Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I bought some paprika at Greekfest on Friday because it smelled wonderful- however, I have actually never cooked with Paprika before. I used to think it was the colorful but flavorless stuff ubiquitous to deviled eggs and never bothered stocking my pantry with it. If a recipe called for it, I just omitted it, and the recipe usually turned out fine without it.
Now I've known for a while that there is more to Paprika than the low quality stuff languishing in the back of my mom's spice rack, but I never quite got around to smelling or trying good Paprika. Subsequently, I have no idea how to use the Paprika I just bought. I suspect, but don't know for sure, that it is smoked Paprika. Currently I'm planning to sprinkle it over a scrambled egg filled portobello (#68 on Mark Bittman's excellent list of easy summer meals)- hopefully this will be a good idea.
Does anyone have any good recipes involving Paprika for me to try?


  1. I posed your question to some friends of mine with paprika experience and here is the response I got:

    "one of my favorite marinades for fish/chicken is based around paprika.

    basically, you make a sort of pesto-consistency mix of paprika, juice of two or three lemons, an entire bunch of cilantro, an entire head of peeled garlic, salt, cumin, black pepper, and olive oil. I've made it in the food processor and also in a large mortar and pestle. I would say about three generous tablespoons of paprika & two level teaspoons of cumin to the head of garlic/juice of three lemons/bunch of cilantro. half a teaspoon or so of kosher salt, more to taste once it's all combined. add olive oil while you're processing or pounding to give it a good consistency, then slather it all over fish fillets or chicken parts for a few hours before grilling. you can add some jalepeño or harissa if you want to make it spicier. it's pretty bold just on its own, though. depending on how strong your garlic is, you may want to double all the other ingredients, or just the lemon and cilantro. "

  2. Holy cow, that sounds awesome! I love cilantro so that is right up my alley! Thanks for the recipe and it's always good to run across a new NOLA blog!

  3. Tons; I use paprika all the time. I actually spend the ridiculous amounts of money for the fancy smoked stuff (although I recently saw smoked paprika in the spice aisle at the grocer's. Previously, I've had to go to specialty stores). If you and Benj do any barbecuing, you'll find that good paprika is often used in dry marinades and rubs. I have a favorite that I'll send you. . . although it's for pork spare ribs. Does my brother still avoid the swine?

  4. Glad you commented! I remember you mentioning your love for Paprika in the past. We grill all the time, he does still generally avoid pork (don't get him started on how pigs are the link between animal and human viruses) but he likes it at the local BBQ place (he actually had ribs on his birthday), so maybe I can get him to make an exception. :) Otherwise maybe I can adapt it for chicken- I get sick of chicken and am always looking for a way to spice it up! Looking forward to your recipe!

  5. This is from Tom's Big Dinners

    Pork Spice Rub

    3 tbsp firmly packed light brown sugar
    1 tbsp plus 1 tsp smoked paprika
    1 tbsp plus 1 tsp toasted and ground cumin seeds
    1 tbsp plus 1 tsp toasted and ground coriander seeds
    1 tbsp plus 1 tsp salt
    2 tsp ancho chile powder
    1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

    NOTE: Lacking a mortar and pestle and ridiculous amounts of time, I just use the standard dried coriander and cumin.
    I use that as the dry marinade. For actual BBQ sauce, I use from the same cookbook:

    "Burn-yer-lips BBQ sauce"

    2 tbsp veggie oil (I use canola)
    3/4 cup finely chopped onion
    1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
    1 1/2 tsp ground and toasted cumin seeds
    1 1/2 tsp ground and toasted fennel seeds
    1 tsp ground and toasted coriander seeds
    2 cup ketchup
    1/2 cup light brown sugar
    1/2 cup molasses
    1/2 apple cider vinegar
    1/2 Redhook Blackhook Porter or water (I use Flying Dog Black Porter)
    1/3 cup drained and finely chopped green chiles (canned)
    1 tbsp plus 2 tsp ancho chile pepper
    1 tbsp pureed chipotle, from a can of chipotles in abodo sauce
    Salt and pepper
    1 lemon, halved

    NOTE: That can of chipotle chiles in abodo sauce isn't readily available at the stores that I frequent, I've used actual chipotle peppers or the dried and ground chipotle from the spice section. Mary's father made a similar recipe the same weekend I first tried this, he drove out to Germantown (45 minutes) to a store that has them. Probably because he loves her more than I do.

    Heat oil in a saucepan over med. heat. Add onion and cook until golden brown (10-15 minutes). Add garlic and ground seeds and saute a couple minutes. Add ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, vinegar, porter, and various chiles/chile powders. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer gently for 25 minutes or so (until thickened), then squeeze the lemon halves into the pot (catch the seeds) and then throw the rinds into the pot. Simmer 10 more minutes, remove from heat and discard the lemon rinds.

    I've used it on both chicken and pork. Sorry that I'm so late with this. I have lots of other paprika recipes (in fact, this one doesn't use that much, but damned if you can't smell it), but this seems like a good summer one. By the way, there is tons of BBQ sauce from that recipe (3 cups), I have glass bottles with resealable tops that I store it in (thanks farmers' market in rural Maryland!). Lacking that, I would reduce the recipe or only make it when you a bunch of people coming over.