Friday, April 5, 2013

A NEW HOME- By:Adrienne Fay

For those of you who have visited our Hot Licks Seaport Village location you know that it is a tiny little store (no bigger that a postage stamp). Recently we moved to a larger store at Seaport Village which is exciting, but those of us who have worked at Hot Licks,forever will miss our little store.
Our tiny little store was home for 17 years
The old store was literally packed to the rafters with hot sauces, and other spicy foods.  For over 17 years we have served our customers closely and loved every minute of it!  We spent our days giving out samples of hot sauces, warning tall customers to watch the low hanging displays, and balancing hot sauces from rafters.  It has all become second nature to us. 
We wighed the pros and cons while making the decission to move the store, but really there where too many pros! Heck, we would have a backroom! we could give out samples without standing in the doorway! AND THE SPACE!   For 17 years the staff have become very close, I mean REALLY CLOSE, when the old store got busy we often stood shoulder to shoulder just to get in one more customer.  Of course there is also the added value to the customer, We envision expanding the Barbecue and hot sauce selections as well as adding new items.  The only Con was the comfort of our old home.  
New Store, Hot Sauce Section
New sample bar
As you can imagine, it is not easy moving all those bottles of hot sauce.  We choose to stock the store as if we where opening somewhere new, from scratch. The store was painted, Two refrigerators installed and new cabinets where built and moved in. Product was priced and shelved, and supplies where placed where they are needed.  After the fist weekend we slowly moved the remaining merchandise and as of today we are DONE! We shed a little tear for our tiny store as it is a bit like leaving home for the fist time. So far, many of you who have stopped by have commented that you like the new store and all the space.  It will take the staff and I some time to get used to the layout and such (Years of stocking the same store makes some hard habits to break).  If you have not had time to stop by please stop in and see our new home.
So what's next?  Many of you have asked when we will open our store on Pier 39 (San Francisco). Things are moving forward, but over the years I have learned that these things take time (there are an amazing number of details and red tape when opening a new store).  But,these last few weeks where great practice for our trip up the coast.  

This Blog was written by Adrienne Fay, Merchandise Manager for Hot Licks.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hot Licks Ghost Pepper Sauce Two Ways - By Bryanne Salazar

I am going to confess something to you. I had Hot Licks® Ghost Pepper Sauce sitting in my fridge for two months, unopened, because I was scared to try it. I've seen the Cooking Channel shows where innocent tasters nearly imploded from the scorching heat of one tiny drop of ghost chile extract. Sure, I'm brave, but I didn't have a death wish.

Well, surprise surprise, I feared for nothing. I finally sucked up enough courage to peel back the plastic and give the Ghost Pepper Sauce a try. It was delicious, smoky, deeply spicy but not painfully so. One taste and I knew exactly how I wanted to let those earthy flavors of the pepper shine. Here is how I made peace with the Ghost Pepper Sauce, I hope you enjoy!

Ghost-Pepper Buttermilk Fried Chicken Strips and Creamy Gorgonzola-Ghost Pepper Dip

For the marinade:
2 cups of nonfat buttermilk
2 teaspoons (or more) of Hot Licks® Ghost Pepper Sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1-inch strips

For the breading:
1 & 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper

Canola oil for frying (enough to fill a large stock pot at least 1/2 full)

For the dip:
1 cup all-natural sour cream
1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
1/4 cup of Best Foods mayonaise
1 cup of Gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of Hot Licks® Ghost Pepper Sauce


About four hours before I planned on frying the chicken, I placed the slices in a large container with the marinade mixture of buttermilk, Ghost Pepper Sauce, salt and pepper, and stirred it well till it was all combined. By marinating the chicken in the sauce, it will allow it to stay extra moist while also absorbing some of those wonderful, smoky flavors.

While it marinated, I made my delicious Gorgonzola dip. Combine all of the ingredients listed and stir to combine. If you want your cheese crumbles finer, you can pulse the mixture in a food processor a few times till smooth. Allow it to sit in the fridge for at least an house before serving.

About thirty-minutes before you want to cook your chicken, get your oil in the pot and let it preheat to 350 degrees.

Once that's done, you need to get your breading station set up. First, strain the chicken out of the buttermilk mixture, but reserve  the buttermilk sauce in a bowl as you will use it for binding while breading the chicken.

Combine the flour and cornstarch with all of the seasonings listed. If you don't have cornstarch, don't worry - just use more flour instead. I like cornstarch for an extra crispiness it gives the chicken. (A little trick from my take-out Chinese food days!)

Set your strained, marinated chicken near the flour and reserved buttermilk marinade. Place the chicken in the flour mixture, then put them back into the buttermilk and once more into the flour mix until all of the chicken strips have been double-breaded.

Don't worry if some of the strips get a little gluey from the flour and buttermilk reacting together. They will still fry up nice and crispy. Make sure your oil is at the right temperature before you start frying. If it's too low, the breading on the chicken will soak up a lot of excess oil and make the chicken strips soggy. If it's too high, the breading will cook before the chicken, and it can burn.

Fry the chicken in two-three batches until the strips are flaky and golden brown. I place my chicken on a wire rack over a pan with paper towels underneath. This helps the chicken stay crispy while it cools.

Don't they look delicious? Taste a small strip for seasoning. Now's your chance to add a little extra salt or pepper to the outer crust if it needs it.

Once your chicken is fried, serve it with your Gorgonzola-Ghost Pepper dip and a few fresh veggies like sliced cucumber, celery sticks, carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes and green onions. The veggies taste great with the spicy, creamy dip and so does the chicken!

If you want even more of a spicy kick, drizzle a few drops of the Ghost Pepper Sauce over the fried chicken.

So there you have it folks, Hot Licks® Ghost Pepper Sauce, two ways. Don't be afraid of the name, but do be warned: once you serve this combo to friends, you will find yourself in the kitchen doing a lot more cooking than usual.

You can find this sauce and others at the Hot Licks® website here.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Hot Licks Kickin' Crustini with TapenHOT Olive Spread by Bryanne Salazar

Traditional tapenade calls for juicy Kalamata olives, a few oily anchovies, raw garlic, capers, lemon juice and olive oil. I wondered if it would be possible to take Hot Licks® Habanero Gourmet Stuffed Olives and make an olive-licious spread with a fiery kick, similar to the Mediterranean dish, but better. So - I did. And let me tell you, it didn't disappoint. Try this great appetizer recipe for your next get-together, your mouth with definitely thank you!

 To start, I drained an entire jar of Hot Licks Habanero Gourmet Stuffed Olives and placed them in a bowl. I gathered four large cloves of garlic and a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil. That's it. Then I pureed it in my food processor on low until the garlic was finely minced and the olives were chopped.

I placed the mixture in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid overnight, to let the garlic really permeate into the olives and those fiery habaneros to work their magic on the spread.

The next day, I finely minced a tablespoon of fresh parsley and a teaspoon of capers, drained. I added the ingredients to my chilled olive spread and stirred well to combine.

Then I sliced, on the bias, several rounds of a really good ciabatta bread, and toasted it in the oven until just golden brown.

Once the bread was toasted, I added a rounded spoonful of the tapenHOT spread to each toasted bread and smoothed to cover the surface. Aren't they beautiful? This nontraditional tapenHOT spread captures the best flavors of Spanish olives, crisp, meaty, briny and fresh, with the fruity, mineral undertones of the habanero pepper. The added garlic, capers and parsley create a well-rounded balance for this sizzling, decadent party favorite.

You can find Habanero Stuffed Gourmet Olives and more at the Hot Licks® website here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Happy New Years from Hot Licks

Hot Licks would like to wish you a very happy New Year!  

Our staff is looking forward to many exciting events this year.                    Hot Licks will be hosting it's first Warehouse Clearance Event on Friday February the 8th at our Spring Valley warehouse.  If you would like an reminder mailed to you, please email your address and we will send you a post card.

We are also working hard on finalizing the opening of our newest store on Pier 39 in San Francisco California   We hope to have that store open by the spring.

We have been putting together some videos and will continue to post them throughout the new year.  Our videos feature our stores  Click here , simple recipes such as this one featuring Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip, or this one featuring Spicy cocktails Hot Licks New Years video.

We hope you have a very prosperous new year and we hope to see you at the store soon.

Warmest Regards,
The Hot Licks Staff

Friday, January 11, 2013

Savory Olive-Cheese Bread with Hot Licks Stuffed Olives

Savory Olive-Cheese Bread with Hot Licks Stuffed Olives

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese (4 oz) or substitute pre-grated Mexican Style - 4 cheese blend
  • 2 eggs Note -used Free Range Eggs 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 buttermilk(can substitute 1/4 cup olive brine from jar for 1/4 cup of buttermilk - & "omit salt")
  • 1 jar of Hot Licks Stuffed Olives

Preheat oven to 350 degrees(175C).  Grease or Vegetable Spray 8" x 4" loaf pan, & lightly coat with flour; set aside.

In medium-size bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar & cheese; set aside. 

In medium-sized bowl, lightly beat eggs. Stir in oil & buttermilk. Add to flour mixture, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon half of batter into pan. Arrange approximately 28 olives on their sides & evenly spaced, on top of batter. Cover w/remaining batter, smooth top. Place 6 olives, faced up evenly spaced down center of batter. Lightly brush top w/olive oil. 

Bake 35 - 45 minutes, or until wooden tooth pick comes out clean. Let stand in pan 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack to cool.

Makes one loaf

Hot Licks Olives are available at here

Saturday, November 17, 2012



8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup blue cheese salad dressing
1/2 cup any flavor HOT LICKS SERRANO hot Sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cans (12.5 oz. each) Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained or 2 cups shredded pre cooked chicken

HEAT oven to 350°F. Place cream cheese into deep baking dish. Stir until smooth.
MIX in salad dressing, HOT LICKS SERRANO Hot Sauce and cheese. Stir in chicken.
BAKE 20 min. or until mixture is heated through; stir. Garnish as desired. Serve with crackers or vegetables.