Winter weather getting you down? Maybe it's time to turn up the heat in the kitchen with a blast of hot sauce. And here's another reason to hit the sauce: January 22 is National Hot Sauce Day. Sure you know to sprinkle hot sauce on your eggs and pizza, but how about dessert? Cocktails? Even popcorn? Take a cue from some of these tasty hot sauce-spiked recipes from around the web and get ready to fan the flames.
1. Sriracha-caramel popcorn: Sriracha-mania — coming soon to a theater concession stand near you! Julie, the blogger behind Dinner with Julie, adds a touch of Sriracha to her sugary, sticky popcorn glaze for an unmistakable but not lip-searing heat that makes this a perfect treat for kids and adults alike.
2. Skinny Buffalo chicken dip: Now you can eat half of the batch of dip without all of that pesky self loathing. Ali from Gimme some Oven combines low-fat mozzarella, blue cheese and cream cheeses with Greek yogurt, shredded cooked chicken and plenty of hot sauce for this slimmed down take on the ever-popular Buffalo chicken dip. Use a Buffalo or wing sauce to stick to the classic rendition, or mix it up a little with a Jamaican style jerk sauce.
3. Micheladas: For her take on the Mexican beer cocktail, Lori from Fake Food Free juices fresh tomatoes and cilantro, then adds fresh lime juice, salt, garlic powder, pepper and hot sauce, all topped with an icy cold beer. Feel free to make yours with michelada mix and up the ante on the hot sauce — it can go as caliente as you can take it!
4. Greek fries: Alexandra from Figs and Feta loads fresh cut french fries with everything from oregano and olives to garlic butter, banana pepper rings and hot sauce. Greek yogurt makes a great dipping sauce if these fries are just too hot to handle.
5. Mini tomato BLT bites: From my own blog, Fritos and Foie Gras, here's my favorite use for hot sauce — I stuff hollowed out cherry tomatoes with a creamy, hot sauce-spiked lettuce and bacon salad and top them off with crispy croutons that also get a hit of hot sauce.
6. Thai-spiced whole cauliflower: Cat Bowen, from Breakfast to Bed, doesn’t believe that meat should be the center of every meal. For an inspired meat-free main, she takes an entire head of cauliflower, drenches it in peanut butter, soy sauce, fish sauce and — of course! — chili paste, then marinates it overnight. After roasting in an oven for about 40 minutes, it is golden outside, tender inside and infused with heat.
7. Hot sauce ice pops: Heat up and cool down at the same time with these savory ice pops from Keri at Shaken Together Life. The two-ingredient (vegetable juice and hot sauce) pops would make perfect stirrers for bloody mary cocktails.