50 Spicy Snacks

Give your game-day party a kick with these fiery bites.
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Spread_251.tif

Photo by: JUSTIN WALKER

JUSTIN WALKER

Chile Pepper Tips

  • Color does not relate to heat; chiles change from green to orange or red as they ripen.
  • Small chiles are generally hotter than large ones.
  • To reduce the heat of a chile, remove the seeds and inner membranes.
  • Wear gloves or wash your hands right after handling — and don't touch your eyes or skin while you work!
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JalapenoGuacamole_072.tif

Jalapeno Guacamole (No. 1)

Photo by: JUSTIN WALKER

JUSTIN WALKER

Jalapeno Guacamole (No. 1)

1. Jalapeno Guacamole Mash 3 avocados with 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, 1 minced jalapeno, 1 tablespoon jalapeno hot sauce, the juice of 2 limes, 1/2 minced red onion and 1 teaspoon each ground cumin and kosher salt. *

2. Chipotle Bean Dip Puree two 15-ounce cans black beans (drained and rinsed) with 1 cup each chopped cilantro and canned fire-roasted tomatoes, 2 tablespoons each olive oil and chopped chipotles in adobo, the juice of 1 lime, 1 garlic clove and 1 teaspoon each ground cumin, hot smoked paprika and kosher salt. **

3. Habanero Salsa Puree one 28-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes, 2 chopped seeded habaneros, 1/2 cup cilantro, 1 minced garlic clove, the juice of 2 limes, 1/2 chopped red onion and 1 teaspoon each ground cumin and kosher salt. ***

4. Harissa Hummus Puree two 15-ounce cans chickpeas (drained and rinsed), 1/2 cup each tahini and jarred piquillo peppers, 1/3 cup each water and olive oil, 4 to 6 tablespoons harissa (Moroccan chile paste), the juice of 1 lemon, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. *

5. Ghost Pepper Queso Saute 1 each chopped shallot and seeded ghost pepper in butter over medium heat until softened. Add 1 tablespoon flour; cook 30 seconds. Whisk in 1 cup milk; simmer 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup each shredded cheddar and pepper jack until melted. ****

6. Jalapeno Dip Puree 4 ounces cream cheese, 1/2 cup each mayonnaise, sour cream and chopped cilantro, 1/4 cup chopped dill, 3 sliced scallions, 2 chopped jalapenos, 1 garlic clove and 1 tablespoon lime juice; season with salt. **

7. Chorizo Quesadillas Spread 1 tablespoon refried beans on each of 3 flour tortillas; divide 1/4 cup shredded pepper jack and 8 ounces cooked crumbled chorizo among the tortillas. Top each with sliced scallions and a tortilla. Cook in a hot buttered skillet, 2 minutes per side. Serve with 1 cup sour cream pureed with 1/2 avocado, 1 tablespoon each lime juice and jalapeno hot sauce and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. **

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Spread_251.tif

Chorizo Nachos (No. 8)

Photo by: JUSTIN WALKER

JUSTIN WALKER

Chorizo Nachos (No. 8)

8. Chorizo Nachos Spread 6 cups regular or spicy tortilla chips in a baking dish. Top with one 15-ounce can hot chili beans (warmed), 1 pound cooked crumbled chorizo, 2 cups shredded pepper jack and 1/2 cup pickled jalapenos. Bake at 425 degrees F until the cheese melts, 15 minutes. Top with sour cream, cilantro and scallions. **

9. Mini Fish Tacos Whisk 2 eggs with 2 chopped chipotles in adobo and 1 teaspoon each dried oregano, garlic powder, kosher salt and black pepper. Add 1 pound cod fillets (cut into 1-inch strips); toss. Marinate 15 minutes. Dredge in 1 cup each plain breadcrumbs and panko mixed with 2 teaspoons each cayenne and cornstarch and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Deep-fry in 375 degrees F vegetable oil until golden brown, 4 minutes. Serve in small tortillas. *

10. Fried Calamari Whisk 1 cup milk with 2 teaspoons cayenne. Add 1 pound cleaned squid (sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rings, plus tentacles); toss. Marinate 20 minutes. Whisk 3/4 cup each flour and cornstarch, 3 tablespoons cayenne and 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Dredge the squid in the flour mixture, then deep-fry in 360 degrees F vegetable oil until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt. Serve with spicy marinara. **

11. Thai Chile Crab Cakes Combine 8 ounces lump crabmeat, 1/4 cup each chopped cilantro, bean sprouts and breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon each fish sauce, Dijon mustard, lime juice and minced fresh Thai chiles. Form into twenty 1-inch patties. Shallow-fry in vegetable oil until golden on both sides. Serve with Thai sweet chili sauce. **

12. Ají Shrimp Mix 1/3 cup each lime juice and chopped red onion, 2 tablespoons minced pickled ají peppers, 1 tablespoon orange juice, 2 grated garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon each grated ginger and kosher salt; toss with 1 pound cooked shrimp and 1/2 cup cilantro. Chill. **

13. Chile Grilled Cheese Mix 2 tablespoons tomato paste with 2 teaspoons jarred chopped Calabrian chiles; spread on 4 bread slices. Top each with 2 slices provolone and another bread slice. Cook in a hot buttered skillet. **

14. Fried Plantains with Chile Crema Puree 1 cup pickled ají peppers, 1/2 cup cilantro and 1 garlic clove. Add 1/2 cup Mexican crema and 1 tablespoon each of the ají brine and lime juice; pulse to combine and season with salt. Fry 2 pounds frozen tostones (plantains) as the label directs. Sprinkle with cayenne and salt. Serve with the crema and lime wedges. **

15. Sriracha Franks Bring 1 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup each soy sauce and rice vinegar, 3 tablespoons each brown sugar and Sriracha, 1 grated garlic clove and 2 teaspoons grated ginger to a simmer. Add a 14-ounce package cocktail franks; cook until warm, 3 to 5 minutes. **

16. Jerk Spare Ribs Rub 3 tablespoons jerk seasoning paste on 1 rack spare ribs. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Season with salt. Bake on a rack set on a rimmed baking sheet at 300 degrees F, flipping halfway through, until tender, 2 hours. Brush with 1/2 cup pineapple preserves mixed with 2 tablespoons ketchup and 1 tablespoon habanero hot sauce. Bake, flipping halfway through, 1 more hour. ***

17. Pretzels with Habanero Honey Mustard Whisk 1/4 cup each Dijon mustard and honey with 1 tablespoon habanero hot sauce. Serve with warm soft pretzels. ***

18. Capicola-Stuffed Mushrooms Combine 1 cup panko, 1/2 cup each chopped hot capicola and shredded Asiago, 1 chopped garlic clove, 1 sliced scallion and 3 tablespoons each chopped parsley and olive oil. Stuff into 24 white button mushroom caps. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, 20 minutes. *

19. Stuffed Hot Peppers Roll sliced hot capicola around pepper Jack cubes; stuff into stemmed and cored pickled hot cherry peppers. Skewer with toothpicks; drizzle with olive oil. ***

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Sausage French Bread Pizza (No. 20)

Photo by: JUSTIN WALKER

JUSTIN WALKER

Sausage French Bread Pizza (No. 20)

20. Sausage French Bread Pizza Spread both halves of a split baguette with spicy marinara. Top with 1 pound cooked crumbled hot Italian sausage and 2 cups shredded smoked mozzarella. Bake at 450 degrees F until bubbling, 10 minutes. Top with Parmesan and parsley. *

21. Spicy Garlic Bread Puree 4 tablespoons softened butter, 1/4 cup each olive oil and chopped parsley, 4 grated garlic cloves, 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon dried oregano. Spread on a split baguette; season with salt. Broil until toasted. **

22. Cheesy Garlic Bread with Soppressata Make Spicy Garlic Bread (No. 21). Top with sliced hot soppressata and provolone, then return to the broiler until the cheese melts. Top with Parmesan and more parsley. **

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Triple Jalapeno Poppers (No. 23)

Photo by: JUSTIN WALKER

JUSTIN WALKER

Triple Jalapeno Poppers (No. 23)

23. Triple Jalapeno Poppers Mix 1/2 cup diced rotisserie chicken, 1/4 cup chunky blue cheese dressing and 1 tablespoon each jalapeno hot sauce and minced pickled jalapenos; spread in 10 seeded halved jalapenos. Dip in 2 beaten eggs to coat; dredge in 3/4 cup breadcrumbs mixed with 3/4 teaspoon chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Deep-fry in 350 degrees F vegetable oil until golden brown, about 3 minutes. ***

24. Fried Pierogi with Spicy Mustard Whisk 1/2 cup whole-grain mustard with 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon chopped shallot, 1 grated serrano chile and 1/2 teaspoon each hot paprika and kosher salt. Deep-fry 2 pounds frozen pierogi in 350 degrees F vegetable oil until golden brown, 4 minutes. Serve with the spicy mustard. *

25. Pulled Pork Empanadas Mix 2 minced garlic cloves, the juice of 1 lime and 1 orange, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 minced pickled ají peppers; season with salt. Mix 1 1/2 cups prepared pulled pork with 1 cup pico de gallo. Divide the pork among 10 empanada dough disks; fold in half and crimp the edges. Freeze 20 minutes. Deep-fry in 375 degrees F vegetable oil, turning, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and serve with the sauce. **

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Chipotle Pigs in a Blanket (No. 26)

Photo by: JUSTIN WALKER

JUSTIN WALKER

Chipotle Pigs in a Blanket (No. 26)

26. Chipotle Pigs in a Blanket Combine 2 teaspoons each chipotle chile powder, hot smoked paprika and ground coriander. Unroll one 8-ounce tube crescent-roll dough; sprinkle both sides with the spice mixture. Separate into triangles and cut each in half lengthwise. Wrap each around a cocktail frank; press to seal. Bake at 375 degrees F until golden, 15 minutes. *

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Buffalo Cauliflower (No. 27)

Photo by: JUSTIN WALKER

JUSTIN WALKER

Buffalo Cauliflower (No. 27)

27. Buffalo Cauliflower Whisk 2 cups each flour and seltzer with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Cut 1 small head cauliflower into 1-inch florets; dip in the batter. Deep-fry in 360 degrees F vegetable oil until golden, 3 minutes. Toss with 1 stick melted butter whisked with 1/4 cup Buffalo hot sauce; serve with blue cheese dressing. *

28. Paprika Kale Chips Tear 1 bunch kale into pieces; toss with 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon hot smoked paprika. Season with salt. Spread on 2 baking sheets (leaves not touching); bake at 300 degrees F, until crisp, 20 minutes. *

29. Sichuan Candied Bacon Arrange 1 pound thick-cut bacon on 2 racks set on rimmed baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees F, 15 minutes. Microwave 1/2 cup brown sugar with 1 tablespoon Sriracha, 1 minute; stir until smooth. Spread on the bacon and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons crushed Sichuan peppercorns, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and 6 crumbled dried chiles de arbol. Bake until crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. **

30. Ancho Pita Chips Cut 4 pitas into wedges; toss with 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder and 1 teaspoon each ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika and kosher salt. Bake in a single layer at 375 degrees F until golden and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. *

31. Chile Ricotta Dip Beat 3 cups ricotta, 1/4 cup jarred chopped Calabrian chiles and 1 teaspoon each dried oregano and kosher salt. Drizzle with olive oil; top with parsley. **

32. Pineapple-Jalapeno Baked Brie Mix 1/4 cup pineapple preserves with 1 minced jalapeno and 1 teaspoon fresh thyme. Slice off the top rind of a small wheel of Brie. Top with the pineapple mixture. Bake in a small baking dish at 375 degrees F until soft, 10 minutes. *

33. Chili Edamame Cook one 14-ounce bag edamame in pods as the label directs. Heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil in a skillet over high heat. Add 3 minced garlic cloves; stir-fry until golden. Toss in 2 tablespoons sambal oelek (Asian chili sauce), 1 tablespoon each sugar, soy sauce and fish sauce, and the edamame. ***

34. Sweet and Spicy Sunflower Seeds Combine 2 cups roasted sunflower seeds with 1 lightly beaten egg white. Stir in 3 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary and 1 teaspoon each red pepper flakes and kosher salt. Bake on an oiled baking sheet at 350 degrees F, stirring once, until no longer sticky, 18 to 20 minutes. **

35. Aleppo Pumpkin Seeds Toast 2 cups pumpkin seeds at 350 degrees F, 8 minutes. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons each Aleppo pepper flakes and ground cumin and 1 teaspoon each hot smoked paprika, kosher salt and black pepper. Bake until golden, 8 more minutes. *

36. Sesame Snack Mix Melt 3 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon each chili powder and sesame seeds and 1/4 teaspoon each cayenne, garlic powder and kosher salt. Toss with 3 cups corn nuts; bake at 325 degrees F until toasted, 15 minutes. Toss with 2 cups wasabi peas. **

37. Chipotle Onion Rings Slice 2 sweet onions into 1/2-inch-thick rings. Soak in 1 cup buttermilk whisked with 3 tablespoons chopped chipotles in adobo, 20 minutes. Whisk 1 1/2 cups flour with 1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons each baking powder and kosher salt; whisk in 21/2 cups buttermilk. Dredge the onion rings in flour, then dip in the batter. Deep-fry in 360 degrees F vegetable oil until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and chipotle chile powder. *

38. Indian Sweet Potato Fries Bake 2 pounds frozen sweet potato fries as the label directs. Toss with 1 tablespoon garam masala and 1 teaspoon each cayenne and kosher salt. Meanwhile, saute 1/2 diced onion in butter until softened. Add 1 tablespoon curry powder and a pinch each of cayenne and salt; saute 1 minute, then stir in 1 cup ketchup. Serve with the fries. **

39. Japanese Fries Bake 2 pounds frozen French fries as the label directs. Toss with 1 tablespoon togarashi (Japanese spice mix) and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Serve with 1 cup mayonnaise mixed with 3 tablespoons sambal oelek (Asian chili sauce). **

40. Party Sub Combine 2 cups chopped romaine with 1 cup each sliced onion and chopped pickled hot cherry peppers. Spread olive tapenade on the bottom of a split 18-inch sub roll (or two 9-inch rolls); drizzle the top piece with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Sandwich with 1/4 pound each sliced pepperoni, hot soppressata, hot capicola, picante provolone and the lettuce mixture. Cut into pieces. *

40. Party Sub Combine 2 cups chopped romaine with 1 cup each sliced onion and chopped pickled hot cherry peppers. Spread olive tapenade on the bottom of a split 18-inch sub roll (or two 9-inch rolls); drizzle the top piece with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Sandwich with 1/4 pound each sliced pepperoni, hot soppressata, hot capicola, picante provolone and the lettuce mixture. Cut into pieces. *

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Pimiento Cheese Sliders (No. 41)

Photo by: JUSTIN WALKER

JUSTIN WALKER

Pimiento Cheese Sliders (No. 41)

41. Pimiento Cheese Sliders Puree 1/2 cup shredded pepper Jack, 2 ounces cream cheese, 2 tablespoons each hot sauce, mayonnaise and chopped pimientos and a pinch of salt. Form 1 pound ground beef into sixteen 2-inch patties; season with ancho chile powder and salt. Cook in an oiled skillet over medium-high heat, 1 minute per side. Serve on slider rolls with the pimiento cheese, barbecue sauce and pickles. *

42. Fried Chicken Sliders Whisk 1 1/2 cups buttermilk with 2 tablespoons cayenne, 1 tablespoon each garlic powder and chopped parsley and 1 teaspoon each chopped thyme, kosher salt and pepper. Add 4 quartered skinless, boneless chicken thighs; marinate 30 minutes. Dredge in 2 cups flour mixed with 2 teaspoons each cayenne and kosher salt. Deep-fry in 350 degrees F vegetable oil until golden, 7 minutes. Serve on potato rolls with coleslaw. *

43. Pepper Jack Biscuits Pulse 2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon each baking powder and sugar, 1 teaspoon each cayenne and kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in a food processor. Pulse in 1 stick cubed cold butter and 1 cup each buttermilk and shredded pepper Jack. Roll out on a floured surface until 1/2 inch thick; fold in half once and reroll. Cut out 24 biscuits with a 2-inch cutter. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, 15 minutes. Serve with hot pepper jelly. *

44. Quick Pickles Bring 6 cups water, 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons each sugar and kosher salt and 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 cup chopped dill and 10 sliced Persian cucumbers. Let cool. Chill. **

45. Fried Pickles Make a half batch of Quick Pickles (No. 44; or use 3 cups jarred pickle slices). Drain and pat dry; reserve 1 tablespoon brine. Whisk 1 1/2 cups each flour and beer with 1/2 teaspoon each cayenne and kosher salt. Dip the pickles in the batter. Deep-fry in 375 degrees F vegetable oil until golden, 4 minutes. Serve with 1/2 cup mayonnaise mixed with the reserved brine and 1 tablespoon hot sauce. **

46. Bacon-Chile Brussels Sprouts Toss 1 pound halved Brussels sprouts with 3 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 tablespoon each chipotle chile powder and ancho chile powder and 1 teaspoon kosher salt; wrap each with 1/2 slice bacon. Roast on a rack set on a rimmed baking sheet at 425 degrees F until crisp, 30 minutes. *

47. Hot Pepper Frittata Bites Saute 1 sliced onion and 1 chopped bell pepper in olive oil in a medium ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until tender; season with salt. Add 2 each sliced red jalapenos and pickled cherry peppers; saute 2 minutes. Beat 8 eggs, 1 cup shredded mozzarella, 1/4 cup milk and 1 teaspoon kosher salt; pour into the skillet. Bake at 375 degrees F until set, 30 minutes. Cool; cut into pieces. **

48. Devil's Eggs Hard-boil 12 eggs; cut in half. Remove the yolks; mash with 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons each gochujang (Korean chile paste) and Dijon mustard. Season with salt. Stuff into the egg whites; top with chopped kimchi and sliced scallions. *

49. Crabby Mary Shooters Toss 1/4 pound lump crabmeat with 2 tablespoons each minced celery and pickled hot banana peppers and 1 tablespoon hot sauce; chill. Whisk 2 cups Clamato juice, 1/2 cup pepper-flavored vodka, 2 tablespoons hot sauce, 1 tablespoon each Worcestershire sauce, horseradish and pepper and 1 teaspoon celery salt; chill. Serve in shot glasses; top with the crab salad. **

50. Chili-Salted Mango Combine 1/4 cup kosher salt, 1 tablespoon each Aleppo pepper flakes and chili powder, 1/2 tablespoon hot smoked paprika and the grated zest of 1 lime. Sprinkle lightly on sliced mangoes with a squeeze of lime. *

 

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