As recently as ten years ago, if you looked on my spice rack you'd have found one paprika, the red-and-white rectangular tin of Hungarian sweet paprika imported from Szeged by way of my local grocery store.
One tin was all I needed. I never did anything with paprika except sprinkle it on pale foods to make them pretty.
You might say paprika was my rouge.
Though my spice rack today holds at least five jars of sweet, hot and smoked paprika, you'll still find one of those red-and-white tins, but now I know what to do with the spice inside.
I actually cook with it.
What is paprika?
A red powder, made not from a particular plant, but from grinding together a variety of dried Capsicum peppers ranging from sweet bell peppers to mild chiles.
How/where to store:
In a tin or glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, on the spice rack or in the freezer.
More facts about paprika, and ingredient photos, in The Perfect Pantry:
Paprika (Recipe: whitefish Hungarian style)
Roasted chickpeas with garlic, cumin and paprika
When my friend Kalyn visited from Utah, we had a fantastic dinner at a tapas restaurant in Boston's South End. One of the first dishes we ordered was a plate of spiced chickpeas very much like these. It was love at first bite. These really are the perfect cocktail nibbles. Serves 4 or more.
1 can (14-15 oz) of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3/4 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
3/4 tsp ground cumin
Coarse sea salt
Fresh black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Dry the chickpeas on a paper towel, and spread them on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with oil and garlic, and toss everything well with your hands to make sure the chickpeas are coated. Spread evenly on the baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes, shaking the pan every few minutes to cook the chickpeas evenly.
While the chickpeas are roasting, prepare a plate with paper towels. Drain the cooked chickpeas on the paper towels and, while they're still warm, toss with paprika, cumin, salt and pepper.
Serve warm, or store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Other recipes that use paprika:
Goat cheese with fresh dill and paprika, from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Slow cooker paprika chicken, from Andrea Meyers
Chicharrones de pollo with paprika onions, from Appetite for China
Eggplant paprikash, from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Paprika pork chops, from La Mia Cucina
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