Paprika Smoked (Sweet) - May
Paprika is the name given to the sweet and only slightly hot members of the capsicum family. While chilies are used mostly for their flavor and heat, Paprika is most appreciated for its vibrant color and agreeable, full-bodied flavor.
The Paprika is naturally wood-smoked before grinding, giving a delicious, robust aroma and flavor. Use Smoked paprika in small quantities to give added depth of flavor to stews and casseroles.
Sweet Paprika is very red in color and has no background bitterness. It is used in Hungarian Goulash and many European recipes. Paprika releases its color and flavor when heated. Thus, sprinkling ground paprika over colorless dishes may improve their appearance, but does little for their flavor so if you want to color the contents of a dish, stir the paprika into a little hot oil before adding.
Add to pasta dishes and pizza, cauliflower, chicken, crab, fish, goulash, lamb, potatoes, rice, shellfish, stroganoff, veal
We like to add it to our spice rub or barbecue sauce for baby back ribs, or as an accent for roast potatoes or as a flavoring for potatoes and fish dishes, all things with shrimp, light stews, sauces, garlic chicken and roasted meats. Whatever wine you pair with your meal when it includes smoked paprika… that wine takes on a nuance not seen before.
A Few More Ideas
- Mix with olive oil and rub between the skin and breast of a roast chicken.
- Add to deviled eggs or egg salad sandwich.
- Spice up tomato soup.
- Make smoked paprika butter. Add crushed garlic; a pinch of sugar and paprika to the butter.
- Flavor risotto and top with a rustic mixture of chorizo sausages and tomatoes.
*Cook in a little oil to release the flavor and then mix with olive oil and use for marinating feta cheese.
- Add a little sweet smoked paprika to vinaigrette and toss it through a salad.
- Put some thick yogurt in a shallow dish, drizzle it with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle well with bittersweet smoked paprika. Use as a dip.
- Quickly fry 2 chopped cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon of sweet smoked paprika and a bay leaf quickly in a little extra virgin olive oil. Add a splash of wine vinegar and some chopped red onion and toss it with steamed broccoli, cauliflower or sautéed zucchini.
- Slowly fry potatoes, sliced onions and chopped garlic in olive oil and a little sweet smoked paprika, season well and serve with roast lamb.
- Rub skinned boned firm white fish fillets with a mixture of 2 tablespoons of sweet smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon salt and the juice of a lemon, dust with flour and fry in hot olive oil until golden.
Paprika is an excellent source of vitamin C, immune enhancing carotenoids, and a chockfull of antioxidants, including Vitamin E, which supports a youthful, bright and oxygenated complexion, and provides protection against free-radical formation.
Spanish Paprika, smoked by a natural process in the La Vera region of Spain is known as Pimenton or pimentón de La Vera, highly aromatic & sweet, often referred to as simply smoked paprika can be found in varying intensities from sweet and mild (dulce) bittersweet medium hot (agridulce) and hot (picante). Paprika deteriorates quickly, so it should be purchased in small quantities and stored in a cool, dark place for no more than 6 months.