Making Meals Spicy… and Kid Friendly

You may have noticed that our recipe blog is constantly growing.

Posts range from starters and salads to main dishes and then on to dessert; and each one features Mad Dog hot sauces, purees, pepper pods, or extracts. Sure we love adding hot sauce to foods that have already been prepared, but there’s almost nothing like Mad Dog cooked into meals.

The problem is, though, many favorite Mad Dogs are way too hot for younger kids.

And that means way too many recipes (Mad Dog or otherwise) go unmade… or the hot sauce is added later for the heat and a dash of flavor.

And, yet, there’s no reason not to suffer just because you’re surrounded by people that can’t manage a mouthful of heat. You really can make adaptations to most recipes – and it may just change the way you cook.

WHAT to Add – Listen, you can’t go from zero to serious heat with a snap of your fingers; it’s not going to go down well. Your best bet is to begin adding peppers or hot sauces with just a dab of heat. Super mild chilies are always the best starting point – and even then you don’t want to add too many.

HOW MUCH to Add – If a recipe calls for plenty of hot peppers, use mostly green or red bell peppers and add in just a sliver or two of the good stuff. The same principle applies to anything that calls for Mad Dog hot sauces. And, we hope it goes without saying, but, when a Mad Dog recipe gives a range, you really do need to use the minimum amount.

WHEN to Add It – Some recipes call for hot sauces at the beginning of the process and others need it only at the end. If you really want to boost the heat on a grown-up version of your kids’ meal, you can change when you add the Mad Dog. Push the recipe as far as you can before dividing what’s in the pan. And, it’s always easiest to scoop the “virgin” portion to a new pan. After all, you want all the good juices for yourself, don’t you?

WHICH Recipes Benefit from Heat – We’re going to go out on a limb and suggest that almost every one of your favorite recipes and every one of our Mad Dog recipes can be adapted to milder or hotter tastes. That said, you may not want to experiment too far with recipes your picky eaters can’t live without. It may put more pressure on you in the kitchen… at least until they can handle the heat as you can.

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