Paprika is used to garnish many foods we prepare. Like soups, shrimp, deviled eggs, potato and pasta salads.
Paprika comes from the pods of Capsicum annuum peppers that are dried and crushed to form the powdery spice.
There are two principle paprikas used in cooking.
• Sweet Hungarian Paprika
• Hot Spanish or Smoked Paprika
The sweet red chili peppers are originally native to North and South America.
But today, most paprika comes from Spain, South America, California and Hungary.
Dose it make a difference which paprika you use when cooking? Yes it does matter.
Sweet paprika adds just a mild flavor of spiciness. Where as small led paprika adds an intense spiciness.
As an example to use, you would use the sweet paprika when making deviled eggs, but smoke paprika would be used when making this Tortellini Primavera with Cajun Shrimp.
Paprika and smoked paprika are flavorful spices that enhance many savory recipes while adding a dash of crimson color.
Most recipes use sweet paprika. It is derived from the sweet red chili peppers and labeled “paprika.”
Smoked Spanish paprika requires the peppers be smoked, usually with oak wood, prior to processing.
Smoked paprika has a distinct flavor after being smoked.
Spain has three grades of paprika: sweet to mild, medium heat and hot heat.
Spanish Chicken Salad
3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. paprika, Spanish smoked
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
16 oz. mix lettuce greens
4 cups cooked chicken
2 roasted bell pepper slices, cut into smaller slices
In a frying pan over medium heat, warm 2 teaspoons of oil. Add the almonds and toast, stirring until they are crisp and golden. This should take about 5 to 7 minutes. When you start to smell them toasting, remove the pan from the burner. If you continue to toast them, they will burn.
Place 4 chicken breasts into stock pot and cook on medium heat until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 to 170 degrees.
Remove from pot, set aside and let cool. Once cooled chopped chicken into 1 inch chunks.
You can plate to the side some shredded Jack cheese and sliced roasted bell pepper, for extra toppings.
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