Smoke in the Kitchen

I’m enjoying one of Melbourne’s most beloved festivals, and I hope you enjoy this guest by Deanna Segrave-Daly.
Cheers! ~ Robyn

Every so often, I tend to go overboard with a specific ingredient in the kitchen – so enter my new obsession: smoked paprika. This Spanish spice (also known as pimentón) comes in three varieties: dulce (mild & sweet), agridulce (medium spicy) and picante (spicy hot.) Bell or chili peppers are dried then roasted over oak wood fires creating a smoky essence. The peppers are then grounded into a silky, fine, bright orange-red powder. Because pimentón is so important to Spanish cuisine (an essential ingredient for chorizo and paella), there are Dominations of Origin (D.O.) for paprika from Spain ensuring the highest quality product – also used with wine, ham, vinegar and olive oil.

When smoked paprika hits my pan of hot olive oil and minced garlic, the heady aroma makes me feel like I’m in a chic tapas bar in Barcelona (vs. my small kitchen in suburban Philadelphia.)

At this point, I’ve been substituting smoked paprika in most recipes that call for red hot pepper flakes. Some my kitchen testing has included adding it to:

Jambalaya
Tomato sauce
Sautéed spinach
As a pizza topping
Linguine & clams
Mac & cheese

Here’s a recent recipe variation (and my current favorite way to use smoked paprika):

Smoked Chickpeas Over Couscous
Recipe adapted from www.foodandwine.com
Serves 4

1 cup uncooked whole wheat couscous
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup shredded carrots
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
1 cup vegetable broth
1 (15 ounce) can chopped tomatoes, drained
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley

Directions:In a medium pot, cook couscous according to package directions.

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, carrots and onion; cover and sauté under soft, about 10 minutes. Add smoked paprika and broth; simmer for 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced in half. Add tomatoes and chickpeas. Cook for 10 minutes; stirring frequently.


While chickpeas are simmering, in a medium pot, cook couscous according to package directions.

Before serving, stir parsley into chickpeas. Plate couscous (about 2/3 cups per serving) and top with chickpea mixture (about ¾ cup). Add extra dash of smoked paprika on top, if desired.

Deanna Segrave-Daly is a partner with Teaspoon Communications (www.teaspooncomm.com) and a registered dietitian that pretty much lives to eat. She tweets as @tspbasil and is co-host of the #kitchentool chats held every other month on Twitter.

This entry was posted on Monday, March 14th, 2011 at 10:03 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Smoke in the Kitchen”

  1. Alysa (Inspired RD) Says:

    This post made my tummy growl! I love paprika and just started using the smoked version. This recipe is definitely on the menu this week. Thanks!!

  2. Rochelle Says:

    This looks awesome! I will certainly try it this weekend! Thank you – - I too have smoked paprika in my cabinet and just love the smell of it!

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