Monday, October 23, 2006

Kitchen Timesaver #2 - Smoked Paprika

The seductive smokey aroma and flavour of smoked paprika provide authenticity to many spanish dishes, and this versatile ingredient also works well with various other cuisines - delicious added to pork and bean dishes (especially handy if you want, but don't have, smoked pork).

Fresh smoked paprika can deliver a powderful flavour hit so use sparingly. I choose the dolce (sweet) or agrodolce (bittersweet) varieties that have a deep velvety flavour. Smoked paprika is also available picante for those who like it hot.

You can find smoked paprika (usually in delightfully brightly-decorated square tins) at gourmet food shops, Spanish groceries, speciality spice suppliers and some markets. I buy mine from Rita's Coffee and Nuts at the South Melbourne Market.

Smoked Paprika contributes a wonderful flavour in gazpacho soup. You can make gazpacho without smoked paprika, but this powerful ingredient turns this recipe from mediocre to sublime. The first time I made gazpacho, I dutifully roasted the capsicum, then picked and rubbed to remove the blackened skin - a tedious, time-consuming and messy job. Adding a pinch of smoked paprika delivers convincing and beautifully mellow smokey-charred notes, without all the hassle.

Kirky's Kitchen recipes using Smoked Paprika:
Quick & Easy Gazpacho



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