The smallest of adjustments can be made to any meal to take it up an extra notch, and bring some heat to the kitchen.
Here are some ways you can spice things up.
1. Time Your Pepper Right
Pepper is used in almost everything without employing too much heat to a dish. Obviously larger quantities of it will achieve that, but did you know that when you add your pepper is just as important as how much?
When working with meat, you want to season it with pepper after searing to keep that kick. If pepper is sprinkled on prior to searing the meat, the heat will dull the volatile compounds that make it spicy.
2. Reach for the Jelly
Habanero pepper jelly is a great way to sneak spice into any meal. Pepper jelly pairs well with cheeses and sour cream for dipping. It can even be used as a glaze on vegetables or meats. It can also be spread on cornbread, or used to spice up thumbprint cookies by being the jelly dolloped on top.
3. Get Flaky
Jars of red pepper flakes are often seen on the table of many a pizza joint. However, these tiny bits of heat can do a lot more than serve as another cheese topping.
These dried chili peppers can be added to ceviches, homemade sausage mix, kimchi, or pickles.
4. Smoky and Sweet
You’ve probably passed by a can of chiles en adobo and wondered what you can do with these tangy-sweet peppers.
Mince some up and add them to dishes like pulled pork, chili, and roast chicken for a smoky hot flavor.
5. Spice by the Sea
Old Bay seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices most used in seafood dishes – but did you know they now make it hot?
Add a dash of Hot Old Bay spice to soups and seafood dishes for extra heat. You can even pick up some Old Bay hot sauce to dash on your chicken wings or tacos.
6. Be Saucy
Speaking of hot sauce, this is another simple way to add hot to any dish. There are a variety of brands and heat levels out there to choose from.
7. Infuse Oil
Whip together homemade chili oil to drizzle over foods for extra spice and flavor.
Simply add one cup of canola oil, 3 tablespoons of crushed dried peppers, and a dash of salt to a pot and heat over medium heat for five minutes. Let it cool to room temperature then refrigerate it.
8. Horse Around
Horseradish sauce is a surefire way to tingle the taste buds. You can add it to roasted salmon or beef tenderloin, or throw it into cheese-based dips.
9. A Bit of Green
Wasabi is another form of a horseradish mixture that you often see with sushi. You can also use it by mixing it into mayonnaise, hummus, guacamole, or even mashed potatoes.
10. Get Global
Harissa is a popular hot sauce used in Tunisia that’s typically made from ground red birdseye chili peppers with olive oil, garlic, cumin, and coriander.