Serious Heat: What's Spicy in Your Fridge?

Serious Heat

Andrea Lynn, senior editor of Chile Pepper magazine, shares thoughts and observations from the fiery food world.


[Flickr: Shoothead]

My fridge is often a rotating selection of hot sauces, chile pastes, and spicy condiments. However, there are a few that I always try to keep my fridge stocked with. Here's a list of my spicy condiment must-haves.

Bhut Sauce Liquid Atomic Fire Hot Sauce It was love at first fiery sip with this sauce made from the hottest chile in the world. I had this in my purse (because I'm that kinda gal) when I was at an oyster bar with some friends, and I broke it out for everyone at the table to try. It's very potent, so I was uncertain of the reaction it would garner. However, everyone at the table was hooked with this flavorful and addictive hot sauce, just like me. It has also become a fixture mixed into my tuna salad for lunch.

El Pinto Medium Roasted Green Chiles Don't have access to freshly roasted green chiles? Who needs them when the puréeing work is already done in this sauce. With a delicious smoky taste from green chiles that have been flame-roasted and hand-peeled, currently I have been obsessed with stirring tablespoons of this into soups like chicken noodle and black bean to create instant magic.

SunChang Gochujang I've waxed about my love for this Korean chile sauce here before. A combination of fermented soybeans and dried chiles (think miso meets chile paste), gochujang is typically mixed with other Asian ingredients like rice wine vinegar, ginger and soy sauce to create a sauce. Sauté veggies like bok choy or broccoli, add the gochujang sauce and serve over rice for an effortless stir-fry brimming with flavor.

Louisiana Gold Horseradish Hot Sauce I usually steer away from those puckery Louisiana-style hot sauces. But there's an exception to almost any rule, and this is mine. The tart spiciness combined with the nasally addition of horseradish powder kept my attention. I especially like a slight drizzle in my vinaigrette or mixing it with mayo to spread on a ham sandwich.

Lowcountry Produce's Sweet Cucumber Pickles with Jalapenos If bread and butter pickles get you giddy like they do for me, these thick-cut, crunchy pickle slices will make you swoon. Sweetness combines with the pop of jalapenos to deliver the ultimate umami experience. I wish I had a creative pairing for these, but the pickles never make it past plucking them straight from the jar.

And a few honorable mentions to the following:
California Blends Sweet Ginger Garlic Hot Sauce
Cholula Chili Lime Hot Sauce
Hoboken Eddie's Spicy Thai Chili Sauce
My Favorite New Mexico Foods' Red Chile Sauce

What spicy condiments are in your fridge that I should be stocking in mine?