Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Write This Down: Smoked Paprika

Stephanie

I am a decent cook. Mom was a decent cook. Gram was a very good cook. (It was her job for 18 years to cook for the elderly at an extended care facility.) I watch lots and lots of Food Network programming and shows with Gorden Ramsey. I am not afraid to try new things and typically throw things together rather than follow recipes. I also tend to shop without a list which means that sometimes, things can fall by the wayside.

Growing up, Mom used to make Chicken Paprikash- a creamy chicken stew with gummy dumplings seasoned with paprika. The paprika she would buy came in a small tin and I remember it having a sweet taste. Nowadays, there are all kinds of paprika available at the supermarket. Sweet, spicy, smoked, Hungarian and Spanish. I don’t know what made me grab a container of the smoked paprika, (probably related to something Bobby Flay was cooking) but boy oh boy, am I glad I did. I first went through an inexpensive jar I found among the spices in the Spanish food aisle. I remember seasoning fish with it and sprinkling it on top of bowls of soup.

And then we ran out. Since I don’t write lists and make up my meals as I go, I forgot to buy another jar until last week. This time I grabbed a more expensive jar from McCormick’s gourmet line and when I opened the lid, I could immediately tell there was a HUGE difference in quality. I used it for the first time sprinkled on the skin side of some chicken thighs I was searing prior to popping them in the oven.

The smell when cooking? OH MY GOODNESS! The taste? Yahoo delicious! Last night I made some chicken soup w/ brown rice. Once again sprinkled the smoked paprika onto the chicken then seared it in olive oil- sprinkled more on each finished bowl. How have I managed to live this long without tasting this spice? I’m willing to bet that there are even better tasting brands out there… I will have to ask my friend Anne, who I know regularly hits the spice shops when visiting Philly and New York.

This single ingredient has inspired me to create a list to be taped inside a cupboard. It is to include tasty things (dishes, individual ingredients) that I don’t want to let fall by the wayside.  I mean, have you tried cooking with smoked paprika yet? You’ll see how it inspires you!

Image above courtesy of Mike from Chi-Town and is of his Danitrio Genkai and a Rhodia R Pad.


4 thoughts on “Write This Down: Smoked Paprika

  1. I agree it is the most useful of Paprikas. One suggestion, never pan sear anything in Olive oil. It has to low of a smoke point to do any high heat job. Plus it cost more money than most oils you want to use for high heat applications. If you want to use the best oil for the job purchase rapeseed oil. It has one of the highest if not the highest smoke points and it doesn’t leave any funk flavor on your meat that a few other oils has the potential to do. You can always use everyday vegetable oil as well. No matter what you choose it will be a better option than olive oil.

  2. I agree it is the most useful of Paprikas. One suggestion, never pan sear anything in Olive oil. It has to low of a smoke point to do any high heat job. Plus it cost more money than most oils you want to use for high heat applications. If you want to use the best oil for the job purchase rapeseed oil. It has one of the highest if not the highest smoke points and it doesn’t leave any funk flavor on your meat that a few other oils has the potential to do. You can always use everyday vegetable oil as well. No matter what you choose it will be a better option than olive oil.

  3. I get it, I get it, I get it!! Smoked paprika–YES! Chipotle powder–Yowza! Just a smidge and what a taste! Cumin–Huzzah! Fresh made tomatillo salsa in a chicken salad–divine. Garden tomatoes, olive oil, a touch of aji pepper, onion, garlic, mashed together with a mortar/pestle and scooped onto fresh bread… Oh. My. Goodness.

    I love learning about new flavors…their tastes, contours, how they fit together…in a way, to learn of flavor is to learn to make poetry/art for the mouth…

  4. I get it, I get it, I get it!! Smoked paprika–YES! Chipotle powder–Yowza! Just a smidge and what a taste! Cumin–Huzzah! Fresh made tomatillo salsa in a chicken salad–divine. Garden tomatoes, olive oil, a touch of aji pepper, onion, garlic, mashed together with a mortar/pestle and scooped onto fresh bread… Oh. My. Goodness.

    I love learning about new flavors…their tastes, contours, how they fit together…in a way, to learn of flavor is to learn to make poetry/art for the mouth…

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