Photo of hot wings.
Hot wings are better with he right side dish. CC by ginnerobot/Flickr

Hot wings are popular — for good reason. They’re tasty and exciting. Celery and a dipping sauce are usually served with hot wings. Creative side dishes for hot wings, though, can elevate your hot wings to the next level.

Side dishes for hot wings – twist the traditional

If you’re ordering wings in a restaurant, you’ll most likely be given two side dishes for hot wings — celery and blue cheese dressing. If you want to remain traditional, you can make even better side dishes at home. Take 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro, ½ teaspoon pepper, 6 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola blue cheese, ½ cup sour cream and ½ cup buttermilk and mix them all together. This will give you a homemade Gorgonzola dipping sauce. Celery sticks can be elevated by chopping together equal parts celery, carrots and jicama root, then topping with a small amount of sour cream for a cooling slaw.

Hot wings that burn more

You may prefer sides that make your hot wings hotter. You can do extra sauce on the hot wings made from cayenne- or jalapeno-pepper -based bottled hot sauce. If you have habanero peppers available to you, use them. To increase the heat, just chop one up and add it to the sauce. Alcohol also increases the burn of any hot wing by helping move the heat into your bloodstream. Chop one red onion, two medium carrots, garlic cloves, a cucumber and a pepper all together in order to make a sweet-hot relish salad. You will need to soak the vegetables in a mixture that includes ¼ cup sugar, 2 teaspoons fresh dill and 1 teaspoon mustard seeds. Add these to 1 ½ cups vinegar, or  use ¾ cup vinegar with ¾ cup vodka. Before you serve it, drain it.

Side dishes for hot wings – decreasing the burn

Water just makes the burn worse, so when trying to tone down the heat, choose a different method. An effective idea is to make a spread for crackers. Try mixing two parts cream cheese and one part mild peach or mango salsa for this spread. Jasmine rice or couscous can also provide a side dish for hot wings that will help keep things cool. If nothing else, a few slices of good bread and a glass of milk will always help.

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