How To Throw A Spicy Dinner Party

Turn up the heat at your next dinner party with these spicy recipes

Whether it's hot chicken or chile-laden BBQ sauce, we never back down from spicy food. And neither do you. We've seen you and your friends walking around with bottles of hot sauce in your bags (swag). So we decided to put together a menu that embraces our love of heat, no extra Sriracha required. It's time to call up your buddies and celebrate the spice of life. 

This party starts out with a spicy cabbage salad (see the recipe) from Mason Hereford, chef of New Orleans's wildly popular sandwich spot, Turkey and the Wolf. A spicy coconut dressing and fresh sliced jalapeño adds quite the kick to this stunner, inspired by Southeast Asian flavors.

"The dressing is based on one of the most delicious salads I've ever tasted: The rotisserie chicken and banana blossom salad from Uncle Boons up in y'all's neck of the woods," Hereford tells us (referring to one of NYC's best Thai restaurants). "The first time I tried it, I knew those flavors would somehow sneak into my cooking. The cabbage component of the salad is based on those refreshing Vietnamese chicken and shaved cabbage salads you'll find at Vietnamese restaurants, like those on Westbank of New Orleans."

Pair it with spicy grilled squid that's been marinated in garlic (see the recipe) and serve that alongside charred jalapeño-honey chicken wings (see the recipe). Finally, cut up slices of chocolate-habanero cake (see the recipe) to round out the meal.

Though you could handle preparing this spicy spread in about five hours, we suggest inviting three friends over two and a half hours before your guests arrive to help you tackle everything. You can even start the burn early by pouring some jalapeño shrub cocktails (see the recipe) to sip on while you cook.

The Food

① Preheat the oven before your sous-chefs arrive, and as soon as they get there, put someone on cake duty. Get that bad boy baking, so you will have time to let it cool before frosting.

② You're on salad duty. Make the dressing and have all the components sliced and in a large bowl, waiting to be dressed.

③ Have another friend get ready to work the grill. This means marinating the chicken wings and the squid, as well as having the rest of the squid dish ready to toss when it's off the grill. Make sure the grill is fired up and ready to go for when your guests arrive.

④ Task your final friend with the cocktails. That means getting the  shrub going immediately and setting up the bar.

The Drink

This jalapeño number is the perfect cocktail to batch in advance and let your guests finish building themselves.

① Make the shrub first thing, so it has time to macerate.

② Then, batch a large pitcher with enough of the shrub, gin and lime juice for everyone to have two cocktails each. Chill the pitcher until you're ready to serve.

③ Set up a bar with the batched base, bottles of cold sparkling water on ice, glasses and a jigger. Instruct your guests to pour two and a half ounces of the base into a glass and top with two ounces of sparkling water. Set out a bowl of sliced jalapeños for garnish, and you're set.

Game Time

Now that everyone is feeling the heat from their cocktails, kick it up a notch.

① Let the grill master go to town on the wings and squid, and have someone help him or her plate the two dishes.

② Toss the salad with the dressing and assemble all three dishes on the table to let your guests serve themselves.

③ Slice up the chocolate cake and enjoy! (This is when you should hand out the antacids.)

Get ready, because the spice is right with this fiery menu.