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For those of you not from Wisconsin, Packer games are sacred events, they are always sold out. Preseason games are no different, so you always feel fortunate when you can land a ticket, and last week I was one of the lucky few with Packer tickets. Arriving to the game a few hours early, we got set up for tailgating, another hallowed Wisconsin tradition. It was a good thing we arrived early too, because I could not get the grill going to save my life! Where was a simple recipe like my Habanero Pasta Salad when I needed it?
I was glad no one at the game knew I ran a food blog because I certainly didn't look like any sort of food expert fumbling with our stubborn charcoal grill. I had forgotten lighter fluid at home, and I didn't have a chimney starter, so I was left trying to start lump charcoal with a few wads of paper, some tinfoil, and a few fruitless fire dances. After a few self-deprecating jokes we finally got the attention of the ladies tailgating across from us and they sympathetically donated a handful of their lighter fluid soaked charcoal to get us going.
I should have been a boy scout.
My whole life my fire-starting abilities consist of "add an accelerant". If that doesn't work, I resort to Plan B: "Add More."
Luckily my Habanero Ranch Pasta Salad requires no such fire. The heat is packed in the El Yucateco Green Habanero Hot Sauce, a fiery blend of green habanero peppers, garlic, and seasonings. There is a distinct fresh, crisp flavor that shines through since El Yucateco uses less vinegar than many brands. I picked it up at Walmart along with their Red Habanero Sauce and the Black Label Reserve, which really caught my eye. I am already dreaming up recipes to pair with its deep smoky habanero flavor.
This Habanero Ranch Pasta Salad is not for the feint of heart, it certainly packs some heat. However, any brave adventurers will be rewarded with an equally large kick of flavor as well. Each bite contains the creaminess of shredded cheddar, the distinct crunch of red onion, briney bites of black olives, and of course the delicious combination of Ranch Dressing and El Yucateco!
This can easily be made in advance of any tailgate or game-day party, allowing you to focus on getting the party going, rather than getting the charcoal going.
Habanero Ranch Pasta Salad
- 16 oz Rotini Pasta Noodles
- 5 oz Black Olives sliced
- 1 Medium Red Onion chopped
- 2 Red Bell Peppers chopped
- ½ cup Cilantro chopped
- 8 oz shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese
- 1 cup Mayo
- 1 Cup Ranch
- ¼ Cup El Yucateco Green Habanero Sauce
- Boil noodles in salted water according to package instructions.
- Drain noodles and combine with cheese and vegetables.
- Mix all sauce ingredients together and combine with noodle mixture.
- Serve cooled.
Are you ready to heat up your game-day recipes? Check out ElYucateco.com to learn more about all of their sauces as well as great recipe ideas to spice up your life!
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