilated area.

Protect yourself from the heat

Super hot chili peppers contain a chemical called capsaicin. It is an oil that adheres to the skin and causes intense burning sensations. If the compound gets on your skin it will burn intensely for roughly thirty minutes so the best practice is to avoid getting it on your skin or in your eyes. It is highly recommended that you wear rubber gloves when working with super hot chili peppers and avoid touching the eyes or any other sensitive area of the body.

Important items to have on hand when working with super hots

Dairy products seem to work the best for counteracting the burning effects of capsaicin. It’s a good idea to keep some on hand when you’re prepping them and as you eat the foods made with them. Some preppers who have had a bad experience will use sour cream on the affected areas of the hands. If you get too much in a dish that you’re eating, drinking milk will help to a degree. The key is to try your best to avoid over spicing your foods. Start by adding smaller amounts of the pepper and work your way upward.

Toning down the heat

If you’re just starting out with spicy foods, it’s best to build your tolerance. This is a process and takes time so be patient. If you choose to remove the seeds from the pepper, be warned that the hottest parts lie in the white membranes. There is no reason to fear the heat but it definitely must be respected.

Favorite Hot Sauces

jalapeno-el-yucateco

The popularity of hot sauces is fairly evident with new creations on the shelves every year. In the race to grow the hottest possible pepper, heat gourmands keep churning out new and amazingly hot sauce preparations. We’ve sampled quite a few of them and while some are just okay, there are others that really hit the spot with the heat that is so desirable and the flavor that adds character to your foods. We thought it might be helpful to provide you with a list of some of our favorite hot sauces along with a brief editorial on them in case you’re interested in trying something new.

  • Jalapeno El Yucateco

This sauce is good if you’re starting out on the experimentation side of hot sauce. It has a remarkably bright flavor with a bit of heat intensity that you feel over the entire area of the tongue. The Jalapeno base gives it a great kick but it doesn’t qualify as a super hot. This one was worth mentioning as a milder version of heat, but don’t be fooled, if you haven’t yet built a tolerance it could give you a kick.

  • CaJohn’s fiery Happy Beaver

This hot sauce has a lot to offer for intermediates. If you enjoy a sweet flavor, it delivers but watch out for the heat that kicks in quickly. You’ll enjoy a full-bodied and long lasting burn with Happy Beaver.

  • Darth Sambal

We’re graduating past beginner level with Darth Sambal. It originates in Indonesia and it features Cayenne, Red Jalapeno, and Aleppo, but here comes the heat warning. Darth could be considered evil because of the infusion of the deadly Ghost Pepper. It delivers a heat wave that lands firmly in the upper range. It’s packed with flavor and all of the heat you’ll really need

  • The Machine Screaming Hot Wing Sauce

We’ve arrived at one of the hottest sauces that is a personal favorite because of the combination of peppers that give it an amazing flavor and fire starting heat. This amazing concoction is made with Chocolate Ghost peppers, Smoked Habaneros, Seven Pot Doughlah and the Scoville screamer, Trinidad Scorpion peppers. While it’s popular for use with hot wings for the more daring crowd, it can be used on anything. It features a creamy red pepper texture, although you won’t be thinking about the texture for long. This hot sauce is our pick for those who have built up somewhat of a tolerance or perhaps have a leather tongue. It delivers the flavor and heat in high volumes so use with care.

We could go on for quite a while, but this is a good start on our contributions for great hot sauces to try. Although it’s fun to experiment in your own kitchen, these fine manufacturers have taken the prep work dangers on their own shoulders and delivered some fine hot sauces that we think are noteworthy.