Appetizers

Gochujang Wings

Gochujang Wings

Savory and spicy…

Gochujang wings (also often called Korean chicken wings) are spicy just the way we like: earthy, pungent, and bold. It’s that umami flavor of authentic gochujang that makes these wings so special. It’s a specific savory taste with a “love it or hate it” following. But if you love authentic Korean or Asian cuisine, you’ll love these wings no doubt.

We add some additional heat here with the inclusion of crushed red pepper, but gochujang is chili pepper based, so feel free to cut those flakes from the recipe if “too spicy” is part of your vocabulary. Want to make your own gochujang? It’s an intense process, but we have a simplified recipe here. It’s not quite as savory as authentic gochujang, but it cuts days (yes days…) out of the cooking process.

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spicy chana masala

Spicy Chana Masala

Chickpeas with attitude…

Cayenne pepper brings the sizzle to this chana masala recipe. This chickpea-based Indian favorite is delicious served simply with naan bread or try it atop rice or couscous to make more of a meal of it. It’s a perfect side dish for Indian meals, especially if you’re looking for something that’s not breaded and fried.

There’s an exotic mix of spices here beyond fiery cayenne and chili powder, including garam masala, amchoor powder (also known as mango powder), ginger, and turmeric. It’s a bold turn for chickpeas, so feel free to adjust the spice proportions of each to your liking.

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Papa a la Huancaina

Papa a la Huancaina

A popular Peruvian appetizer…

Who doesn’t love the idea of potatoes with a spicy cheese sauce? That’s simply what the popular Peruvian recipe papa a la Huancaina is: boiled potatoes topped with  a cheese sauce spiced up by the deliciously summery-sweet aji amarillo pepper. It’s made all the better by the addition of hardboiled eggs and black olives – very rustic in flavor.

Papa a la Huancaina is typically served as an appetizer, but it’s so heavy it can also work as meal in its own right. The recipe calls for Huancaina sauce (which you can find the recipe for here).

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chipotle hummus

Chipotle Hummus

Smoky and earthy…

Chipotle peppers, especially chipotle in adobo sauce, brings a delicious earthy and smoky spice to your typical hummus. The spice is full-bodied – chipotles are dried and smoked jalapeño peppers, so consider how much chili pepper you want to use. The recipe calls for one, which is a good amount of spice (and still relatively family friendly). You could opt for an additional (or top the hummus with chopped chipotle) for a good uptick in spiciness.

Serve this hummus with pita chips and fresh cut vegetables. We love it as an appetizer prior to a steak meal. It’s smokiness really sets the tone for the night.

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Stuffed Cherry Peppers

Cheese Stuffed Cherry Peppers

Creamy, sweet, and tangy – with a touch of heat…

It’s often these simple recipes that bring the most pleasure. This cheese stuffed cherry peppers recipe takes a handful of ingredients, but delivers a delicious creamy tang that friends and family will love.

Cherry peppers (a.k.a. pimento peppers) have only a mild heat, 100 to 500 Scoville heat units. That’s at minimum five times milder than a jalapeño pepper, so this is a very family friendly chili pepper appetizer. They are deliciously sweet which pairs very well with the tang from the pickling and the herbed goat cheese.

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