Some like it hot … some like it not-as-hot. How much spice can you handle? With dozens of new spicy snack recipes featured in the January/February issue of Food Network Magazine, it’s time to test your heat tolerance. These 50 fiery ideas are a lot to choose from, but our friends in the test kitchen developed even more. (If you’re wondering how the kitchen staff survived the spicy challenge, many antacids were consumed during the development of these recipes.)
Below are nine Web-exclusive recipes that didn’t appear in the magazine but are too delicious not to share. Insider tip: The ribs, arepas and clams were favorites during the taste-testing. Make whatever sounds best (or spiciest) to you, then do as the Food Network recipe testers do: dare someone else to try it first.
Cajun Baked Clams: Cook 24 littleneck clams in 1/4 cup each white wine over high heat, covered, until they open. Strain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the juices. (Discard any unopened clams.) Saute 1 finely chopped andouille sausage (about 3 ounces) in butter until browned, 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup chopped pimentos, 3 sliced scallions (white parts only; reserve the greens for topping), 2 minced garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon fresh thyme; cook 1 minute. Stir in the reserved clam juices. Mix 1/2 cup breadcrumbs with 3 tablespoons melted butter and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne. Discard the top shell of each clam; top the clams with the sausage filling, then the breadcrumb mixture; broil until golden. Top with the reserved scallion greens.
Asian Shrimp Toast: Puree 1 pound rock shrimp, 1 chopped serrano chile, 1 chopped scallion and 1 tablespoon Tom Yum paste. Spread on sliced white bread and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds. Cut into triangles and deep-fry in 350 degrees F vegetable oil until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with soy sauce.
Beef Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce: Thinly slice 1 pound flank steak lengthwise; marinate in 1/2 cup satay sauce, 2 teaspoons chili oil and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 2 hours. Thread on skewers and grill until marked and just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Puree 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter, 2 tablespoon each chili oil, and water and 2 teaspoons each chopped ginger and garlic in a mini food processor. Serve with the beef.
Ghost Pepper Tea Sandwiches: Spread 2 tablespoons each ghost pepper jelly and grape jelly on 4 slices white bread. Spread 1/4 cup softened cream cheese over 4 more slices white bread. Sandwich together; trim the crusts and cut into triangles.
Ham-and-Cheese Pinwheels: Roll out 2 sheets thawed frozen puff pastry into 10-inch squares on a lightly floured surface. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons chopped pickled hot peppers, 1/2 cup each shredded smoked cheddar and pepper Jack and 2 ounces thinly sliced ham. Roll into logs and freeze until firm. Slice into 1/3-inch-thick rounds and bake on parchment-lined baking sheets at 400 degrees F until browned, about 25 minutes.
Piri Piri Chicken Arepas: Cook 1 cup pico de gallo, 2 teaspoons ground cumin and 1 tablespoon piri piri hot sauce in 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until softened, 3 minutes. Add 2 cups each shredded rotisserie chicken (skin removed) and chicken broth. Simmer until thickened, 15 minutes. Add 1/2 cup chopped cilantro. Warm and quarter thawed frozen arepas and top with the chicken. Serve with lime wedges and more piri piri sauce.
Pepper Jack Frico: Toss 3 cups shredded pepper jack, 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, 1 tablespoon flour and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Working in batches, sprinkle a thin layer into a 5-inch circle in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook until bubbly and the bottom is crisp and golden, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook 30 more seconds. Drape over a rolling pin to shape; let cool. (Makes about 12.)
Mexican Dry-Rubbed Ribs: Combine 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 tablespoon each chipotle chile powder, New Mexico chile powder, ground cumin, Mexican oregano and kosher salt. Rub all over 3 racks baby back ribs; refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Bake on a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet at 300 degrees F until tender, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Brush with 1/4 cup agave mixed with 2 tablespoons chipotle hot sauce. Bake 20 more minutes.
Indian Eggplant Dip: Broil 4 Japanese eggplants until very soft and collapsed, about 10 minutes. Cool. Halve, scoop out the flesh and mash. Saute 1 chopped onion in a skillet with olive oil until softened. Add 3 minced garlic cloves and 2 teaspoons grated ginger; cook 1 minute. Add 1 tablespoon each tomato paste and garam masala, 1 teaspoon each kosher salt and ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Stir in the mashed eggplant and the juice of 1 lime, then transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth. Top with plain yogurt and cilantro. Serve with naan.