It has come to my attention recently that I am, in fact, getting old. Now trust me, I don’t mind this – what a better indicator of life than aging, right? – but the fact is that I now have the privilege of helping lead a group of newly married couples with my husband and I noticed that I am actually a full decade older than most of these beautiful women.
A DECADE. I just can’t fathom it.
However, that decade does have something to show for it: my ability to cook has grown significantly since we first got married. In that same vein so has my palate and ability to detect different flavors, or choose bold ones from our spice cabinets. Basically, I’ve messed up enough to have figured some of it out – which is a win for all of us because I’m going to start sharing some of my favorites with YOU GUYS!
I remember back when we first got married we were gifted this beautiful spice rack absolutely packed with all these foreign-sounding spices. And let me tell you this: we used about 5 of them in the first few years of marriage because I was too scared to use the rest! I don’t want you guys to have that same fate because flavor is a GOOD thing.
For the next few weeks (or longer, depending on how well it’s going) I want to go through my spice cabinet and herb garden and talk about how you can use these amazing resources to grow in your cooking ability. Plus we’ll talk about some of my favorite recipes/techniques as well. One home cook to another – let’s do this!
Today we’re going be talking about smoked paprika, regular paprika’s super flavorful, smokey sweet and a little spicy big sister. Paprika is made from peppers that have been dried and ground into a powder; obviously with smoked paprika the peppers have been smoked first. This gives the paprika this signature slightly sweet and deeply smokey flavor, which I absolutely love. If you’re looking for a lot of heat, smoked paprika won’t deliver as it’s better at creating just a bit of warmth, but when you do have something much hotter (i.e. cayenne pepper) smoked paprika can compliment that heat nicely and make it a much rounder flavor profile. It’s a bold flavor to be sure, but one that you will absolutely love and be adding to meats, soups, stews and more very soon!
Recipes you should totally make featuring smoked paprika
Paprika roasted cauliflower and almonds – all the smokey goodness, veggies, healthy fats and fiber in this one! A great side for almost any meal.
Beef stew with beer and paprika – you can never go wrong with Pioneer Woman recipes, and using smoked paprika in this one is a must!
Smoky Romaine and avocado salad – the vinaigrette is everything. E V E R Y T H I N G.
Humshuka – don’t be scared by a name you don’t know. This is one dish you won’t want to miss and you can make it for any meal!
Smokey sweet potato burgers with roasted garlic cream sauce & avocado – heck to the yes. Again, it’s a long name and can sound scary but this is one you’ll make again and again. The patties freeze well, too!
Smoked paprika roasted almonds – the perfect snack or foodie gift as far as I’m concerned!
Roasted cauliflower soup with smoked paprika & coconut milk – so many good things here, and I love that it highlights using smoked paprika as a great garnish!