06 January 2008

Best hot sauce ever

Original Juan makes what I consider the best hot sauce ever. I'm in a little bit of a panic that they're temporarily out of stock, because we're down to three bottles and that won't last us through three weeks of playoffs.

A couple of uses:

Carefully strain out the chunks and pour the strained liquid into a spray container of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter (or your favorite spray butter substitute). It only takes a couple of tablespoons of liquid to flavor an entire an entire bottle. This is fantastic popcorn topping. Unfortunately, the popcorn sold by Original Juan isn't that tasty, so this is a great way to bring garlic heat to your popcorn.

But what to do with the chunks? Hot wings!

Take a big batch of wings cut like you'd cut them for buffalo wings. Coat in flour mixed with some spices - this weekend I used cayenne pepper, paprika, a bit of salt, and black and red pepper. Let the wings sit for an hour, then coat them again. Heat canola or peanut oil to 350 degrees, and fry up those wings, it usually takes about 13 minutes to cook them through.

Take the bottle of hot sauce you just opened to make your popcorn topping, and pour it into a small heavy saucepan. Don't forget the chunks you strained out for the popcorn topping. Add a stick of butter, warm over low heat until the butter is melted, and take a taste to check the heat. (I can promise, a stick of butter to a full-size bottle of this sauce is plenty hot for all but the most nuclear hot wings.) If it's too hot, add more butter. If you have to cut it with butter too much for your poor innocent tastebuds, you might want to add a little bit of garlic powder or minced garlic to bring back some flavor.

Toss the wings in the hot sauce, a few at a time, coating completely. One batch of hot sauce will cover anywhere from 50 to 100 wings, depending on how much butter was added. These wings are actually tastier the second day, after the sauce has really had a chance to soak in, so don't hesitate to make them the night before you are watching football and then chow down during the game.

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