Tag Archives: Paprika

Paprika ~~ The Overlooked Spice

I think we all know about Paprika. You know the spice. It sits in your spice cupboard like a red-headed stepchild. Never thought about except for adding color to a dish, like potato salad or deviled eggs. Poor thing is terribly neglected.

Wait! You say. Paprika is used in Hungarian Goulash! Well yes, you would be correct, but it can also be used in other ways too. It really is much more then a coloring agent.

First let us explore where paprika comes from. (Via Wikipedia) Paprika is a spice made from ground, dried fruits of Capsicum annuum, either bell pepper or chili pepper varieties or mixtures thereof. The seasoning is used in many cuisines to add color and flavor to dishes, but it is usually associated with Hungary. It is also used in Greece, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Morocco, and also Spain and Portugal, the latter countries having introduced capsicum annuum to the Old World from the Americas.

Capsicum peppers used for paprika are unusually rich in vitamin C, a fact discovered in 1932 by Hungary’s 1937 Nobel prize-winner Albert Szent-Györgyi Much of the vitamin C content is retained in paprika, which contains more vitamin C by weight than does lemon juice. Paprika is also high in other antioxidants.

I have found five different kinds of paprika. Not to say that there are not more out there. But for this post I will stick to five.

Hungarian Sweet Paprika

The Spice House 


Sweet Hungarian paprika is perfect for your favorite goulash or deviled eggs. Fresh paprika has a full, sweet pepper flavor without the heat. It’s not just a pretty garnishing color!

Creamy Garlic Dressing Recipe


This recipe comes to us courtesy of the “Spice of Life Cookbook” by Treva Davis (no longer in print).

  • 2 tablespoons nonfat dry buttermilk powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chives, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried chives
  • 2 dashes Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Nutrasweet
Serves / Yields

Makes 1 1/2 cups

Preparation Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a covered jar and shake vigorously. Chill for 2 hours before serving to allow the garlic and chives to rehydrate and to blend flavors. This dressing also makes a good vegetable dip. Will keep two weeks in your refrigerator.

Hungarian Half-Sharp Paprika

The Spice House

Half-sharp Hungarian paprika is a spicier, hotter version of Hungarian sweet paprika.

This paprika is ground from a hotter variety of paprika pepper known as feldes medium sharp. Imagine the flavor of a red bell pepper crossed with the heat of a fiery little cayenne pepper. This paprika is good for those who like paprika flavor, but want a little more zip to their seasoning. It’s great in spinach and chickpea stew or bean dishes. Use it anywhere you usually use sweet paprika, but beware it does pack a punch in large doses.

Spicy Lentil Chili Recipe


  • 1 medium Onion
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 Celery Rib, chopped
  • 1 Carrot, chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 4 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano, crumbled
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme, crumbled
  • 1 Teaspoon Dry Mustard Powder
  • 2 Cups Lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 Quarts Chicken or Vegetable Stock
Serves / Yields

Serves 6

Preparation Instructions

Cook onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, celery, carrot, garlic, salt and pepper in a 5-6 qt. pot in olive oil, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6-8 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together brown sugar, spices, oregano, thyme and mustard and then add to vegetables and cook, stirring until very fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add lentils, bay leaf and stock and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until lentils are very soft, about 50-60 minutes. Discard bay leaf before serving.

Smoked Spanish Paprika, Sweet

The Spice House

Spanish Smoked Sweet Paprika is also known as Pimenton de la Vera, Dulce. It is a popular ingredient in many Mediterranean recipes. The peppers are dried, slowly over an oak burning fire for several weeks. The result is a sweet, cool, smokey flavor. Popular for dishes such as gratin of leafy greens and crispy potatoes, fish dishes, spinach and chickpea stew or bean dishes. A great way to add a smokey flavor with no heat.

Shrimp Remoulade with Spanish Paprika and Avocado Recipe.


  • 2 pounds shrimp, cleaned,cooked, and chilled
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced and then crushed to a paste with 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 1/3 cup horseradish mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sweet Spanish paprika (or Hungarian paprika)
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili paste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions (including green tops)
Serves / Yields

Serves 6 as a main course of 12 as an appetizer

Preparation Instructions

While the shrimp are chilling, prepare the remoulade.

Shake all the ingredients together in a jar with a tight-fitting lid until well combined.

Or, for a smoother and more emulsified sauce, combine all but the oil and green onions in the bowl of a food processor until blended. Scrape down the sides. Insert the feed tube into the apparatus. Pour the oil into the feed tube and, with the processor running, let the oil drip in a steady stream into the sauce until all the oil is used and the sauce is silky and emulsified. Pour the sauce into a bowl and stir in the green onions. Stir in the shrimp to coat well. Refrigerate for 2 hours to let the flavors marry.

Let the shrimp come to room temperature before serving. Serve on a platter garnished with sliced or diced avocado to complement the spicy sauce. Serve lemon wedges if desired.

Smoked Spanish Paprika, Hot

Spanish Smoked Hot Paprika ia also known as Pimenton de la Vera, Picante. It is a popular ingredient in many Mediterranean recipes, and essential to Spanish cuisine. The peppers are dried slowly over an oak-burning fire for several weeks. The result is a hot, smoky flavor. Try it in soups or chorizo. Add it to garlic flavored mayonnaise, which can then be used as a spread for grilling chicken or fish. Use it to make your deviled eggs truly sinister.

Dry Rub for Pork and Salmon Recipe


  • 1/2 cup Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1/2 cup hot smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 3 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (more to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated onion
  • 3 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 3 tablespoons ground celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
Serves / Yields

3 l/2 cups

Preparation Instructions

Mix all together and sift – keep in a quart jar in the refrigerator.

When preparing your salmon or pork, use very liberally on both sides. Let it sit about 5 minutes, then cook or grill as you choose.

Salt your meat or fish as you cook it, since this is a salt free recipe.

Helpful Hints

If you like your meat less sweet, then use 1/2 cup of brown sugar.

You can use it on anything, but since it’s fairly sweet, its best on pork products and fish like salmon.

California Sweet Paprika

California paprika is ground from a beautiful, deep red hybrid pepper grown in California. Where traditional Hungarian sweet paprika has a slightly bitter edge, this paprika has a faint lemony topnote.

California paprika is ground from a beautiful, deep red hybrid pepper grown in California. Where traditional Hungarian sweet paprika has a slightly bitter edge, this paprika has a faint lemony topnote.

Ratatouille, Bayou Style Recipe


  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium zucchini, peeled and cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 serrano chilis, destemmed and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • to taste, salt
  • to taste, fresh ground black pepper
Preparation Instructions

Place the eggplant in a bowl, cover with salted water, let soak 30 minutes. Rinse, drain, and dry.

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Combine all vegetables in a large bowl. Add the oil and other ingredients, and gently toss to coat.

Spread the mixture in a roasting pan and bake for 1 hour, then gently stir and bake 30 minutes or more, until vegetables are very soft.

If possible, let finished ratatouille sit for 1 hour – overnight for flavors to mellow. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Helpful Hints

This is a Lousisiana version of the classic French dish. Great in the summer when all the vegetables are ripe. Serve hot or cold, and don’t be afraid of leftovers.

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