Hot honey is a trend that I've been wrestling with for a while since it's genesis seemingly was Nashville, Tennessee with Prince's famous Hot Honey Chicken starting in the 1930s but other tales suggest it goes back earlier to Brazil and some credit the trend to hipsters and millenials who think they discovered everything for the first time. Regardless of who actually discovered that chiles and honey go well together ... this is a winning flavor combination that works well on a variety or proteins. So, to take "hot chicken" to the next level, I've prepared a recipe for Hot Honey Shrimp served on Tater Cakes.
Comparing Chiles De Arbol To Cayenne Peppers
One thing that you'll notice immediately is that we're using my favorite cooking pepper - Chile de Arbol, instead of Cayanne like is typically found in most Nashville Hot recipes (though increasingly folks are going for full moron mode and using Ghost and Carolina Reaper peppers that are so hot it destroys the balance of the dish in favor of laughs, tears, and slaps on the back as your buddies try to choke it down).
Cayanne Peppers and Chiles De Arbol look similar visually, though Chiles De Arbol is smaller - almost looking like a junior-sized version of the Cayanne that most cooks are familiar with. They are both dried, long, thin, red peppers native to South America. While they are both technically classified as being "medium spiciness", the Chiles De Arbol will be between 15,000-30,000 Scoville heat Units while Cayenne peppers will run 30,000-50,000 SHU.
The magic here isn't the heat - something too many Americans focus on when adding peppers and chiles to food - but rather, the flavor of Chiles De Arbol brings a delightful nutty, smoky flavor along the heat while cayenne peppers are typically used to add heat.
This flavor without overpoweringly hot heat is why I got so excited to hear that Runamok now offered it in their line of infused honey products. They did an excellent job with creating a hot honey product that tastes the way most Americans would expect. Personally I thought it was maybe a bit hotter than I wanted it to be at the initial tasting. However, after cooking with it, some of the initial heat burned off, and it tasted great in this recipe, as well as on some biscuits I tried later.
Hot Honey Shrimp Tater Cake Bites
Ready to whip up some tasty treats? Me too! These are perfect for gameday treats - though I'd recommend that you include a jar of toothpicks or include some hand wipes since it can get a bit messy if you add too much extra honey glaze.
- 1 Pound Of Fresh Jumbo Shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 1 Pound of Frozen Hashbrown Rounds
- 1-2 dashes of avacodo oil
- 1 Tbs Minced Garlic
- 1 Tbs Soy Sauce
- 2-3+ Tbs (to taste) Runamok Honey Infusion
- Spanglish Asadero Chiles de Arbol Seasoning - shake to taste on shrimp
This recipe is insanely easy but it does require a certain element of discretion since the proportions above are a general recomendation and shouldn't be taken as Gospel. There are a few reasons for this and not the least of which is that every group has a different tolearance for spice. In my own experience preparing this last week - Jim's reaction was WOW THIS IS SPICY! ... while I thought I made it relatively mild and flavorful :)
The other reason is that depending on where you get your shrimp from, it may release more or less juices from the packaging. If it feels watery, you may need to lay some paper towels down to soak up the extra juices and you might need to add more honey while also allowing the mixture to continue reducing after the shrimp has been removed.
Start the air fryer or oven to get the tater cakes ready. This can be done before you start cooking the shrimp. If you have not already defrosted them though, this is a good time to make sure your shrimp is fully thawed and to swap out a drain towel.
Then place shrimp, garlic, soy sauce, avacado oil, and honey in the pan on medium heat till the shrimp is fully cooked.
Remove the shrimp, try a few and make sure the flavor is where you want it. While sampling you "Chef's Perogative" treates, reduce the mixture in the skillet gently so as to not burn anything.
When you are ready, plate the Hot Honey Shrimp and Tate Cake Bites, shake the Spanglish Asadero Chiles de Arbol Seasoning to taste, and then drizzle a combo of Runamok honey or the glaze that you reduced in the pan.
You can also serve the remaining honey on your buffet table with a spoon so guests can add their own and kick things up a bit to their own preferred level of heat.
This is a surefire hit that is super easy to make and is a great way to explore different cultures and combinations of flavors without ever having to leave your home. While hot honey has been rediscovered by hipsters, in reality the notion of infusing honey and spices goes back far earlier than the meso american cultures we cited earlier. For instance, honey was a crucial ceremonial item as well as culiary treat 3,000 years ago with the Egyptians who also experimented with it blended with various herbs and spices to create medicines.
While I can't promise that this dish will cure what ails ya!, I can say that if you were to eat a couple tablespoons of the honey direct from the jar ... it will clear your sinuses :)