What finger foods would be good for a hot sauce tasting party?
February 10, 2015 4:45 PM   Subscribe

What finger foods would be good for a hot sauce tasting party?

Hi! I am hosting a tasting of different Caribbean hot sauces, and need ideas of what to put them on. The tricky part is that these snacks have to be made in advance, transported & served cold, or room-temp. Any creative ideas are much appreciated! They can be either dipped into the sauces, or the sauces can be already in or on them. The sauces will include a very hot scotch bonnet sauce, a curry hot sauce & a sweet/hot fruit based sauce. A Caribbean, down island theme is the overall "flavor" of the event. Thank you for your responses!
posted by Bohemian Sailor to Food & Drink (28 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
You should definitely have other, better foods, but saltine crackers would be good to have as part of the mix. Sometimes people want to test what a hot sauce tastes like all by itself.
posted by traveler_ at 4:49 PM on February 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

I've seen hot sauce booths at festivals and farmers markets and so forth offering tortilla chips for tasting. They're a pretty neutral flavor and are yummy with hot sauce. They aren't particularly interesting or substantial though, so some other ideas may work better for you.
posted by papayaninja at 4:49 PM on February 10, 2015

Roast yam fingers - can be served room temperature and taste good with hot sauce. Roast cauliflower florets, the same.
posted by Frowner at 4:56 PM on February 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

Celery? Pretty neutral tasting on its own, but offers a texture contrast to the sauce. I feel like the saltiness of your typical tortilla/corn chip could interfere with the taste of the sauce itself...
posted by msbubbaclees at 4:56 PM on February 10, 2015

I love pork rinds/chicharrones with hot sauce. They're neutral enough to let the hot sauce flavors come out, and they have enough fat to prevent your palate from being blown-out by chili powers.
posted by quince at 4:57 PM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

So, I used to work at a restaurant that did monthly hot sauce tastings. We set out tortilla chips as well as townhouse crackers with cream cheese and fake crab on them.

It's important to have something fatty so that you can cleanse the heat. Cream cheese works very well for that. You can also use a loaf of neutral bread (i.e. rustic white rounds).
posted by klangklangston at 5:07 PM on February 10, 2015

I've always loved hot sauce on hard boiled eggs.
posted by sciencegeek at 5:09 PM on February 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

cucumber sticks
celery sticks with cream cheese in them
mango sticks
mild cheese sticks
roti canai flatbread
deviled eggs made with hot sauce
peach chutney made with hot sauce
chilled soup shooters made with hot sauce
bloody mary shooters made with hot sauce
posted by zennie at 5:10 PM on February 10, 2015

Maybe some fried plantain chips or tostones?

Also can I come to your hot sauce party?
posted by wats at 5:11 PM on February 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

Yeesh - what doesn't go with hot sauce? Offhand, you could try

- mushrooms: raw, sliced into 'chips'

- chicken strips: I don't mean fried, breaded crap. But cooked breast or dark meat, perhaps rough-cut into strips; serve with toothpicks.

- celery (80 zillion sports bars can't be wrong).

- refried beans: not exactly a finger food, but refried beans + hot sauce = heaven.

- warm wheat or corn tortillas, perhaps cut into wedges.

- raw green/red/yellow pepper slices.

- fried chicken livers.

- shrimp.

- at a Christmas party last year I had an appetizer that was bacon, shrimp, guacamole and hot sauce in a shot glass.

- raw oysters. Personally I consider Tabasco sauce "traditional", but it would be interesting to try other hot sauces.
posted by doctor tough love at 5:18 PM on February 10, 2015

Fried tofu cubes served on skewers.
posted by fearthehat at 5:24 PM on February 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

How about cold, plain chicken wings?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:29 PM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

I came here to also say wings, and I don't even like wings that much. They're perfect for this.
posted by limeonaire at 5:32 PM on February 10, 2015

-I think fried chicken, boneless wings, or chicken tenders is really the way to go. I know it sounds like they will have to be transported and will cool off, but I would just get them really hot and try to transport them in a way so they won't get too cold. Room temperature would be fine.

-Another option I can thing of may be potato wedges or some thick sort of french fry. I think french fries are the perfect thing to dip in all kinds of sauces, including hot sauce. You'll want to try to keep them warm though because I don't think anyone enjoys cold fries. Maybe a potato skin sort of thing wouldn't be bad if it cooled off?

-Onion rings could work. The onion flavor will compliment hot sauces, I think, and it won't matter if they cool off a bit.

-A bit advanced but vegetable tempura might work. (Can you tell I think fried food goes awesome with hot sauce?) It would be something the non-meat eaters can enjoy and it feels sort of like real food.

-Maybe hush puppies? (Again, fried goodness.)

-A neutral option to let the hot sauce shine would be pita bread. It has enough texture to make it feel like you're really eating something, unlike a chip or pretzel, but the flavor is neutral enough that the hot sauce can shine through. This one also doesn't have any temperature issues, unlike the other suggestions. Or you could use naan, which would go well at least with the curry one.
posted by AppleTurnover at 5:52 PM on February 10, 2015


(These recipes are not so much the puff pastry kind, more the buttery cheese + flour kind. Obviously leave out the cayenne pepper, chili flakes etc. for your hot sauce dipping purposes.)
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:53 PM on February 10, 2015


That's the obvious answer, right? Go ahead and memail if you want a super secret cocktail/oyster shooter recipe to try with your hot sauces.

Ditto I can recommend oyster suppliers to you. If you don't get them delivered overnight, check the tag when you buy them from a retailer in your area. Oysters live for a few weeks, but they are optimal within 4 days of harvest. The oyster tag that comes in the bag they are shipped in has the harvest date.
posted by jbenben at 6:06 PM on February 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Jicama sticks (raw). Also I think breadfruit is a pretty important staple in the Caribbean, so if you have a good Caribbean grocer (or Polynesian for that matter, since breadfruit is originally from the South Pacific) you could roast some. Other roots/tubers also would be appealing to me -- chip form and "fry" form or just roasted (even turnips and carrots!)

Also Koreans dip (mild) green peppers into red pepper paste, as well as raw cucumbers and raw garlic. This works better with more viscous sauces.
posted by spamandkimchi at 6:11 PM on February 10, 2015

Cauliflower tastes pretty good with BBQ sauce, so hot sauce has gotta be semi good too!
posted by Hermione Granger at 6:23 PM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

A barrel of raw oysters, and a street address so I can come eat them all... I mean try them all!
posted by oceanjesse at 6:52 PM on February 10, 2015


Easy enough to make from scratch (water and corn meal), and cheap as chips. Cheaper, actually.

You also can buy it prepackaged in tubes, which keeps at room temperature, so it'll travel just fine, and you can slice it into discs or sticks when you get where you're going. It'll be a fairly neutral-tasting vehicle for the hot sauces.

Better, though, is frying it, whether home made or packaged, as discs or strips, in a little oil so it's crispy and french-fry like. It'll travel pretty well like this too.

To me, corn meal (whether it's corn bread or polenta) and hot sauce go together pretty well because the corn is a fairly neutral, faintly sweet vehicle.

OH! So yeah, corn bread muffins too.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:54 PM on February 10, 2015

Oh, so. The Caribbean take on polenta is festivals (Jamaican corn bread fritters). This is now a thing I know. Sounds like it fits your theme.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:57 PM on February 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Seconding plantains!
posted by domnit at 7:08 PM on February 10, 2015

Love the idea of the plantains, and it made me think maybe grilled pineapple might be tasty, too. I know it will be cool by the time it is eaten, but I would still grill it first.
posted by dawg-proud at 7:21 PM on February 10, 2015

posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:22 PM on February 10, 2015

By the way, be sure to have a small dish of sour cream out with everything else. The chemicals that make hot stuff be hot are oil-soluble, and if someone gets too much and is in pain, let them take a small spoonful of sour cream and tell them to run it around in their mouth before swallowing. It'll dissolve the hot chemicals and wash them away.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:25 PM on February 10, 2015

tell them to run it around in their mouth before swallowing

I initially read this as "tell them to run around with it in their mouth."

That would liven up the party, though, so...

The other thing that occurred to me for "hot sauce is already in it" is that you could use ready-made puff pastry sheets, and give them a schmear of the hot sauce of your choice rather than any other filling, then roll, slice and bake them.

Again, once they're baked and cooled, they'll travel and keep fine at room temperature.

Voila. Instant hot sauce pinwheel thingies.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:34 PM on February 10, 2015

Cormeal flatbread, or Johnny Cakes.
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:25 AM on February 11, 2015

Cubes of sharp cheddar or Gouda.
posted by pantufla_milagrosa at 1:03 AM on February 11, 2015

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