The Italians have a few dishes they refer to as alla diavola, which means “devil style”—in other words, spicy as hell. In this butter, I bring together layers of not just heat but all kinds of good chile and pepper flavors. You can adjust up or down, depending on how intense you like your heat.
Makes 1 heaping cup
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon dried chile flakes
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup finely chopped seeded pepperoncini (patted dry on paper towels after chopping)
1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
Fold all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula and pile into whatever container you want to serve or save it in. Chill the butter for at least 1 hour to firm it up and to let the flavors marry and permeate the butter.
Stuff in the center of a chicken breast and roast.
Pulled 'La Petite Paille' 2010 Cuvée Noir out of bale of wines at Swirl, a Yaletown store dedicated to selling British Columbia wines only and educating palates. Owner Jeff Wong was conducting a small in-store tasting while I was there.