Feelin’ Hot Hot Hot

By Carolyn Stine May 7, 2019 

Turn up the heat in your kitchen with our guide to all of your favorite hot sauces and what to pair them with.

“Choose Your Own Adventure” is a concept that we like to apply to many areas of our day to day lives. That could mean enjoying one cookie off of the baking tray, or enjoying six cookies off of the baking tray (in one sitting). That could mean running on a flat road at Barry’s Bootcamp, or running at a five incline. And that could mean adding a hint of spice to our meal, or going gangbusters and making it taste like a veritable ghost pepper explosion in our mouths. Fortunately for you all, we believe that spice application is a little bit different for everyone’s taste buds. As Goldilocks once said, “this is juuuuuust right,” and that’s what we’re going for with our brand spanking new Bashed hot sauce guide. We’ve scoured the world of fiery sauces and spices to bring you the inside scoop on all things calienté, so no matter where you sit on the taste and heat spectrum, we’ve got the goods. Get ready to turn up the heat in your own kitchen with our guide to the perfect hot sauce pairings.

Bashed Hot Sauce Guide

Tacos Are Not Just for Tuesday

Tacos: we know them, we love them, we can’t get enough of them. But with all of the authentic Mexican hot sauces out there, you can catch a serious case of analysis paralysis when trying to pick the best one for you. If you’re looking for a milder option, Cholula is an absolute classic. It’s made from a blend of peppers, and has a subtle sweetness that perfectly compliments everything from chicken to steak to veggie tacos.If you’re looking to pack a bit more of a punch, then Valentina is your secret weapon. It has more heat, a thicker consistency, and the big distinguishing factor is its extra-vinegary flavor, which just so happens to pair excellently when making a more fatty meat for your tacos, such as pulled pork carnitas.

 

Wings n’ Things

Ah, the American classic. When it comes to whipping up some wings, whether for that Superbowl party you’re hosting or just a Sunday night at home, there is one hot sauce that is synonymous with buffalo wings: Frank’s Red Hot. The original is made from cayenne peppers, but also has spices incorporated to give it that authentic buffalo flavor. If you are feeling the need for more heat, keep it within the Frank’s family and try their Xtra Hot Sauce, which should satisfy your hot craving in no time.

You Better Wok

Also known as, a stir fry where you use up all of the odds and ends in your fridge. We love a good stir fry because the sky is literally the limit in terms of the ingredients that you can incorporate. But one of the best ways that we’ve found to kick that stir fry up a notch is to incorporate the right element of heat to make the flavor outstanding. Sambal oelek is an incredible way to do just that. It’s an Indonesian red chili paste that also has garlic and ginger incorporated into it for some serious depth of flavor. Try it mixed with sesame oil and your protein and veggie of choice in the wok at home. If you want to kick it up another notch, Korean gochujang paste is your next move. It’s a red chili paste as well, but this one is fermented so the umami flavor is off the charts. We like to go seafood with this one, and shrimp is our current fave.

 

Avocado Toast or Bust

When breakfast is the name of your game (or an afternoon snack, or dinner…), we love adding hot sauce to balance out the creamy, fatty notes of eggs and avocado on your crunchy avo toast. And we don’t just love adding any hot sauce. While red pepper flakes may do the trick, we believe that we can do better. If you’re a fellow umami-lover, then look no further than Truff Hot Sauce. It’s infused with earthy truffles and isn’t over-the-top spicy. But wait, you want over-the-top spicy? Then Momofuku Ssam Sauce will be your morning jam. Not only is it HOT, but it’s punched up with miso, sake, and soy sauce for an absolute flavor bomb.

Bashed Hot Sauce Guide

Hummus Where the Heart Is

There are two key H’s in our lives (besides the “hot” in hot sauce)… hummus and harissa. They go together like peanut butter and jelly, or cool ice cream and a crunchy cone. Hummus is one of our kitchen staples that we whip up for weekday snacking, and weekend entertaining. But adding harissa to it brings it to a whole ‘nother level. Harissa is a North African chili blend that also contains cumin and garlic for a nice smokey flavor. It comes in both powder and paste forms, and we love it in everything from chicken marinades to mixed into our hummus. If you want less spice, we’d recommend incorporating the powder a little bit at a time. If you want more spice, we also love adding a dollop of harissa paste in addition to the powder to really kick it up a notch.

 

It’s Never Too Early for a Bloody Mary…

We would be remiss if we didn’t include the mother of all spicy cocktails in our hot sauce guide. Having a killer bloody mary recipe in your arsenal is a must for any host or hostess, and we’ve been known to drink them at all hours. Now, the hot sauce element. While Tabasco may be the most obvious choice for its less-vinegary, Louisiana-born flavor, we also love newcomer Queen Majesty Hot Sauce. Not only does the brand brew their hot sauce thoughtfully without GMOs, unnatural preservatives, or sugar, but their Scotch Bonnet and Ginger Hot Sauce packs a wallop of heat and ginger and lemon flavors for your bloody mary brunch.

Bashed Hot Sauce Guide

Curry in a Hurry

Now this is a place to play with some heat. Curry is traditionally made with fresh chilis in the curry itself, but we like tempering the chili heat in favor of keeping the base milder so that all can enjoy it. That’s where the hot sauce comes in. We go mad for a drizzle of sriracha on top, aka “The Rooster” that we know and worship. It has vinegar, garlic, and sugar for the perfect counterbalance to that heat. If you want pure heat and less auxiliary flavors, then Goya Red Hot Sauce is your match. It’s a blend of tabasco peppers and Louisiana hot peppers that won’t detract from your incredible curry flavors.

How do you feel the heat in your own kitchen? Share your forays into the fiery below!

 

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Carolyn Stine

A party without cake is just a meeting.

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