Food Friday: Paprika

27 04 2012

Paprika is a versatile spice we’re all well familiar with. But it’s so much more than just a colorful garnish.

Paprika is made by grinding dried sweet red peppers, so it can range from mild to hot. Pay attention to color (orange is milder up to blood red gets hotter). To enhance the flavors, roast it in a dry skillet for a few minutes before using, or add it at the beginning of the cooking process.

And if you’ve never had Smoked Paprika, you are missing out. It tastes just like bacon! Seek some out and you can have bacon-flavor on everything. (We love sprinkling it on popcorn.)

Paprika pairs well with most any meats — fish, chicken, beef, or pork (especially sausage), and other proteins like eggs and beans. Paprika goes great in barbecue, potatoes, and stews. Enhance its spice with sharp garlic, cool it with mayonnaise or sour cream, or balance its presence with something sweet like honey.

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