Tag Archives: spice

The Hotomizer

This product is pretty cool.

Spray on heat!

One or two squirts adds a nice, neutrals-flavored spice to any dish. I used it on leftover lasagna, pasta, pork tenderloin, and even in cocktails. I love it!

I highly recommend.

Guan Fu Szechuan

I recently had the pleasure of dining with a bunch of food friends at this new Szechuan joint in Flushing called Guan Fu. They do an incredible job of showcasing the different kinds of spice that the cuisine is known for (numbing as well as heat), while also developing intense, robust flavors that you can actually taste. Contrast with many other Szechuan joints in NYC that just blow your mouth out with heat and numbness, leaving you unable to actually enjoy the food.

That’s not to say that the food here isn’t spicy. It sure as heck is! But the balance is so well done that it’s quite impressive. But let me get down to business, because we tried 17 different dishes here. There is a lot to discuss…

The first four dishes were cold preparations.

1. Thinly Sliced Pork Liver

This was nice. No mealy texture or gamey flavor. Good heat from the red chilis. Excellent citrus-flavored sauce.

2. Sweet Fried Pork Ribs

These were awesome. Great crispy texture, super tender, and with just a little bit of heat to gently contrast the sweet.

3. Razor Clams

These were served with Mexican green peppers (likely a poblano or hatch variety) as well as some red Thai chili peppers. Great preparation, and the clams were perfectly cooked.

4. Bean Jelly

This was one of my favorite dishes of the night. The bean jelly was reminiscent of a snappy, thick noodle. This was served with chili oil, peanuts, sesame seeds and scallions.

Okay now onto the warm food.

5. “Water Fish” Tilapia

This was both numbing and heat spicy. The fish was served in an over-seasoned broth so as to get all the flavors into the flesh of the Tilapia. In fact, the sauce/broth isn’t meant to be eaten, as is the case with many of the dishes we were served.

6. Dry Pot Frog

This was another favorite of the night. The frog was so tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. It was served with crisp, fried potatoes and lotus root in the mix too. That textural contrast really blew me away. Just be careful of the tiny bones in the frog meat!

7. Sliced Beef With Pickled Cherry Peppers

This was a really fun dish. The peppers were pickled, but the beef and cucumber cooked in the sauce were both fresh (meaning not pickled). Really nice.

8. Hot Pot

In addition to cabbage and mushrooms, this also contained slices of lamb meat and beef meatballs. Awesome flavors going on here when you mixed it all together, and a little bit of numbness from those famous Szechuan peppercorns.

9. Sweet & Crispy Corn

This was a nice way to knock back any heat that might be lingering in your mouth. These little nuggets were a perfect snack. Juicy inside, bursting with kernel corn flavor, but crispy and batter-fried on the outside.

10. Kung Pao Chicken

This is a famous dish, but done right and as close to authentic as you’re going to get. Lots of heat, really tender meat, and a great contrast of flavors and textures in the stir fry mix.

11. Ma Po Tofu

This is another famously spicy dish from the Szechuan region. The sauce here is a blast of heat and numbing spice, meant to be eaten with rice. I skipped the rice, though, and was just spooning the sauce into my mouth, gulp after gulp. It was great!

12. “Fishy Pork”

There is no actual fish in this dish, but it is made with the intent of giving the diner the essence or flavors of fish. The actual protein here is shredded pork, and it is delicious.

13. Hand Ripped Cabbage With Pork Belly

Bacon makes everything better, especially cabbage. This was a really nice way to get a veggie into the mix other than incorporating peppers and onions into a stir fry.

14. Double Pepper Chicken

Wow. Just when you thought Kung Pao was a kick in the balls, you discover double pepper chicken. The two peppers are green chilis (jalapeños) and red chilis (Thai chilis). But the sneaky spice here is the numbing Szechuan peppercorns that are also worked into the dish. Excellent.

15. Shrimp

These head-on giant shrimp were excellent. They even serve small shrimp where you can eat the shell as well.

16. Green Beans

I love how the veggie comes out last. These were simple and delicious though. A welcome addition to the meal.

17. Fried Sesame Cakes

I’ve had these babies before and I love them. These were filled with a squash mash or paste of some kind. I generally like the red bean or mung bean pastes better (they’re a little sweeter).

That about does it. I really want to come back here and try more stuff, or even just put down full portions of my favorite dishes from this trip, like the bean jelly and dry pot frog. Get your ass out here and try this stuff ASAP!

39-16 Prince St
Flushing, NY 11354

Sweet & Spicy Bacon Candy

This one is pretty simple, and it’s something my wife and I make on occasion as a snack for holiday meals.

Get a pack of pre-cooked bacon and sprinkle some brown sugar, cayenne pepper and chocolate powder all over the slices. Bake in the oven to crisp up the bacon and to melt the chocolate and sugar. EAT!

You CAN make the bacon from scratch and skip the pre-cooked aspect, but I like shortcuts. You can find some very good pre-cooked bacon out there these days.

Halo Diablo Jerky

This product is an incredible collaboration effort between the Saint Lucifer Spice Company and the Righteous Felon Jerky Cartel. The Saint Lucifer folks sent over a complementary package of this jerky when I queried them for a sample of their spice for review.


This is high quality dry style beef jerky seasoned with their incredible garlic habanero spice. I reviewed Saint Lucifer HERE, so make sure you check that out as well.


The jerky was non-malleable and almost dry or brittle (for lack of a better word) to the touch, but it wasn’t too chewy or tough to get through with your teeth. The meat was actually very tender and flavorful, with a nice robust smoked beef taste. The more I ate, the more I craved.


I actually enjoy a dry style jerky as opposed to some of the wet, sticky and messy jerkies that are out there on the market, so don’t get the wrong idea about my comments above. The spice level was just right, I thought. It had enough potency to let me know it was there, but not too much to the point where I needed a break from the heat. Nicely balanced.

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Saint Lucifer Spice

If you don’t already know what Saint Lucifer Spice is, I’m about to give you a kick-ass run-down of the product. I came across this shit on Instragram, and I’ve been salivating ever since laying my eyes on it. Who knew that seeing a powdered spice could illicit such a physical response?


You’re all familiar with chili powder, crushed red pepper, paprika, black pepper, and cayenne pepper spices, from your shitty little spice racks that swivel and take up counter space in your kitchen. You know what’s missing? Habanero. Yes, yes, yes… Everyone and their mother has a bottle of habenero pepper SAUCE. But no one has it in a fucking spice shaker.

Many people flinch in horror when spice hits their lips, but that just means they aren’t eating their spice properly. Mixed with a sweet element, hot peppers can add tremendous diversity of flavor to an otherwise bland dish.

Tolerance to spicy foods may vary, but habanero pepper is amazing. It’s super hot up front, but then it cools off real quick. Unlike jalapeno or other chili peppers, the heat dissipates quicker. In other words, habanero is a sprinter and the other peppers are long distance runners.

What Ted Ebert and Tom Hewell, creators of Saint Lucifer, have done is to create a unique granulated habanero pepper spice that can be used on anything from grilled veggies to breakfast eggs to gourmet entrees of all protein variations. Ted and Tom’s goal is to get this spice into homes and professional kitchens everywhere, to be as well known and familiar as all the other spices in your rack, with the brand loyalty that you give to other products that you might keep in your kitchen. Given the massive success of Huy Fong’s Sri Racha sauce in recent years, I think there is a wide open market for something like Saint Lucifer, in the dry spice category. Although it is clearly a different pepper than Sri Racha (chili, with lots of garlic), I think the people who love a little heat will definitely be all over this.

Anyway, back to me… I found these guys on Instagram a long time ago and I’ve been following them since. Then it hit me. Why not ask them if I can try it? I’ve reviewed other products on here, typically when they have contacted me. But I needed to do something bold and aggressive, like Saint Lucifer spice itself. I contacted them. I wrote a comment on one of their burger photos, saying that I’d love to sample their product and write a review. The next morning I awoke to an email in my inbox asking for an address where they could send me a sample.

I was psyched. I eagerly awaited this bottle of magic powder’s arrival to my apartment. And to pass the time, I dreamed up various recipes involving the spice… and they’re really simple to execute too:

Devil Tacos
1) Coat some skirt or flank steak with Saint Lucifer Spice.
2) Grill for two to three minutes per side, depending on thickness.
3) While the meat rests, warm up some soft tortillas.
4) Also while the meat rests, prep some cilantro, onions, sour cream and jack cheese for a cooling taco filling.
5) After resting, slice the steak into thin strips for taco filling (cut on the bias for tenderness).
6) Slice up a lime (or any sweet citrus element, really).
7) Fill your tortillas, and squeeze some citrus juice on before eating.
Note: That sweet tartness from the lime/citrus will pair perfectly with the habanero of the Saint Lucifer spice and cut it ever so slightly. Trust me. Your taste buds will thank you.

Satan’s Fried Chicken Sandwich
1) Grab a pack of thinly sliced chicken breast from the grocery store.
2) Crack a few eggs into a bowl and mix/scramble.
3) Create a breading mixture using breadcrumbs, panko and a teaspoon of Saint Lucifer Spice.
4) Drag your chicken filets through the egg dredge and batter them with the spicy breadcrumbs.
5) Fry your chicken to golden brown in hot oil.
6) Hit your still-hot chicken with a mixture of Saint Lucifer spice and salt to lock in the seasoning after they come out of the fryer/hot oil.
7) As the chicken cools, quickly prep some lettuce, tomato, onion and sliced apple.
Note: This step is for adding additional crunch and a little sweet juiciness to cut the spice. If you have coleslaw laying around, you could use that as well. And if buying an apple is too much work for you, you can also use the pickles that you have sitting in your fridge, floating around in murky water like a shit that never got flushed.
8) Mix a few shakes of Saint Lucifer spice into mayonnaise.
9) Apply some of that spiced mayonnaise onto each half of a potato bun. A soft, sweet bun is key, like Martin’s or King’s Hawaiian.
10) Assemble sandwich and eat.

Breakfast at Lucifer’s
This one is pretty easy, because one way to go about the process is to just shake Saint Lucifer onto your favorite breakfast egg dish. I like eggs over easy with hash browns and bacon for breakfast. You can simply spice them all up with some Saint Lucifer. If you have hairy balls, you can even add a few shakes of Saint Lucifer into your orange juice (or Bloody Mary, for that matter). I swear that shit is fucking good. Orange + habanero is fucking amazing. I used to soak fresh habaneros in my cartons of orange juice to give it a nice kick. However, if you want to take breakfast to the next level, another idea here is to use the Saint Lucifer spice while you are cooking your bacon. Coat the bacon in some spice first, then fry it off in a pan. Afterwards, leave the bacon grease in the pan (or save the bacon grease in tupperware) so you can later use it to fry your hash browns and eggs. I like hash browns with a little diced onion and fresh peppers. Adding the spicy bacon grease would take it to the next level of awesome.

By the way, The Saint Lucifer website has a bunch of recipes on there already. If mine don’t tickle your balls, maybe theirs will. CLICK HERE to see them.

Okay so my dreams were now ready to become a reality. I received my Saint Lucifer spice package! I was impressed that it was even accompanied by a hand-written note.


I couldn’t believe it. This next bit was like providence. The bottle of spice tumbled out along with a bag of beef jerky!


Are you kidding me?!?? I JUST started my jerky page the other day, and when I was browsing the Saint Lucifer website in my research of their product, I was really intrigued by the jerky that I saw there for sale. Holy fuck… what a bonus that they included it! The jerky is flavored with Saint Lucifer, and it is cleverly called Halo Diablo jerky, which they made as a collaborative effort with the Righteous Felon jerky brand. I’ll stick to the review of Saint Lucifer here. You can check out the Halo Diablo Jerky review afterwards if you want.

My first instinct was to go right to the ingredients. Nice and simple, easy to read, no chemicals, no bullshit. Only five things were listed: that’s it! Garlic, salt, paprika, vinegar, and habanero peppers.


The taste starts off as sweet and vinegary, with a garlic nose. Then the spice creeps up. Dry and hot, like the desert, but not too cranked up to the point where you are crying and your ears are throbbing. It’s a good heat; a heat you can cook with or just dabble on as you see fit. The smell is a sharp hit of sweet garlic up front with a sweet lingering vinegar aroma. Then there’s an undertone of something evil lurking beneath the surface, something that might fuck you up if you sniff too hard or dive too deep. The habanero…

The shaker hole opening size is good for this powderized product. It’s not too big where you will accidentally dump too much out if you’re not careful, and not too small where you are shaking forever just to get a few dandruff particles out.


The beer bottle cap is in there so you can gauge the size of the holes easier with that being a familiar/known size reference.


As  you can see, the color of this stuff is like fire put into solid, powder form. It’s actually a really aesthetic and beautiful blend of reds, yellows and oranges.

Suggestions for improvement: Nothing, really. This spice is awesome as-is. One thought I had though, perhaps, would be a version of the spice that is JUST habanero: no garlic, no salt, no paprika and no vinegar. I know Huy Fong makes some spicy sambal sauce products both in a garlic version and a non-garlic version. I always prefer non-garlic because I like to cook with fresh garlic, rather than powdered/dried, which can sometimes be overwhelming and inadvertently boost the sodium content of foods too much.

Suggestions for companion products: How about a ground jalapeno pepper spice, or a ground chipotle spice? Like granulated habanero powder, I don’t normally see those in the grocery store. That would make for a great three-pack gift set, and it would corner the market on unusual pepper powders in one fell swoop.

Either way I see a big future for Saint Lucifer, and I’m glad I have it in my spice cabinet. Congratulations, Ted and Tom, on creating an awesome new ingredient and food glorifier.

So where can you get it? CLICK HERE for a list of all retailers that have this shit on the shelves in their stores. Or you can navigate to their online store and buy it directly from them.