A touch of sweet heat adds a new dimension to your usual butter.
Ask a Southerner what her favorite condiments are and you will get a list that will more than likely include items such as Duke’s Mayonnaise, Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, and Tabasco Sauce. Because, along with loving to add good taste and seasonings to our chicken salads and seafood dishes, we love to do it with regional products. Tabasco sauce, as well as a host of other favorite Southern hot sauces, has long been a go-to pantry staple when we want to shake an unexpected kick into macaroni and cheese, breakfast casseroles, and deviled eggs. You can perk up a beef stew with hot sauce, or stir it into mayonnaise or ketchup for a spicy, all-purpose spread. We also love the sweet-heat combination that comes from using honey and hot sauce on chicken wings. This Nashville Hot Chicken Dip, a nod to the Nashville Hot Chicken craze, is a “safe” blend of sweet and spicy; if you are feeling adventurous, however, go ahead and bump up the amount of hot sauce – just be sure to have a lot of cold beverages on hand to put out the fire. Now that we know how well hot sauce and honey play together, let’s add one more ingredient to the mix and make Hot Honey Butter.
Remember that candy bar commercial where one person says “Hey - you got peanut butter in my chocolate!” But then the other guy exclaims “No, YOU got chocolate in my peanut butter!” It’s kind of like that – we aren’t sure if someone dropped a blob of butter onto a hot honey wing, or maybe they spilled hot sauce into a tub of honey butter. Either way, be glad it happened, because the creamy, buttery blend of sweet and hot is just the best thing to happen to buttermilk biscuits since country ham. Smear it on a slice of skillet cornbread, or melt it on the stovetop and drizzle over chicken and waffles or baked salmon.
WATCH: Wonder Wings
Hot honey butter is easy to make and easy to personalize – once you get the basic ingredients down, tweak the amount of honey and hot sauce to suit your taste. Here is a simple recipe:
Hot Honey Butter
½ cup butter, softened
4 Tablespoons hot sauce
2 Tablespoons honey
Stir ingredients together until well blended. If you used unsalted butter, you may want to add a pinch of salt – your call. If you are going to use this Hot Honey Butter to brush on chicken wings, you can melt the butter before mixing ingredients together.