Winner of Your Best Spicy Recipe

October  2, 2013

Congratulations to foxeslovelemons, whose Spicy Korean-Style Gochujang Meatballs won the contest for Your Best Spicy Recipe!

Winner of Your Best Spicy Recipe on Food52

Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
My mom, generally, wasn't a huge fan of cooking. But every year at Christmas, she made the most amazing cut-out sugar cookies. The dough involved a bit of sour cream, and the nutmeg flavor really shined. It taught me that everybody can find something they enjoy doing in the kitchen.

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What's your least favorite kitchen task?
It's a tie between cleaning mushrooms and picking leafy herbs from their stems. And when mushrooms are involved in a recipe, leafy herbs are often also involved -- it's like a double whammy of kitchen torture.

Winner of Your Best Spicy Meatballs on Food52

Your favorite kitchen tool?
My Microplane, without a doubt. I'm lemon-obsessed, and I can't throw any citrus fruit away without getting every bit of juice and zest out of it. At one point, I owned three Microplanes -- one for home use, one to keep in my locker at culinary school, and a third in case something happened to either of the other two. 

What is your idea of comfort food?
Tacos, because I grew up eating them with my parents every Saturday night. My husband and I have carried on the tradition, so now we have tacos every Saturday, too. Occasionally, I'll put a little spin on them, too.

What is your greatest kitchen disaster?
I was making a big jug of sangria for my annual sangria party. I was using boxed wine, because...it's sangria. I don't use fancy wine. I took the bag of wine out of the box, and was using scissors to cut it open. Except when I did this, the bag wasn't down in the jug quite far enough. Red wine exploded out of the bag, down the side of the jug, onto the counter, onto the floor, onto the wall and cabinets, into the hallway near the kitchen. It looked like a crime scene.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • darksideofthespoon
  • healthierkitchen
  • Bevi
  • Kukla
  • amysarah
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


darksideofthespoon October 3, 2013
I love my microplanes.. and something did happen to ours.. I snapped it in half grating ginger last week! Thank god we have a back up. Last Christmas I even got a microplane brand "grater" for my feet.. Gross? Yes. Effective? Extremely!
foxeslovelemons October 3, 2013
Oh my gosh, they have Microplane brand versions of those foot thing? I have an off brand one = gross and in-effective.

I can't believe we're talking about this. haha.
darksideofthespoon October 3, 2013
Those of us on this site that have gone to culinary school/worked in kitchens know how badly needed they are. :(

Yeah, when I saw it, I freaked. It was a weird thing to get giddy about.

foxeslovelemons October 3, 2013

Ordering one to celebrate my win.

No seriously. I can think of no better way.
darksideofthespoon October 3, 2013
That's awesome! Treat yo' self!

I should be a Rep for Microplane or something. :P
healthierkitchen October 2, 2013
these do look good! I too, have duplicate microplanes - one with a handle and my first one, without. Love them!
foxeslovelemons October 3, 2013
Cheers to the microplane obsessed! Thanks healthierkitchen!
Bevi October 2, 2013
Congrats on your win! Maybe a nice white sangria next time!
foxeslovelemons October 3, 2013
Haha you know what, Bevi? I ALSO made a white sangria for that party (made that one first, actually). I had zero problems with that one. OF COURSE it would be the red version that explodes. Of course.
Kukla October 2, 2013
Warm congratulations on your win for such a lovely creation!
foxeslovelemons October 3, 2013
Thanks so much, Kukla!
amysarah October 2, 2013
Congratulations! These look mouth-wateringly good. And I loved your kitchen christening story. I have a very large bag of Korean hot pepper powder (purchased during a recent kimchee making frenzy) - I wonder if I could adapt the recipe somehow to use up some of that....
foxeslovelemons October 3, 2013
Haha, hadn't thought of it as a "kitchen christening" until now - but that's exactly what it was!

What if you stirred the hot pepper powder into a little bit of tomato paste? That would emulate both the paste-like quality and the spiciness of the gochujang. And a little tomato action never hurt any meatball.
amysarah October 3, 2013
Good idea. Will definitely try that - I never met a meatball who didn't like a tomato! Thanks!
hardlikearmour October 2, 2013
Congratulations! Love the modern twist on a classic, and I plan on serving these beauties at my dinner gathering.
foxeslovelemons October 3, 2013
Thanks so much, hardlikearmour! I hope your party guests enjoy them.
ChefJune October 2, 2013
Congrats on the win! sounds like great party food. And what an entertaining Q & A. I could just picture your wine-soaked kitchen.
foxeslovelemons October 2, 2013
Thanks ChefJune! I forgot to mention that I have WHITE cabinets. So yeah....I'm still shuddering thinking about that wine incident.
QueenSashy October 2, 2013
A BIG congrats, I could see this winning from day 1!!!
foxeslovelemons October 2, 2013
A HUGE thank you, QueenSashy! I'm so excited!
Vintage K. October 2, 2013
You go Lori! Congrats!
foxeslovelemons October 2, 2013
Thanks so much Paula!
EmilyC October 2, 2013
Big congrats on your win! Enjoyed reading your Q&A and can't wait to try these!
foxeslovelemons October 2, 2013
Thanks so much, EmilyC!
inpatskitchen October 2, 2013
Congrats, Congrats, Congrats!!!! So happy for you!!
foxeslovelemons October 2, 2013
Thanks Pat! I'm so thrilled!
aargersi October 2, 2013
CONGRATULATIONS! We will be trying those beauties soon. Absolutely love that giant bowl - what's in it??
savorthis October 2, 2013
Maybe in November Abbie? Hint hint....
(I love those big bowls too. Last winter I sent my daughter down our snowy front hill in ours for lack of an actual sled.)
foxeslovelemons October 2, 2013
Haha, thanks ladies. It's a giant bowl of jalapeño corn bread. My culinary school also had a cast iron skillet with a diameter almost as large as my wingspan. That's what I baked the cornbread in. After two other people helped me carry the skillet to the giant oven...
savorthis October 2, 2013
Congrats on your win! I finally ran out of gochujang and am missing it already. I am definitely making those meatballs for our next social gathering :)
foxeslovelemons October 2, 2013
Thanks savorthis! Believe it or not, I am STILL working my way through that same tub of gochujang. I've almost won the battle. But then, I'll just buy another tub :)
Waverly October 2, 2013
Congratulations, Lori. Your Gochujang meatballs sounds terrific!
foxeslovelemons October 2, 2013
Thanks so much, Waverly! I'm planning to make your Carne Asade for a football tailgate later this month!
Pegeen October 2, 2013
Lori - Congratulations on your win! Looking forward to making your Gochujang Meatballs soon. Great dish for cooler weather. Hope you get a chance to celebrate!
foxeslovelemons October 2, 2013
Thanks Pegeen! I will DEFINITELY be celebrating :)
foxeslovelemons October 2, 2013
Thanks so much, Food52! And thanks to everyone who voted and did recipe testing :)