Spicy Foods: Surefire Bets

Turn up the heat at your next bash with these spicy apps.

Two-Alarm Chili Cups

Bake two 2.1-ounce boxes mini phyllo cups according to package directions. Cook 1/2 pound ground beef until brown, stir in 1 tablespoon chili powder and 1/3 cup chopped drained pickled jalapeño chiles; cook for 1 minute. Stir in 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Spoon into the cups; top each with a dot of sour cream, more cheese and cilantro leaves.

chili cups

Hot Chocolate Candied Ginger

Melt 1/4 cup chocolate chips in the microwave, then stir in another 1/4 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper until smooth. Place 8 ounces candied ginger slices on a wax-paper-lined baking sheet. Brush half of each slice with the melted chocolate and let set.

candied ginger

Spicy Gazpacho Shooters

Using a food processor, puree 1 cup tomato juice, 1 clove garlic and 1 jalapeño chile. Transfer to a large bowl; add 1 1/2 cups tomato juice, 1 cup peeled and finely chopped English cucumber, 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper and a handful of cilantro leaves. Serve chilled in twelve 2-ounce shot glasses, topped with cilantro leaves.

gazpacho shooters

Hot Mustard Wings

Arrange 2 pounds chicken wings, separated at the joint and tips discarded, on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Bake in the upper third of a 500° oven for 35 minutes. Whisk together 3 tablespoons hot yellow mustard, 1 tablespoon each soy sauce, hot sesame oil and rice wine vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon sugar; add wings and toss.

hot mustard wings

Honeydew with Sweet-Heat Lime Sauce

Stir together the juice of 2 limes, 2 tablespoons each honey and chopped mint and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Cut 1/2 honeydew melon into bite-size cubes, thread onto skewers and serve with the spicy lime dipping sauce.


Fiery Cottage-Cheese Boats

Season 1 cup small curd cottage cheese with 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish and 1 teaspoon pepper. Spoon onto twenty-four 2-inch-long celery sticks and sprinkle with 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans.

cottage cheese boats