Last Sunday, January 16th, was International Hot & Spicy Food Day. It’s the unofficial culinary holiday when heat-lovers relish in making and eating food that tingles the palate and causes bodily cooling agents to clock in! I personally have a very low tolerance for picante–something I simply can’t understand. It’s a pain, you know. I constantly have to ask restaurants to simmer down on the heat factor. And, it’s quite embarrassing to admit that even at home I have to scale back on hot peppers (though cayenne chocolate somehow yields to my sensitivity). It’s a shame and I lower my head in despair when I consider the innumerable amount of tasty, fire-y cuisine I’ve missed out on.
Well, last weekend, with all that was going on in my world–entertaining out-of-town family, visiting MLK memorials in his hometown, cooking for clients, etc…– I found some time to scour the web to see what people were making in celebration of International Hot & Spicy Food Day. The origin of this informal holiday is unknown, but it’s clear that chili’s, raw garlic or ginger are staple ingredients reliable to light up your mouth. Not that we need to reserve a special day to devour eye-popping food but there some serious enthusiasts creating interesting plates using some dynamic ingredient pairings I’ve never thought of. Most cuisines covered were from the East and others from African nations.
While browsing, I drooled over several findings and only got as far pondering what I’d substitute the heat source with. The only thing that I finally decided to eventually make is sriracha: a super caliente and probably the hottest of hot sauces out in the market and originally from Thailand. Yeah, that’ll get my buds all excited and later hating me for searing them! I’ll let you know how that goes– when it does.
Continue reading and snatch the recipe for this fab salad on my weekly column on the Dean & DeLuca Gourmet Blog!
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.