Tropical Recipes

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Chunky Beef Stew

Mango Lobster

Mango Shrimp

Baked Buffalo Wings

Potato Chip Cheese Shrimp

The Big Easy Canape

Creme Brulee

La Fogata Margarita

Smoked Coco Pina Colada

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Servings: 4   
Prep time: 10 min.                      
Cook time: 2-4 hrs. (personal preference)
Cookware: Lg. pot or Dutch oven


  • 1 bottle Pickapeppa Original Sauce
  • 2 lbs. cubed beef stew meat
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 cubes beef bouillon, crumbled
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. cold water

1 In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook beef in oil over medium heat until brown. Dissolve bouillon in water and pour into pot.

2 Stir in rosemary, parsley, brown sugar and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

3 Stir into pot the potatoes, carrots, celery, tomatoes, Pickapeppa Original Sauce and onion.

4 Dissolve cornstarch in 2 teaspoons cold water and stir into stew.

5 Cover and simmer for at least 1 hour, or until meat is tender and gravy is thick. (Some people like to simmer their stew for 3-4 hours, so do what you think best!)

Editor's Note: A deep Dutch oven pot with a lid is hands-down the BEST cookware to use for any beef stew! It's made of heavy cast iron, which allows it to hold a large amount of heat evenly. It's perfect for the slow, low cooking style you need to make meat and vegetables tender and tasty.

The economical Lodge brand (American) and the more pricey but world-famous Le Crueset brand (French) make ideal Dutch ovens that can last for decades! Don't waste your money on "basic" no-name ones that often have quality issues over time. 
Click here to read an excellent article on how to buy the right-sized Dutch oven for your needs. "A 5-7 quart Dutch oven is the sweet spot for most home cooks." ~ Lauren Joseph, Epicurious

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Grilled Spiny Lobster with Fresh Mango Salsa

Servings: 1 lobster per person
Prep time: 20 min.                     
Grill time: 20 min.
Cookware: g
rill, tongs, kitchen scissors, chef’s knife


  • 1 spiny lobster per person
  • butter
  • fresh cilantro or Italian flat leaf parsley,
  • fresh mango
  • kosher salt
  • fresh limes

1 Prep mango salsa by dicing fresh mango, and combining with lime juice, salt, and either chopped cilantro or parsley.

2 Cut each lobster in half the length of the body, leaving the head attached to the tail. The easiest way to do this is to cut the bottom side first, then the top, using heavy-duty kitchen scissors.

3 Remove the roe (red) and tomalley (green) under cold running water, leaving only the tail meat and empty head shell intact. Then dry lobster halves thoroughly.

Brush tail meat with melted butter, and season with kosher salt.

5 Place lobster halves, meat side down, on hot grill, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes depending on size of lobsters.

6 Flip lobsters shell side down and cook for 4 to 5 minutes more.

7 Remove lobster from grill, brush again with melted butter, then squeeze fresh lime juice over the tail section.

8 Fill the head section of the lobster with the fresh mango salsa.

9 Garnish the lobster by sprinkling chopped parsley or cilantro over the entire lobster and mango salsa. Serve and enjoy!

Editor's Note: This delicious recipe comes to us courtesy of James Walker, CFE, a top restaurant industry expert with a specialty in rebranding and repositioning iconic American comfort food brands. He is an industry-leading authority in restaurant technology and delivery channels, and specializes in mergers & acquisitions, operatins, domestic and international development, franchising, and new product development. With more than 30 years of broad based, senior level, management experience in the hospitality and retail industries, Walker has served as President, Chief Development Officer, as well as in Senior Operations and New Product Development positions, for brands such as Baja Fresh®, Cinnabon®, Johnny Rockets® and Subway®. He has conducted business in more than 70 international markets. In 2020 and 2017, he was a Reader’s Pick for the Nation’s Restaurant News “Power List” of notable restaurant executives. Follow Walker on Twitter:  @jwalkermobile

“Food is the only art form that you experience with all your senses, and you must experience to live.” – James Walker 

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Servings: 4
Preheat Oven:
Prep time: 2 hours                       
Cook time: 15 min.
Bakeware: Single-layer casserole dish


  • 1 bottle Pickapeppa Gingery Mango Sauce
  • 1 lb. fresh-peeled and cleaned shrimp
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp.  dried thyme or 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Put all ingredients together and marinade overnight or at least two hours.

2 Bake in a single layer casserole dish at 350 degrees for at least 15 minutes. NOTE: Baking yields a softer, moister texture. However, you also may grill shrimp on a low flame.

3 Enjoy shrimp as stand-alone appetiizer, or serve on a bed of rice to make it a meal. 

Marinade shrimp in Pickapeppa Gingery Mango Sauce.

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This party-sized recipe makes BAKED not fried morsels to feed a crowd, and is made either chicken wings or chicken breasts. Add more cayenne or Pickapeppa Sauce to the butter ratio if you want to amp up the spice level.
Servings: 20
Preheat oven:
Prep time: 15 min.                       
Cook time: 45 min.
Ready In: 2 hours
Bakeware: Baking sheet, aluminum foil


  • ½ cup Pickapeppa Sauce (your choice of heat and flavor)
  • 20 chicken wings (@5 lbs.) OR 5 lbs. of chicken breasts (boneless/skinless) cut into 1.5" nuggets
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ Tbsp. garlic powder
  • ½ Tbsp. salt
  • ½ cup melted butter

1 Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease with cooking spray.

2 Place the flour, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt into a resealable plastic bag, and shake to mix.

3 Add the chicken wings or chicken breast nuggets, seal, and toss until well coated with the flour mixture.

4 Place the chicken onto the prepared baking sheet, and place into the refrigerator. Refrigerate at least one hour.

5 Preheat oven to 400°F . 

6 Whisk together the melted butter and Pickapeppa Sauce in a small bowl. Dip the chicken into the butter mixture, and then place back on the baking sheet.

7 Bake in the preheated oven until the chicken is not longer pink in the center, and is crispy on the outside (about 45 minutes).

8 Turn the chicken pieces over halfway during cooking so they cook evenly.
five flavor CHOICES
Marinade the chicken in any of the five Pickapeppa flavors!

Watch how YouTube creator "GrillingAndSmoking" makes delicious GRILLED Pickapeppa Hot Wings from start to finish with a breaded chicken recipe that puts the sauce on towards end of the process. "It's really good...and something different to try."

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Crispy Potato Chip & Cheese-Baked ShrimP

Servings: 4
Preheat Oven: 
Prep time: 10 min.                       
Cook time: 35 min.


  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2⁄3 cup crushed potato chips (kettle style best)
  • 1⁄4 cup chicken broth
  • 1⁄2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1⁄2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1⁄3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups baby arugula greens

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a large oven-safe skillet with nonstick cooking spray.

2 In a medium bowl, mix the garlic, olive oil, kettle chips, broth, crushed red pepper, chili powder, salt, and pepper.

3 Lay shrimp in the bottom of the prepared skillet. Press the potato chip mixture over the top of the shrimp with a spatula. Sprinkle with cheese.

4 Bake for at least 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and shrimp is pink. Remove from oven and serve over arugula greens.

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Don't underestimate the "wow" factor of this super-simple recipe for an appetizer loved by generations of Pickapeppa fans.
Serving pieces: Decorative platter (oblong best), cheese spreader


  • 1 8-oz. block cream cheese
  • 1 5 oz. bottle Pickapeppa Original Sauce
  • Box of crackers 

1 Ensure cream cheese in package is not too hard (cold) but is spreadable. Unwrap cream cheese carefully from foil, and place entire block in the middle of serving platter (preferably one with a small lip on all sides to avoid liquid spillage).

2 Pour the entire bottle of the sauce evenly over the top of the cream cheese; it's OK to allow much of it to drip down the sides.

3 Put blade of cheese spreader into side or top of cheese block. This is to encourage guests to use the spreader to put food onto cracker~and not use the cracker itself to slice off cheese (to do so can make the cracker easily break/crumble).

4 Place crackers artfully around the cheese block or in a basket next to the platter. Enjoy!
Editor's Note: Want a dip instead? That's easy! Just mix the bottle of Pickapeppa Sauce and block of cream cheese in a food processor, then pour out into a dip bowl. Eat with cut veggies or crackers. 
Click here to view a set of four palm-themed cheese spreaders on ~ Adds a tropical vibe!

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Creme brulee: classic orchid dessert

Here is a simple seven-ingredient Créme Brulee, a creamy custard that makes a dinner complete and satisfies any sweet tooth. Recipe is provided by pastry chef Frances Brown of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.
Servings: 4
Preheat Oven: 
Prep time: 10 min.                       
Cook time: 25-35 min.
Bakeware: 4 6-oz. ramekins, baking pan


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 pinch salt (optional)
  • ½ vanilla bean
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4 Tbsp. white sugar

Preheat oven to 300°F and line the bottom of a large baking pan with a damp kitchen cloth.

2 Bring a large pot of water to boil.

3 While water is boiling, combine cream, vanilla bean, 1/4 cup sugar and salt in saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally for 4 to 5 minutes, until steam rises.

4 In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks and eggs until smooth.

5 Pour hot cream into eggs, a little at a time, stirring constantly, until all cream is incorporated. Pour mixture into four 6-oz. ramekins.

6 Place ramekins on towel in baking dish, and place dish on oven rack. Pour boiling water into dish to halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover whole pan loosely with foil.

7 Bake 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until custard is just set. Then chill ramekins in refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours.

8 Before serving, sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over each custard ramekin. Use a kitchen torch or oven broiler to brown top for 2 to 3 minutes. Then grab a spoon, tap gently to break the caramelized sugar top and dig into this creamy, vanilla-specked delight. Enjoy!

There’s an Orchid in my Spice Rack
Did you know that vanilla comes from an orchid? These inconspicuous tropical vines growing up trees and clinging to rocks occur across the globe and are among the most important cultural and economic plants in the world. The commercial species, Vanilla planifolia, produces dozens of edible vanilla beans (really the seed pod), each of which contains thousands of tiny black, fragrant seeds.

Known for its popular aroma and the flavor it adds to baked goods and 
silky desserts, vanilla can be found in the grocery story in both extract and imitation forms—and the extract is always more expensive. Why? We can find the answers on a journey to Indonesia and Madagascar, the world’s largest producers of vanilla.

To produce pure vanilla extract, the beans from V. planifolia are laid out in the hot tropical sun to dry and cure for up to eight months. Once the dried beans have developed their flavors, they are crushed and placed in a mixture of alcohol and sugar. The aromatics of the beans will infuse flavors into the alcohol and water mixture for several months to make an extract. A pure vanilla extract must be 35 percent alcohol and use 13.35 ounces of vanilla beans per gallon of steeping liquid.

Vanilla extract is the only flavor regulated by U.S. law. The process is labor intensive, and the product is pure and simple perfection to be added to a recipe. 
The average cost of natural (pure) vanilla extract is about $4.50 per ounce. In comparison, imitation vanilla costs about 18 cents per ounce, and is chemically produced using a combination of sugar, corn syrup, and other sweetening agents. Faux vanilla is very easy to produce in large quantities, and since it tastes just like real vanilla [to most pepole], it's used in more than 95 percent of vanilla-flavored food products. Go ahead and look at the back of your favorite breakfast cereal, cookie or ice cream carton and you will likely see “natural and artificial vanilla” among its ingredients.

However, since 
nothing can compare to the taste profile of a pure vanilla extract for discriminating tastebuds, if you can afford it we suggest using the real thing. ~ By Mary Neustein, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Editor's Note: 
  • According to foodies, imitation vanilla extract is pure vanillin (the dominant flavour/aroma in vanilla), while the real stuff has hundreds of complex flavors and aromas, including flowery notes. Many pros will use genuine vanilla for "cold or creamy" recipes, and the imitation stuff for everything else.
  • Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract is a well-known, all-purpose real vanilla with a flavor profile that's full, sweet, creamy and mellow with velvety after-tones.
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract = 1 whole vanilla bean = 1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste = 1 Tbsp. vanilla powder

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famous LA FOGATA margarita 

Servings: 1   (12-oz. or larger glass)


  • 1-1/2 oz. Patrón Silver tequila
  • 1 oz. Patrón Citrónge orange liqueur
  • 1 oz. Grand Marnier cognac
  • 1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ounce sweet and sour mix
  • ice
  • salt
  • lime wedge
  • optional: edible orchid (or other flower)

Add tequila, orange liqueur, cognac, lime juice and sweet and sour mix to shaker with ice. Shake.

2 Rim edge of glass with salt.

3 Strain cocktail into glass and garnish with lime.

4 Serve and sip. (Don't forget to add the edible flower!)

Editor's Note:  San Antonio, TX, is world-famous for its exceptional margaritas created with both classic and non-traditional recipes. With so many options at so many eateries, how do you find the best classic concoction? That's easy. Ask the cocktail-loving natives, and they'll tell you La Fogata is the place to visit for its food, atmosphere and drinks. Since 1997, this local Mexican restaurant has stirred up more than 1.6 million margaritas. "We use 100% blue agave tequila, fresh lime and agave nectar to give our margaritas the perfect flavor," brags management. Each generous 16 oz. serving comes with a signature edible orchid. (Sadly, most other restaurants in town serve smaller 12 oz. margaritas.) Be sure to order yours with a salt-rimmed glass to enjoy an authentic flavor!

La Fogata  |  2427 Vance Jackson Road, San Antonio, TX  |  210-340-1337  |

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Servings: 1   (12-oz. glass)


  • 1 oz. ROCK SOUND Original Light Rum
  • 1 oz. ROCK SOUND Smoked Coconut Rum
  • 1 oz. cream of coconut
  • 1 oz. heavy cream
  • 6 oz. fresh pineapple juice
  • Fresh pineapple for garnish
  • 1/2 cup of crushed ice

1 Mix both rums, cream of coconut, heavy cream, and fresh pineapple juice in a blender.

2 Add crushed ice and blend for 15 seconds.

3 Pour in a 12-oz. cocktail glass.

4 Garnish with fresh pineapple. Enjoy!

Editor's Note: Drink made with two ROCK SOUND rums:
  • The Smoked Coconut Rum is made by patiently smoking the meat of young coconuts over charred Texas mesquite wood and then filtering it through coconut husk. Aroma: Fresh coconut lingers with hint of smoky caramel. Taste: Refreshingly smooth with subtle coconut notes balanced with charred mesquite. Finishes smooth, sweet and tropical. 35% ABV/70 Proof
  • The Original Light Rum is crystal clear and smooth. Aroma: Opens vibrant conversation between notes of sugarcane, citrus and grass. Taste: Slightly herbaceous, yet smooth with earthy notes. Finishes nice and dry with a lovely bouquet of flavors. 40% ABV/80 Proof

ROCK SOUND Rum. Produced and bottled by Austin Rum Co., Austin, TX.

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spicy bloody mary

Servings: 2   (12-oz. glasses)


  • 3 oz. vodka
  • 2 dashes Pickapeppa Hot Red Pepper Sauce
  • 2 tps. Pickapeppa Original Sauce
  • 2 tps. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups tomato Juice
  • 2-1/2 oz. canned bouillon, undiluted
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice (preferably fresh)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, if desired
  • Lemon pepper seasoning
  • Celery stick

Shake all ingredients, except for lemon pepepr and celery stick, in ice cubes until just chilled.

2 Strain equally over fresh ice into two 12-oz. glasses.

3 Sprinkle lemon pepper lightly over both drinks. Celery stick optional as garnish.