There are holidays for almost everything, but our tastebuds are waking up to the idea of August 19 being Hot & Spicy Food Day. Yum! We do love our hot and spicy foods and now that we know there is a day to celebrate them, we are offering you some recipes and ideas for foods to try and to start planning your Hot & Spicy Food Day party right now!

Fun in the backyard and on your grill for Hot and Spicy Food Day

August 19 is a celebration fit for “pyro-gourmaniacs.” We discovered that pyro-gourmaniacs love, appreciate and grill up and eat spicy foods year-round but they get their own day on August 19. Spices have been used in recipes for more than 6,000 years. Certain cultures made their own ingredients to put onto their foods that added a flavorful bite!

These are ingredients that may immediately come to mind when you think hot foods (but there are more ways to spice it up):

  1. Hot sauce
  2. Chilis
  3. Peppers

Many people — typically those who don’t like spicy foods because they think they are only always HOT. That’s not the case, though spicy foods are bursting with flavor and yes they can go from warm to spicy on the tongue.

A benefit of spicy foods is capsaicin, a compound of chilis. They’ve — it’s been shown to fight inflammation and boost metabolism, in addition to making foods taste delicious. It’s believed that people who eat spicy foods have lower rates of strokes and heart attacks. They also experience an increase in blood flow and their bodies may produce more of the feel-good hormone serotonin.

If you’re new to hot and spicy foods, where do you begin? We believe you should work your way up to the spiciest of spicy foods. Don’t jump right into the deep end or your taste buds may be aflame and your eyes watering and you may swear off of the spice!

Invite your friends over and have a hot and spicy cook-off!

Here are some of our favorite spicy recipes

Grilled Hot Wings

hot grilled wings

Ingredients (Serves 6)

  1. 3 lbs of party wings. If you get fully intact chicken wings, get 24 and cut chicken wings into three sections and discard the wing tips.
  2. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. 1 cup chicken broth or stock

Seasoning Blend (combine all ingredients listed)

  1. 1/4 cup mild chili powder, we use Ancho powder (Chimayo or Hatch powder works well too).
  2. 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  3. 2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  6. 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  7. 3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground fresh black pepper
  8. 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  9. 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

Wing Sauce Blend

  1. 1 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  2. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 1/4″ cubes
  3. 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green portions
  4. 1/4 cup finely chopped chives

Optional traditional hot wing sides

  1. Blue cheese dressing
  2. Celery sticks
  3. Baby carrots


  1. The first step is to season the wings and then place them in aluminum pans for steaming and infusing them with flavor.
  2. Place the wings in a large bowl and toss with the seasoning blend to coat evenly on all sides.
  3. In 2 disposable aluminum pans (13 1/2″ x 9 1/2 “x 3”) or anywhere near that size, add about 2 tablespoons of the cubed butter into the bottom of each pan. Add chicken broth to each pan so it’s about 1/4 inch high (about 1/2 cup).
  4. Arrange the seasoned coated wings in an even layer into the two pans. You can pack them in side-to-side, but don’t stack them up. They should all be touching the broth and butter. Cover each pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil; crimp to seal.
  5. Place the wings into the grill and cook for 45 minutes at about 275 degrees, low and slow. If you end up stacking up some trays, be sure to switch them around about halfway through. This step can also be prepared in an oven.
  6. As you get near the end of the steaming process, you should prepare your woodfired or charcoal grill as well as the wing sauce.

Making the wing sauce

  1. Pour 1 cup of Frank’s Hot Sauce into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Add 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter and swirl until the butter is completely melted. Add the scallions and chives. Turn off the burner, stir to incorporate all ingredients and basically keep it in a warm spot until it’s ready to meet the wings. I leave it on the stove top until I’m ready to use. You can grate a jalapeño or other pepper (avoid the seeds) into the sauce to give it a fresh kick of heat!

Once the steaming and wing sauce is complete

  1. After the steaming phase is complete, you can wait until guests arrive or just head for the grill. We like to use direct heat from a charcoal fire with smoldering wood chips for more smoke. Cook the wings in batches so everyone gets a chance to try them fresh and hot off the grill.
  2. Grilling takes about 10-15 minutes and make take a bit of finesse to get just right. The spice coating should blacken a bit. The meat is already mostly done from the steaming phase, so watch carefully, rotating wings around from hotter to cooler parts of the grate to make sure they get to a consistent level of doneness.
  3. Take a finsihed batch of wings, using tongs, toss them in the wing sauce (transfer the sauce to a bowl first if your saucepan isn’t big enough).
  4. Garnish with a bit of greenery if you want to get fancy, and serve! (From Cayenne Dianne – Adapted from Serious Barbecue from Adam Perry Lang)

Grilled Chipotle Burger

burger with a sesame bun and melted cheese close up

  •  2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/4 cup canned chipotle chiles (chopped) in adobo, including sauce
  • salt and pepper or grill seasoning

For the chipotle mayonnaise

  • 2-3 chipotle peppers, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

Other ingredients

  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Cheese
  • Sliced jalapeno
  • Hamburger buns


  1. Combine all ingredients for chipotle mayonnaise and mix well. Set aside.
  2. Preheat grill. Combine ground beef with chipotle chiles and adobo sauce. Mix with hands and form into 1/2 lb patties. Salt and pepper patties on each side. Cook on each side until desired doneness.
  3. 3. Toast hamburger buns and slather with chipotle mayonnaise. Add burgers, lettuce, tomato and onion. Serve with chips or fries. (From Eclectic Recipes .com)

Jalapeno & Blueberry Cornbread (Vegan)

jalapeno blueberry cornbread

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 1 1/2 cup soymilk or milk of choice
  • 3 Tbsp. jalapeño, small dice
  • 1/2 c. fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350F and grease an 8×8 baking pan.

  1. Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Whisk.
  2. In a separate bowl combine the soy milk, maple syrup and coconut oil. Whisk and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, take the blueberries and toss them with the flour. This will help prevent them from all sinking to the bottom.
  4. Combine the wet into the dry and mix well. Add in the jalapeños and blueberries. Mix.
  5. Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake roughly 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Note: Adjust the amount of jalapeño to your liking. (Recipe from One Green

This is a great side dish!

Grilled Salmon With Spicy Rub

spicy salmon

Salmon Rub (The rub can be used on other foods you are grilling) 

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel seed


  • 2 1/2 pounds skin-on salmon fillets
  • mayonnaise
  • 1 lime

Cooking directions

  1. Combine all the rub ingredients until thoroughly mixed. You can store any leftover rub in an airtight container.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the grill to medium heat.
  3. Sprinkle several tablespoons of the rub evenly over the skinless side of the salmon fillets and gently rub it into the fish flesh.
  4. Spread a very thin layer of mayonnaise over the rub on the salmon. Place the fish on an oiled grill rack, skin side down.
  5. Close the grill cover and cook until the fish flakes easily. Cooking time will vary by the thickness of the fillets but expect them to take 15-20 minutes. Do not overcook the fish and do not turn it while cooking.
  6. Before serving, squeeze fresh lime juice over the fillets. (Recipe from CD Kitchen .com)

Picadillo Poppers

chipoltle burger


  • 8 oz. lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 8.8-oz. pouch cooked Spanish-style rice
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 24 plump fresh jalapeno peppers

For the Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 8-oz. carton sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 cup ground toasted almonds
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • a pinch of ground cinnamon


  1. In a large skillet, saute the ground beef and onion over medium heat, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Once the meat is brown, and the onion is tender, pour these into a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Stir in the cooked rice, grated Monterey Jack cheese, olives, raisins, and lime juice into the bowl. Mix until well combined. Set aside.
  3. Cut a slit across the length on one side of each jalapeno pepper to create a pocket. Remove the membranes and seeds inside with a small spoon and discard. Spoon the filling into each of the jalapeno peppers.
  4. Arrange the stuffed jalapeno peppers in a grilled basket with the slit side up. Place the basket on your bbq grill rack on top of the direct heat. Cover and grill these for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the peppers are crisp-tender and the filling has completely cooked through. Remove from the grill and arrange them onto a serving plate.
  5. To make the dipping sauce, combine the sour cream, milk, almonds, lime juice, and ground cinnamon in a small mixing bowl until well combined. Serve this along with the stuffed jalapeno peppers.

This is a delicious side with a spicy kick! (From Better Homes and Gardens)

Enjoy a mucho caliente Hot & Spicy Food August 19!