Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The Sweet Taste of Smoked Paprika
This paprika is not the relatively bland stuff you get at the local supermarket. It's more related to traditional Hungarian paprika.
Luscious red peppers have been produced in the La Vera microclimate of Spain's Extremadura region for centuries. The paprika made from these peppers is the first aromatic seasoning to attain the coveted status of Denomination of Origin (D.O.). Mature peppers are dried and smoked over oak fires and then stone-ground to a fine, powdery consistency. The bittersweet smoked paprika possesses a smoky warmth with a mild bite on the finish.
The best pimenton is made, as it has been for four generations, by the Hernandez family.
The traditional methods of manufacture and preparation of the product have been passed down from father to son throughout the generations, making this reasonably priced spice one of the most affordable "must have" spices, essential to every gourmet kitchen.
The Many Uses for Smoked Paprika
Mix with olive oil and rub between the skin and breast of a roast chicken.
Prepare sensational beef goulash.
Add to deviled eggs or egg salad sandwich.
Mix into guacamole dip.
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 plain 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 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 waxy potatoes, sliced onions and chopped garlic in olive oil and a little sweet smoked paprika.
Rub skinned boned firm white fish fillets with a mixture of 2 tablespoons of sweet smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the juice of a lemon, dust with flour and fry in hot olive oil until golden.